The following excerpts are from a diary found by British peace-workers in a destroyed house near Mbarara in 1980.

Village near Mbarara
Village near Mbarara

January 27, 1971
Word has just reached the village that the great general Idi Amin has seized power from Obote. This is wonderful news for my family. Obote was a harsh ruler and his soldiers killed many of my friends. Thankfully my family is still alive and well to see the wonders Idi Amin will bring us.

February 4, 1971
There have been many riots since Amin took control. Those still loyal to Obote paraded through the streets, destroying buildings. Idi Amin has sent soldiers to quell the rebellions. I don't know why, but the sight of soldiers in my village still sends a wave of fear down my spine and I can't help but shiver when I see them.

April 29, 1971
Mass riots are still an almost daily occurrence. I am afraid to let my children go out into the streets to play in fear they will be hurt by the rebels. If the rebellions don't stop soon, I'm afraid Idi Amin might do something drastic.

April 31, 1971
My home was destroyed by the rebels when they learned I supported Amin. Me and my family are moving across town, closer to the barracks. Hopefully being closer to the soldiers will give us more security.

June 30, 1971
Being close to the soldiers has provided us relative security, but now there is a new problem. Many of the soldiers are starting to turn against Amin. I fear if Amin punishes the soldiers, me and my family could be in danger of punishment too. Because of this, I am moving my family to Masaka for their safety, but I will stay here to see for myself what happens and not just read it in the newspaper.

July 23, 1971
The horrors I've seen in the past few weeks cannot be sufficiently described by me. I've seen soldiers killing soldiers, soldiers killing civilians, and civilians killing civilians. I am leaving this place now. I'm going to try and find my family. I only hope they've survived.

January 21, 1977
It has been a long time since I have written in this diary. A lot has happened since my last entry. I try to block the horrors I have seen go on around out of my mind, but they still haunt me in my dreams. I think Idi Amin has finally gone insane. He makes everyone refer to him as "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Idi Amin." There have been many more killings in villages of people standing up and rebelling against Amin. The end is always the same, swift and merciless. The only comforting news I can report is that I have found my family. They are safe and well taken care of. I have arranged for a bus to come tomorrow and pick up me and my family, as well as a few others that want to leave, and we are going to head toward Kenya. Hopefully we can make it over the border without any problems.

January 22, 1977
The bus has arrived! We are boarding as I write. We should be in Kenya come sunrise next morning.

January 23, 1977
Our plan had been found out! Shortly after leaving the village, we ran into a blockade of humvees with dozens of soldiers standing in front of them. They shot the bus driver on sight and gathered up everyone on board. I was able to escape into some nearby woods, but they chased me for hours. They took my family! My wife, my daughter, and my son. They dragged them to the back of the humvee and then drove off. Some of the civilians were shot and others were taken like my family. I must find them!

February 16, 1977
My family is dead. I have just learned they executed all the prisoners shortly after taking them.

February 18, 1977
This will be my last entry. My family is dead, my home is destroyed, and all of my friends have either turned against me or been taken by Amin. I have no longer any will to live. If you are reading this, then I am already dead. I have no belongings to distribute and friends to distribute them to. My only hope is that things change for the people of Uganda. Goodbye to this cruel place.

After this chilling message there is one things scribbled on the next page in somebody else's script: "Idi Amin has fallen! Rejoice! Uganda is free!"