Things That Have Kept Museveni a Darling to Many

At 76, Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, has today taken his seventh oath as president of the Republic of Uganda.

In the 35 years he has been in power, 25 have been earned through elections organized every five years. The first 10 years that started from 1986 to 1996 were not competitive since they were regarded as a transition period. This was because Uganda had been through civil wars right from 1966 up to late 1985. The Daily Press brings some of the reasons that have kept Museveni a darling to many.

Security: If there is anything that has kept Museveni loved by both young and old is restoring security that had become a privilege to many. Periods after Uganda attained her independence from Britain 1962, citizens experienced turbulent times where several people were killed. Regimes of Dr Milton Obote, Idi Amin Dada, Obote II and Okello Lutwa were all characterized by massive killings. But the coming of Museveni in 1986 has seen several parts of Uganda enjoy total peace in the last 30 years. All the rebel groups including Lord’s Resistance Army –LRA that spend 20 years killing people from the north have been defeated by Uganda People’s Defence Forces- UPDF.

Women emancipation: Although it is not clear whether the past regimes undermined women’s potential, females were rarely involved in key national leadership positions. That line change with the coming of Museveni who at the moment has several female ministers and close to 200 female legislators. A number of vital positions in ministries, departments and agencies are now headed by women. Uganda’s Speaker is a female, all ministers for heath are females, education minister is a woman including a number of judicial officials. Women empowerment has earned Museveni votes year in year out.

Multi-party politics: Museveni allowed the resumption of political party system in early 2000s and this has seen Ugandans having liberty to join and leave political parties of their choice. For example, the newest political party in Uganda is National Unity Platform –NUP owned by his closest rival in the January 14th presidential elections Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine. In its four months’ presence, NUP brought over 50 Members of Parliament the biggest number of legislators to have ever been obtained by an Opposition political party. Even though Museveni is sometimes accused of highhandedness against his rivals, at least Ugandans have choice to belong where they want.

Infrastructure: The road network is over 5000km compared to 1000k he found in place in 1986. Roads connecting to major towns in Uganda are tarmacked which was not the case before. Unlike in 1980s where Ugandans would have spent over a week moving from one border to another, nowadays Ugandans move from north to south or east to west in less than 6 hours. This is all attributed to good road network and privatization of transport sector which saw several transport companies started including individual taxis.

Free education: Since 1997, Ugandan children have been enjoying free education under the universal primary education. Fifteen years ago, universal secondary education was also introduced and this has enabled several children obtain secondary education certificates which were not easy to achieve before. Currently, Uganda has over 15 million students in both primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions. Literacy levels have tremendously improved both I urban and rural areas.

Reconciliation with opponents: Many Ugandans cross every year from their mother political parties joining Museveni’s party the National Resistance Movement. Political parties such as Forum for Democratic Change and Democratic Part have regularly suspended or expelled members who go contrary to party’s principles. But Museveni does all whatever is within his means to maintain members. In fact, five of his current ministers came from Opposition political parties. These include Betty Kamya, who is minister for Lands was an FDC member, Beatrice Anywar who is state minister for environment was an FDC member, Betty Amongi who is minister for Kampala City is a UPC member, Florence Nakiwala who is minister for Youth and Children was a DP member and Sarah Kanyike who is a minister for Elderly was also a DP stalwart. This is shows you have Museveni doesn’t have permanent enemies.

Restoring Cultural institutions: After the attack on Buganda kingdom by Milton Obote in 1960s, cultural institutions were abolished. But Museveni restored them in 1990s and this has seen kingdoms such as Buganda, Bunyoro, Tooro, Busoga and Bugisu blossom. Restoration of cultural institutions has earned Museveni massive support over the years. Until the recent election, Museveni has been defeating candidates coming from the largest tribe which is Buganda. Several Buganda property and other kingdoms’ belongings that had been confiscate by Obote regime have been returned. That is why Museveni enjoys victory from west to east, north or south.

Other reasons include

Economic growth, freedom of worship, compensating people killed by security agencies and tragedies, strengthening security apparatus that gives Ugandans a sense of security from both internal and external militias.