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Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni
Museveni in September 2015
President of Uganda
Assumed office
29 January 1986
Prime Minister George Adyebo
Kintu Musoke
Apollo Nsibambi
Amama Mbabazi
Ruhakana Rugunda
Vice President Samson Kisekka
Specioza Kazibwe
Gilbert Bukenya
Edward Ssekandi
Preceded by Tito Okello
Chairperson of the Commonwealth of Nations
In office
23 November 2007 – 27 November 2009
Preceded by Lawrence Gonzi
Succeeded by Patrick Manning
Personal details
Born Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
(1944-09-15) 15 September 1944
Ntungamo, Uganda
Political party National Resistance Movement
Spouse(s) Janet Kainembabazi (1973–present)
Children Muhoozi
Alma mater University of Dar es Salaam
Religion Anglicanism
Website Official website
Nickname(s) M7

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (   ; born 15 September c. 1944) is a Ugandan politician who has been President of Uganda since 29 January 1986.

Museveni was involved in rebellions that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85). With the notable exception of the north, President Museveni has brought relative stability and economic growth to a country that has endured decades of rebel activity and civil war. His tenure has also witnessed one of the most effective national responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa.

In the mid to late 1990s, Museveni was fêted by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders. His presidency has been marred, however, by involvement in civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other Great Lakes region conflicts. Rebellion in the north by the Lord's Resistance Army had perpetuated a drastic humanitarian emergency. Restrictions on political pluralism and a 2005 referendum and constitution change scrapping limits on presidential terms, enabling extension of his rule, have attracted recent concern from domestic commentators and the international community.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • 1972–1980: Front for National Salvation and the toppling of Amin 2.1
    • 1981–1986: The war in the bush 2.2
      • Obote II and the National Resistance Army 2.2.1
      • 1985 Nairobi Agreement 2.2.2
      • The push for Kampala 2.2.3
    • 1986–1996: Museveni in power 2.3
      • Political and economic regeneration 2.3.1
      • Internal security and human rights 2.3.2
    • 1996–2001: A new democratic mandate 2.4
      • Elections 2.4.1
      • International recognition 2.4.2
      • Regional conflict 2.4.3
    • 2001–2006: A second term 2.5
      • 2001 elections 2.5.1
      • Political pluralism and constitutional change 2.5.2
      • Death of an ally 2.5.3
    • February 2006 elections 2.6
    • Third term (2006–2011) 2.7
      • September 2009 riots 2.7.1
      • Fundamentalist Christianity 2.7.2
      • LGBT rights 2.7.3
    • 2011–present: Fourth term 2.8
  • Honours and awards 3
    • Honorary degrees 3.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Museveni's exact birthplace is unknown; however, he was most likely born in Ntungamo, which is located in south-western Uganda. Ntungamo is shown in red.

Born on 15 September 1944 in Ntungamo, Uganda Protectorate,[1] Museveni is a member of the Banyankole ethnic group. His surname, Museveni, means "Son of a man of the Seventh", in honour of the Seventh Battalion of the King's African Rifles. This was the British colonial army in which many Ugandans served during World War II.

Museveni gets his middle name from his father, Amos Kaguta, a cattle herdsman. Kaguta is also the father of Museveni's brother Caleb Akandwanaho, popularly known in Uganda as "Salim Saleh",[2] and sister Violet Kajubiri.[3]

Museveni attended Kyamate Elementary School, Mbarara High School, and Ntare School. In 1967, he went to the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. There, he studied economics and political science and became a Marxist, involving himself in radical pan-African politics. While at university, he formed the University Students' African Revolutionary Front activist group and led a student delegation to FRELIMO territory in Portuguese Mozambique, where he received guerrilla training. Studying under the leftist Walter Rodney, among others, Museveni wrote a university thesis on the applicability of Frantz Fanon's ideas on revolutionary violence to post-colonial Africa.[4]


In 1970, Museveni joined the Acholi dominated the national military, while people from southern parts of the country were active in business. This situation endured until the coup, when Amin filled the top positions of government with Kakwa and Lugbara and violently repressed the Lango and their Acholi allies.[5]

1972–1980: Front for National Salvation and the toppling of Amin

The exile forces opposed to Idi Amin invaded Uganda from Tanzania in September 1972 and were repelled, suffering heavy losses.[6] In October, Tanzania and Uganda signed the Mogadishu Agreement that denied the rebels the use of Tanzanian soil for aggression against Uganda.[7] Museveni broke away from the mainstream opposition and formed the Front for National Salvation in 1973.[6] In August of the same year, he married Janet Kataha.

1981–1986: The war in the bush

Obote II and the National Resistance Army

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations

Museveni returned with his supporters to their rural strongholds in the Bantu-dominated south and southwest to form the Popular Resistance Army (PRA). There they planned a rebellion against the second Obote regime, popularly known as "Obote II", and its armed forces, the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA). The insurgency began with an attack on an army installation in the central Mubende district on 6 February 1981. The PRA later merged with former president Yusufu Lule's fighting group, the Uganda Freedom Fighters (UFF), to create the National Resistance Army (NRA) with its political wing, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Two other rebel groups, the Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF) and Former Uganda National Army (FUNA), formed in West Nile from the remnants of Amin's supporters, engaged Obote's forces.[8]

The NRM/A developed a "Ten-point Programme" for an eventual government, covering democracy, security, consolidation of national unity, defending national independence, building an independent, integrated and self-sustaining economy, improvement of social services, elimination of corruption and misuse of power, redressing inequality, cooperation with other African countries and a mixed economy.[9]

By July 1985, Luweero Triangle. Reports from Uganda during this period brought international criticism to the Obote regime and increased support abroad for Museveni's rebel force. Within Uganda, the brutal suppression of the insurgency aligned the Baganda, the most numerous of Uganda's ethnic groups, with the NRA against the UNLA, which was seen as being dominated by northerners, especially the Lango and Acholi. Until his death in 2005, Milton Obote blamed the Luwero abuses on the NRA.

