UGANDA’S YOWERI MUSEVENI SET TO BE THE FIFTH LONGEST SERVING AFRICAN LEADER
Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni might be the fifth longest serving African leader if the 2021 Uganda election finally favors him.
For over a week now, the #Ugandadecides2021 has been trending on Twitter and the world has been abuzz about Uganda’s major presidential candidates Yoweri Museveni and his opponent Bobi Wine. If you have been wondering what is so special about this election and why Uganda is fighting for their rights now more than ever, it is because Yoweri Museveni has been ruling since 1986 and is set to be the Fifth Longest serving African Leader. If care is not taken, Museveni might be on a lifetime presidential journey as well considering that he already set it in motion years ago.
Museveni has been ruling for 35 years now. He came to power through rebellion as he toppled some Ugandan leaders. Notable among these are Idi Amin and Milton Obote. Museveni was key to removing these people from power after forming a rebellion party called ‘Popular resistance army’. Popular resistance army would later change names severally after coalition with like-minded parties years later.
1st Democratic term
Under Museveni’s government, the first general elections saw Museveni defeat Paul Ssemogerere of Democratic Party. Museveni would then remain in power for 15 more years until the next general elections which was held in 2001
2nd Democratic term
The second general elections under Museveni’s government was held in 2001. Museveni beat his opponent-Kizza Besigye. When Kizza filed a petition following the gross irregularities that characterized the elections, the supreme court of Uganda ruled out that there were indeed numerous cases of election malpractices, but that still did not affect the results in a substantial manner.
3rd Democratic term
After the 2001 general elections, Museveni stated that he was contesting for the last time. However, in 2005, Yoweri Museveni scrapped the presidential term limits, making it possible for any president to be in office for as many terms as he is elected. This led to widespread criticism and protest in Uganda.
In the 2006 Uganda elections, Museveni was NRM’s (National Resistance movement) presidential candidate. Again, his major opponent was Kizza Besigye. Before the general elections, Kizza was arrested on charges of treason to Museveni’s governance. Kizza’s arrest led to widespread riots and demonstrations in Kampala, Uganda. Later, based on the High court’s orders, Kizza was released. Museveni won the election again, with a percentage of 59%- 37%.
4th Democratic term
In the 2011 Uganda elections, Museveni was re-elected and the election results were disputed again. This time by the EU (European Union). The election was also characterized by voter intimidation and logistical failures that made it impossible for some people to vote successfully.
5th Democratic term
In 2017, Yoweri Museveni initiated a life presidency bill. Then, he was around 71 years old. The Uganda constitution stated that anyone older than 75 would not be eligible to contest for the presidency. The bill was successfully passed, increasing Yoweri’s chances to run as many times as he liked no matter how old he is. Yoweri was elected again on February 18, 2016 and beat his rival Kizza Besigye with a 61-35% vote. Again, the election results were disputed. There were many cases of voting irregularities, fraud, voter intimidation and frequent arrest of political opponents.
Over the course of Museveni’s 35-year tenure, he was involved in a number of Human right infringement cases which are not limited to the following:
*In March 1989, Amnesty international published a human rights report about Human right violations committed by the NRA (National Resistance Army) troops in Uganda.
*In 2011, opponent Kizza Besigye organized a ‘walk to work’ protest and he was arrested. Several people that participated in the protest were killed and a good number of people were injured badly.
*In 2013, Human Right watch recorded the high rate of News infringement in Uganda and that at least 5o Ugandan journalists had been attacked.
*In 2014, Museveni toughened penalties for Gay sex and same sex marriage. He also made it a criminal offense not to report gay people.
*He made constitutional amendments that scrapped presidential term limits and introduces the life-term presidency
Yoweri Museveni introduced free primary education in 1997. He is also credited for effectively combatting the rise of AIDS in Uganda.
2021 Uganda elections
This time, Museveni’s major opponent is Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine’s real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. Bobi Wine is his stage name as the Musician turned politician used to be a very active and successful singer. In 2016, his song ‘Kiwani’ was featured on the soundtrack for ‘Queen of Katwe’ Disney movie. Bobi Wine was a senator in the Ugandan parliament (For the Kyandondo country east constituency).
Like other cases, during his campaign on November 2020, Bobi Wine was arrested for flouting covid-19 directives on crowd size. During the event, around 60 people were killed and several people were injured.
According to the country’s electoral commission, Museveni has about 62% of votes compared to Bobi Wine’s 29%. There is a chance that Museveni might actually win the Uganda 2021 elections and be in power again. With this, Museveni would be on his way to be a lifetime president as he already put this in place in his constitutional amendments concerning presidential terms and age limit.
Based on the riots, protests and brutality characterized by the 2021 Uganda elections, there is a high probability of severe riots and chaos in Uganda if Museveni finally wins the 2021 elections. Recently on Twitter, Bobi Wine revealed that his safety was at stake and that he and his family were under siege as the Ugandan Military had jumped the fence and surrounded his house. View the tweets below.
The 2021 Uganda elections held on Thursday January 14. The election would determine the president of Uganda and also put in place parliament members. Uganda uses a different electoral system where there is a two round system. To get elected, Candidates need 50% votes.
Currently, Museveni has been declared winner of the election and is on his way to become the fifth longest serving African leader and on his sixth democratic term.
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