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Yoweri Museveni: Some fast facts on Ugandan president

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday landed in the coast city of Mombasa for a two-day official visit to Kenya.

But besides being one of the longest serving presidents in the world, how well do you know the Ugandan strongman?

Here are some fast facts about the former bushman who seized power through the barrel of the gun:

  • Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was born on August 15, 1944 in Ntungamo, a town in the western Uganda, some 66 kilometres from Mbarara.
  • His parents are Amos Kaguta, a cattle keeper and Esteri Kokundeka.
  • His surname, Museveni, means ‘Son of a man of the Seventh’. This name originates from the Seventh Battalion in King’s African Rifles that consisted of Ugandans who fought Britain in the Second World War.
  • He married Janet Kataaha in August 1973. The First Lady has been a Cabinet minister in charge of Education and Sports since June 2016.
  • The couple has four children— a son and three daughters. Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the eldest and he is the Commander of the Ugandan Special Forces.
  • Museveni studied Economics at Dar es Salaam University in Tanzania and graduated in 1970. On graduation, he returned to Uganda and worked for Prime Minister Milton Obote.
  • Museveni is a learned man: He holds three doctorate degrees in Law, two in Literature and one in Theology. He also holds an Honorary Degree from Faith University, Turkey.
  • On January 25, 1971, Museveni went into exile in Tanzania when Obote was overthrown by Idi Amin Dada. While in Tanzania, he formed the Front for National Salvation (Fronasa) with the purpose of overthrowing Amin.
  • The Ugandan dictator is a Christian, with a PhD in Theology to boot.
  • On January 26, 1986, the then bushman became the President of Uganda after ousting the military regime of General Tito Okello. He took his first oath of office on January 29, 1986. He has held power since.
  • Museveni is the longest serving president in Uganda and eastern and central Africa. He has showed no signs of stepping down and may not do so anytime soon because there are no constitutional term limits in Uganda anymore. He once said he would relinquish power when East Africa unites.
  • On November 29, 2010, Museveni made a surprise trip to Somalia, making him the first head of state to visit the then war-wracked Horn of Africa state in almost 20 years, according to the African Union Mission for Somalia (Amisom).
  • In November 2010, Museveni released a song and an accompanying music video, “U Want Another Rap?” as part of his re-election campaign. Museveni recorded his second raptitled ‘Yengoma’, in late 2018. The veteran president, a foe of pop-star-cum-politician Bobi Wine, enjoys cordial relationships with leading Uganda artistes Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool.
  • Unlike many veteran leaders of his age, Museveni has been quite an internet sensation. On July 11, 2016, the photos he posted on Facebook while sitting on a lawn chair by the roadside as he made a phone call in Kyeirumba Village, went, inspiring an online meme. The pose also sparked off a hilarious online challenge.
  • In 2014, Museveni set up a commission of Ugandan scientists to study whether homosexuality is learnt or inborn. He then signed the anti-homosexuality law that introduced life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. At the time, the Ugandan leader said “homosexuals are disgusting”.
  • In 2018, the NRM leader caused a stir across Uganda when he said that he is one of the least paid presidents on the continent.
  • The biggest challenge to Museveni’s 33-year rule has been his former bush doctor Kizza Besigye, the leader of Forum for Democratic Change. The Ugandan leader has used almost every dirty trick in the book to contain the fiery politician who has been beaten and locked up by security agencies countless times. He was once beaten into coma. Of late, Bobi Wine, the young politician behind people power campaign, has been a pain in Museveni’s neck.

By Daily Nation

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