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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 29, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 36 LETHBRIDGE HERAID Wedneidnv, November 39, 197J ECONOMIC WARFARE Amin purges foreign control On B Uiur ol East Africa, t a f I correspomlr-nl Kevin Doyle of The Canadian pi-ess London bureau Blippccl into I'Kanila to lis- ten lo (111- controversial Prosirtrnt Amin discuss fu- ture, plans anil lo survey the Impart of Mir Asians' CJ- riulsinn. Here is (lie firsl of two stories. Ilr KEVI.V DOVI.E KAMPALA. Uganda (CP1 President Idi Amin, centre of a world controversy over his ex- pulsion of Uganda Asians, says only the first blows have been struck in his relentless war for economic independence. Wheeling his rattling, open Jeep through Kampala's dusty streets, the 49-year-old soldier- president skidded to a halt in front of a row of deserted chops. "We're !n an economic he told his wildly-cheering au- dience. "It's a good fight and we must keep it up. In a few days all these stores will be open, believe me." Then, adding a promise that all foreign control will soon be removed from Uganda, he ca- reered off lo an important meeting with a visiting Arab statesman. ISN'T CHALLENGED With this kind of personal contact and confident reas- surance, Amin lias placed him- self in an unchallenged position of power which' for the mo- ment, is the envy of majiy less secure African leaders. j The fact thai most clothing stores, drug stores, cinemas, garages and bookstores have remained closed since Amin's recent expulsion of about Asians does not seem to have altered public confidence in his ability. "Our president has a the Africans leil you. But in a casual conversation in the lobby of Kampala's Inter- national Hotel, where he was or.ce a busboy, Amin clearly in- dicated that no real plan exists for meeting the economic crisis caused by the Asian exodus. BELONGS TO AFRICANS Amin, who disdains body- guards and olher forms of pro- tection, said he abhors racism in all forms but emphasized that Uganda belongs lo Africans and must be controlled by thorn. Many are terrified of what Amin's next moves will be. Most have already sent their families out of the country and others are quickly preparing to take the same step. They worry about tapped telephones, opened Canada, with its enormous coastline and its heritage of seafaring, is bound to have its share of sea serpent tales. Byron Morris, an oceanog- rapher, tells about some of these denizens of the deep. Government-Supplied In Britain, heroin addiction is considered a medical problem r.ather than a crime, and the government provides the drug to addicts In Weekend Magazine this Saturday. Paul Wright speaks to a number of Canadian heroin addicts now living in London The Fight Against Pain A special team of Montreal doctors is exploring ways to remove pain. Around The World In 80 Hours One hundred years later, a Montreal writer covers tha route taken by Phileas Fogg. Jules Verne's fictional character. ALSO: The Company With Children Shareholders Christmas Cards You Ought To Buy Christmas Cookies You Ought To Try This Saturday in Weekend Magazine in The Lethkidge Herald mail, police spying and secret arrests In the night. PEACE CORPS GONE U.S. Peace Corps pro- gram has been discontinued and more than 100 volunteers havo left following the death of one young worker after he was shot by Ugandan troops. The British Voluntary Service Overseas has drastically curtailed its pro- gram. Out of 31 volunteers with the Canadian University Service Overseas, only three remain. Seventy-two white members of the 500-man leaching staff at Makerere University now have resigned and another 90 plan to leave at Christmas. A total of 700 British teachers are ex- pected to quit their jobs over the next year. Among Europeans, there is a curious combination of emotions made up of a distaste for methods used by Amin in ex-' Economic chaos results from Asians' expulsion GEN. IDI AMIN polling the of whom went to a grudging respect for his efforts 'the Uganda to "Africanize" economy. AMIN POPULAR from former president Milton Obole in January, 1971. In conventional terms, Ug- anda's future is bleak. At least 75 per cent of the commercial sector is immobilized, awaiting transfer lo Uganda Africans. At the moment, veteran ob- j s BOAHDED UP servers here see no challenge to Amin's leadership. He is im- mensely popular with the army< his main piUar of support, and with the mass of the people. In conversation, the former professional boxer gives the dis- tinct impression of having little or no knowledge of the econo- mic complications facing the country. "Countries can't go broke these he says cheerfully, pointing out that he already has received substantial aid from Libya and Saudi Arabia. But he leaves no doubt about his political astuteness. "As Americans say, 'Politics are jokes Amin, who pro- moted himself to the rank of full general from major-general the day after seizing power A random walk through the city, for example, showed that out of a score of drug stores, only two remained open and neither of these had headache tablets. Nearly all shops were simply boarded up w hen