Africa & World

There’s no opposition I can’t defeat, says Museveni

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  • After more than 30 years in power, the 76-year-old Museveni is the only president most in Uganda have known.

UGANDAN President Museveni said Friday that there is no opposition in Uganda which he cannot defeat, arguing that they (Opposition members) have no track record of what they have done on national issues.

“There is no opposition in Uganda which I cannot defeat. They have no track record of what they have done on national issues, so what are they opposing? I don’t see a group that has got a correct position in the politics of Uganda today that can defeat NRM,” President Museveni who is campaigning in Kapchorwa said in a statement posted on his social media platforms.

This is not the first time Mr Museveni, 76, is making such statements.

In 2017, Mr Museveni who has been in power since 1986 said there was no genuine opposition in Uganda, describing some of the people who oppose his regime as disgruntled people.

“These are just confused people and a few youths who have no jobs,” Museveni said at a dinner to celebrate the passing of the age-limit bill by Parliament at State House Entebbe in December 2017.

Two days after he was declared winner of the February 18, 2016 presidential election, Mr Museveni vowed that he would have no Opposition left by the time of the 2021 General Election. At the time, the President’s statement seemed to ring hollow. Dr Kizza Besigye, his principal opponent in the election that had just been concluded, had claimed victory and was under house arrest.

The President’s vow came in his maiden speech after he was declared winner of the 2016 elections at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District.

He said he would “wipe out the Opposition completely in the next five years”. Earlier, in 2015, he had, during a visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to Parliament, vowed to wipe out the Opposition after winning the election, which at the time was months away.

Museveni on Thursday concluded his campaign in Bugisu sub-region with a meeting of NRM leaders from Bulambuli and Sironko districts. 

President Museveni waves to his supporters after arriving at the ground breaking ceremony for the upgrade of the 92 km Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road. This road will link Uganda to Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. PPU PHOTO

He tasked them to mobilize residents, especially the youth, to take advantage of employment opportunities emerging from various developments like the Mbale Industrial Park. 

According to the president, the park will create over 15,000 jobs when fully operational.

“It is important that our people appreciate all this is possible because of the peace and stability guaranteed by the NRM government. At one time, Uganda had the fourth highest number of refugees across the world. Today, we are the second highest refugee-hosting country in the world,” Mr Museveni who has been in power since 1986 said.

However, Mr Museveni is faced with another hurdle in the candidature of pop star Robert Kyagulanyi npopularly known as Bobi Wine.

The musician turned politician has become a popular figure among the youth in a country where the median age is less than 16. 

Since becoming Kyadondo East MP in 2017, he has been routinely arrested and put under house arrest, his concerts banned and public rallies dispersed with teargas.

After more than 30 years in power, the 76-year-old Museveni is the only president most in Uganda have known.

Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, had the constitution amended for a second time to allow him to run a sixth time in 2021. – Ugandan Monitor ■

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