Some political experts have said that
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s silence on the rivals he competed with in the recent elections is bad for
democracy and does not show any signs of reconciliation.
President Museveni spoke
tough in his inauguration speech at Kololo Independent grounds on May 12th referring to terrorists as idiots, and also told off western actors that
they cannot lecture him on democracy. Eleven heads of state attended the inauguration
However, the President did
not mention anything about his rivals in the 2021 elections. President Museveni
competed with 10 other candidates with the National Unity Platform (NUP)
Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu coming second.
The others in
the race were Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s Patrick Oboi Amuriat, Alliance
for National Transformation (ANT)’S Mugisha Muntu, Democratic Party (DP)’s Norbert
Mao, and independent candidates; Willy Mayambala, Nancy Kalember, Henry
Tumukunde, John Katumba, Joseph Kabuleta and Fred Mwesigye.
Although in his previous inauguration
speech, the President talked about his rivals, yesterday he mentioned nothing about the
opposition or his rivals in the Presidential race.
In 2011, the President extended an olive branch to his rivals
in the Presidential race adding that they are always welcome for talks.
In 2016, President Museveni
congratulated the different politicians and political parties for participating
in the elections, saying Uganda belongs to everybody. However this time, the President didn’t talk about his opponents, something some experts say does not
According to Makerere
University History Don, Associate Prof. Ndebesa Mwambutsya, the President should have
congratulated his opponents for contesting with him, and acknowledge this, but
silence and not mentioning them at all sends a bad image as it does not show reconciliation. He says this would mean the
President doesn’t regard them and this doesn’t augur well for civil politics.
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In 2016 during Museveni’s inauguration,
Ambassadors including the one from the United States and the European Union walked out after
Museveni attacked the International Criminal Court (ICC). Uganda hosted now
ousted Sudan president Omar al-Bashir who was wanted by the ICC.
Ndebesa also decried the fact
that Ambassadors were made to sit in ordinary chairs and not as protocol and
He however says that Museveni’s
speech also brought in an element of the rivalry of the East and the West, but
also countries of Russia and China emerging as winners.
Yasin Ssekamate, a political
analyst says that the Ambassadors perhaps decided to be diplomatic despite
Museveni’s attack on the western actors, saying that as long as their interest is
met by the President, the west will remain silent on these statements.
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President Museveni is now
serving his sixth term since he came into power in 1986.