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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 16:35 GMT
30 years in Britain
Ugandan Asian Businessman, Jaffer Kapasi met the BBC's Tim Sebastian
Jaffer Kapasi met the BBC's Tim Sebastian
Jaffer Kapasi arrived in the UK with just 55 in his pocket, one of 30,000 Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin in 1972.

Thirty years on, he runs a successful financial consultancy and has an OBE, but he is bitter that Amin has, so far, escaped trial.


I'm still very angry... no justice has taken place

Jaffer Kapasi
He told BBC HARDtalk: "I'm still very angry... no justice has taken place and he has a good living there [in exile].

"If you look at the older generation who came here, who spoke very little English, for them it has been worse. They would like to see some justice done."

Frosty reception

In 1972, Amin gave all Asians, who were not Ugandan citizens, just 90 days to dispose of their assets and leave the country.

Asians expelled from Uganda, 1972
Asians expelled from Uganda arrive in Britain
Ted Heath, then UK Prime Minister, said Britain had a moral responsibility to help those Asians who held a UK passport.

But those who did come to the UK were not welcomed.

In fact, Leicester City Council, concerned at the effect an influx of refugees would have on social services, placed an advert in Ugandan newspapers urging them to stay away from the city.

It read, 'In your interests and those of your family, you should not accept the advice of the Uganda Resettlement Board and not come to Leicester.'

This year, Leicester City Council finally apologised for the adverts, calling them a "mistake."

Mr Kapasi said that racism was also another problem they had to deal with.

He said: "The National Front was very actively engaged in making sure that there was a lot of hostile activity against us. So we were frightened, we were a frightened community."

Success stories

Despite the difficult start Ugandan Asians have prospered in the UK.

In Leicester it is estimated that they have helped transform the economy of the city and created an extra 30,000 jobs in the community.

Mr Kapasi believes that for many Asians the drive to get back the high standard of living they had lost provided the motivation to succeed in the UK.


I still have some affinity to the country, because I was born there but my children were born here

Jaffer Kapasi
Mr Kapasi studied accountancy at university before setting up a financial consultancy business. He has worked as the head of the Leicester Business association and in 1997 was awarded the OBE.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has urged exiled Asians to return there, but Mr Kapasi feels that he is now firmly established in the UK.

He said: "I still have some affinity to the country, because I was born there, but my children were born here. For them it's a totally alien culture, so they would not accept the way of life back in Uganda."

This interview can be watched in full on Tuesday 29 October on BBC World and BBC News 24 at the following times:

BBC News 24 (times shown in BST) 0430, repeated 2230

BBC World (times shown in GMT) 0330, repeated 0830, 1130, 1530, 1830, 2330



HARDtalk with Tim Sebastian is broadcast Mon - Friday on BBC World and BBC News 24
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