the Asians left and remain that way Half finished construction projects stand idle waiting for architects and other skilled per- sonnel lo fill jobs, vacated by the Asians. Amin now says he will tell the British Dec. 13 what they can expect in the future. But, like most oilier whiles, the or so remaining Britons in Uganda say it makes little dif- ference what the Impetuous president decides. By KEVIN DOYLE KAMPALA, Uganda (CP) Simon Mlonga, his wife and eight children sat in the cool shade of a half-finished con- struction project within a stone's throw of Uganda's unused parliament buildings. Simon, a slightly-stooped skeleton of a man' mumbled the same pathetic plea to everyone who walked by in the scorching tropical heat. "I've no work, mister. We're children hungry. But all Hie jobs have gone." Simon is one of at least African.? thrown out of work overnight by President Idi Ainin's recent expulsion of about non-citizen Asians. The great bulk of the unem- ployed are centred in the Kam- pala region. But they represent only one aspect of the massive economic and social problem facing Amin who ssized power in a military coup nearly two years ago, dis- solved parliament for five years and assumed dictatorial control of Uganda. BUSINESS STOPS At least 75 per cent of or- dinary business activity has been idle since the Asians left, ostensibly awaiting transfer to African hands. In the past, these businesses contributed about 10 per cent of Uganda's billion annual gross domestic product, furnished a substantial part of government revenue and employed the vast majority of Africans in in- dustry. In Kampala alone, about 500 shops, formerly owned by Asians and valued at more than million, have been adver- tised for sale in the local press. Another businesses in 41 other centres, worth about million, are also on offer. Out of all these shops, only a iandful have passed to African hands. The rest stand bolted and barred. Western experts here say Amin may have enough reve- nues, most collected from the Asians before they left, to sus- tain the economy at relatively high, If declining rate for about six months. Few pretend lo know what will happen then. Some Western analysts ex- press the belief that Amin might actually prefer to see the economy reduced to a much slower growth rate. LACKS KNOWLEDGE They argue that he has no knowledge of economic prob- lems and solutions and for this reason might feel more com- fortable at the helm of a more primitive system. These observers add that Amin is also personally re- signed to the fact that it will take many j'ears before Afri- cans acquire the skills neces- sary to manage their own econ- omy. Consequently, they believe he is prepared to sacrifice a rapid rate of growth in order to keep economic control squarely in African hands. It is virtually Impossible for an outsider to discover the real intentions of the government. Attempts to search beyond meaningless generalizations of- fered by officials is taken as a lack of faith in the government. But the outlines of the strategy Amin is likely to follow are beginning to emerge. ANNOUNCES TAKEOVER Earlier this week the flam- bos'ant general announced that the government will take over and administer the Madhvani and Mehta industrial groups formerly owned by Asians. The groups, valued at about million, were the largest In- dustrial concern in the country, employing nearly Afri- cans. Employment and the companies' scope of activity, however, will likely be greatly reduced under the new adminis- tration. Several factories and garages have already been taken over in this way and transferred to the sinle-owned Uganda develop- ment and state trading organ- izations. This trend is expected to continue in those businesses where the government feels it can seize control without com- pensating the former owners. If the rest of the commercial sector is to survive, even in a greatly-restricted sense, about million to million will have to be found, experts here believe. Some of this may come from, external aid funds. Saudi Arabia has already pledged a loan of about million and Libya has agreed to open a bank in Uganda. The government itself has set up a development institution with a capital of about mil- lion. Some further financing may be undertaken by the com- mercial banks. But the greater part of the needed funds will probably come from an Increase in the money supply unsupported by an increase in real production- MORE INFLATION SEEN More inflation is likely if the government begins to allow a freer entry of imports which have been at a virtual standstill since August, causing shortages for the consumer and the newly-established African shop- keeper. Meanwhile, the government Is getting less revenue from direct and indirect taxation and cus- toms duties. SIMPSONS Power packed extra duty premium battery ex. (installed) (10522) SsaisEXTRA DUTY Thin poly walls mean more acid ana bigger platei inside More acid and bigger plates mean more power and longer life. Five times stronger lhan rubber case batteriei YEARS Ask altonl Simpsons-Seara Diehard etnrlij your car n'licn most oilier Lotteries won't. A proven winner. 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