For eight long years, the sleepy life of this small fishing village on the shores menacing intrusions of Idi Amin's soldiers.

They helped themselves to food and women, took over shops, ran the black market, stole fishing boats and arrested, and occasionally killed, the local residents.

"We civilians suffered the most," said one villager. "The soldiers, they were the nobles."

The biggest change in the lives of residents here since "liberation" in early April has been the totally different behavior of the visiting soldiers, members of the Tanzanian and new Ugandan armies.

The Tanzanians, based at Entebbe International Airport just a half-mile away, can be seen these days casually strolling down Kugungu's main dirt-packed street. They lazily buy bananas or oranges at the small outdoor market stalls, examine the day's catch at the fishing boats return or sip tea and joke with girls serving in the village's only tearoom.

"Amin's soldiers never acted like this," said Joseph Kiggundu, 22, a fisherman."They would wait for our boats to come in and then would just take the fish without paying."

"Amin's soldiers also took food and other things from our shops and stalls," added Tuesday Mugerwa, 26, owner of the tearoom. "Sometimes they would pay a little - toss a few coins to us - but it was never the right price. Often they would take these things for free and then resell them."

To make matters worse, the village shopkeepers were often forced to buy supplies at exorbitant prices from Amin's soldiers, who had a monopoly on the local black market.

"The soldiers were the ones with the things we needed," Mugerwa explained. "They would go to a shop where they knew there was, for instance, sugar. They would frighten the owner and take the sugar and then bring it here and sell it. The black market price for sugar was $4 a pound."

Kugungu is about 20 miles from the capital. Its 2,000 inhabitants are a mixture of fisherman, farmers and civil servants. Most are Christians and a sign at the shrine by the lake says: "On this spot landed the first Catholic missionaries of Uganda - 17th day of February, 1879."

Amin's army and government, on the other hand, consisted mostly of Moslems.

Villagers said the pace of harassment and intimidation intensified after the war with Tanzania started in October.

"Nine people disappeared from our village this year, including some teachers, government civil servants and farmers. We heard they were taken by Amin's people, but we don't know if they were jailed or killed," Mugerwa said.

As the liberation forces neared, Amin's desperate soldiers grabbed the village's boats and fled toward the Kenyan coast, added Kiggundu.

When the Tanzanians entered the town on April 6, the townpeople did not know how to react.

"We were unsure what to expect," said Kiggundu. "We went into the streets with our hands up. A tanzanian officer told, 'put your hands down, we are your friends."