Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ascended to power on January 29, 1986. He is credited with bringing Uganda to both political and economic stability after years of civil wars in the 1970s and early 80s.
His strong hold on power for three decades has however painted him as one of Africa’s authoritarian leaders. He is currently contesting for his fifth term in office and is widely expected to win in an election mired in voters’ intimidation and termed as “not free or fair” by the leader of Opposition Kizza Besigye.
Here are some facts about Museveni we thought you should know:
Sources; the Daily Monitor, CNN,the Economist
Museveni means “Son of a man of the Seventh’
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’s one of the most educated African leaders
Museveni holds three Doctorate degrees in Law, two in Literature and one in Theology. He also holds an Honorary Degree from Faith University, Turkey.
His only son is a army commander
He is married to Janet Museveni. They are blessed with three daughters and a son. Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the eldest child and Commander of the Ugandan Special Forces.
He came to power through a coup
He became president after a successful coup d’état that overthrew President Milton Obote in 1985. Museveni was involved in the armed rebellion that toppled President Idi Amin in 1979. He is the founder of the National Resistant Movement that was a guerilla militia fighting the Ugandan government in the 80s.
He’s quite controversial
In 2014, Museveni set 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. Last year, he caused a stir across Uganda when he said that he is one of the least paid presidents on the continent. He’s also infamously said homosexuals were disgusting.
He has so far released two rap songs
He released his first song, ‘You want another Rap’ in run-up to the Presidential election in 2011. Museveni recorded his second rap song titled ‘Yengoma’, late last year. These songs targeted for the youthful vote. He enjoys great relationships with leading local musicians such as, Jose Chameleone and Bebe cool.
Leader of Opposition was at one time his personal doctor
Kizza Besigye, the leader of Ugandan opposition, was one time Museveni’s doctor in the 70’s and 80’s. This was during the guerilla warfare that Museveni led against the government. Besigye is regarded as the biggest challenger and fiercest political rival to Museveni’s 30-year hold onto power.
He’s the longest-serving president in East and Central Africa
Museveni has held power since 1986. He is the longest serving president in Uganda and Eastern and Central African. He has showed no signs of stepping down in the East African nation where there are no constitutional term limits to the presidency. He once said that he is leave power when East Africa becomes united.