1985 Nairobi Agreement

Museveni and Okello sign the fated peace deal.

On 27 July 1985, subfactionalism within the UPC government led to a successful military coup against Obote by his former army commander, Lieutenant-General Tito Okello, an Acholi. Museveni and the NRM/A were angry that the revolution for which they had fought for four years had been "hijacked" by the UNLA, which they viewed as having been discredited by gross human rights violations during Obote II.[11] Despite these reservations, however, the NRM/A eventually agreed to peace talks presided over by a Kenyan delegation headed by President Daniel arap Moi.

The talks, which lasted from 26 August to 17 December, were notoriously acrimonious and the resultant ceasefire broke down almost immediately. The final agreement, signed in Nairobi, called for a ceasefire, demilitarisation of Kampala, integration of the NRA and government forces, and absorption of the NRA leadership into the Military Council.[12] These conditions were never met.

The push for Kampala

While supposedly involved in the peace negotiations, Museveni had courted General Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire in an attempt to forestall the involvement of Zairean forces in support of Okello's military junta. On 20 January 1986, however, several hundred troops loyal to Idi Amin were accompanied into Ugandan territory by the Zairean military. The forces intervened in the civil conflict following secret training in Zaire and an appeal from Okello ten days previously.[13] Mobutu's support for Okello was a score Museveni would settle years later, ordering Ugandan forces into the conflict which would finally topple the Zairean leader. By 22 January, government troops in Kampala had begun to quit their posts en masse as the rebels gained ground from the south and south-west.[12] On the 25th, the Museveni-led faction finally overran the capital. The NRA toppled Okello's government and declared victory the next day.

Museveni was sworn in as president on 29 January. "This is not a mere change of guard, it is a fundamental change," said Museveni, after a ceremony conducted by British-born chief justice Peter Allen. Speaking to crowds of thousands outside the Ugandan parliament, the new president promised a return to democracy: "The people of Africa, the people of Uganda, are entitled to a democratic government. It is not a favour from any regime. The sovereign people must be the public, not the government."[14][15]

1986–1996: Museveni in power

Museveni's meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House in October 1987

Political and economic regeneration

The new government enjoyed widespread international support, and the economy that had been damaged by the civil war began to recover as Museveni initiated economic policies designed to combat key problems such as hyperinflation and the balance of payments. Abandoning his Marxist ideals, Museveni embraced the neoliberal structural adjustments advocated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Uganda began participating in an IMF Economic Recovery Program in 1987. Its objectives included the restoration of incentives in order to encourage growth, investment, employment and exports; the promotion and diversification of trade with particular emphasis on export promotion; the removal of bureaucratic constraints and divestment from ailing public enterprises so as to enhance sustainable economic growth and development through the private sector; the liberalisation of trade at all levels.[16]

Internal security and human rights

The NRM came to power promising to restore security and respect for human rights. Indeed, this was part of the NRM's ten-point programme, as Museveni noted in his swearing in speech:

The second point on our programme is security of person and property. Every person in Uganda must [have absolute] security to live wherever he wants. Any individual, any group who threatens the security of our people must be smashed without mercy. The people of Uganda should die only from natural causes which are beyond our control, but not from fellow human beings who continue to walk the length and breadth of our land.

Although Museveni now headed up a new government in Kampala, the NRM could not project its influence fully across Ugandan territory, finding itself fighting a number of insurgencies. From the beginning of Museveni's presidency, he drew strong support from the Bantu-speaking south and southwest, where Museveni had his base. Museveni managed to get the Karamojong, a group of semi-nomads in the sparsely populated north-east that had never had a significant political voice, to align with him by offering them a stake in the new government. However, the northern region along the Sudanese border proved more troublesome. In the West Nile sub-region, inhabited by Kakwa and Lugbara (who had previously supported Amin), the UNRF and FUNA rebel groups fought for years until a combination of military offensives and diplomacy pacified the region; the leader of the UNRF, Moses Ali, gave up his struggle to become Second Deputy Prime Minister. People from the northern parts of the country viewed the rise of a government led by a person from the south with great trepidation. Rebel groups sprang up among the Lango, Acholi and Teso, though they were overwhelmed by the strength of the NRA except in the far north where the Sudanese border provided a safe haven. The Acholi rebel Uganda People's Democratic Army (UPDA) failed to dislodge the NRA occupation of Acholiland, leading to the desperate chiliasm of the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM). The defeat of both the UPDA and HSM left the rebellion to a group that eventually became known as the Lord's Resistance Army, which would turn upon the Acholi themselves.

The NRA subsequently earned a reputation for respecting the rights of civilians, – although Museveni later received criticism for using child soldiers. Undisciplined elements within the NRA's soon tarnished a hard-won reputation for fairness. "When Museveni's men first came they acted very well – we welcomed them," said one villager, "but then they started to arrest people and kill them."[17][18]

In March 1989, Amnesty International published a human rights report on Uganda, entitled Uganda, the Human Rights Record 1986–1989. It documented gross human rights violations committed by NRA troops. In one of the most intense phases of the war, between October and December 1988, the NRA forcibly cleared approximately 100,000 people from their homes in and around Gulu town. Soldiers committed hundreds of extrajudicial executions as they forcibly moved people, burning down homes and granaries.[19] However, there were few reports of the systematic torture, equivalent to those committed during Amin and Obote's regimes. In its conclusion, the report offered some hope:

1996–2001: A new democratic mandate

Crowds throng the convoy of Museveni during the 1996 presidential election.


The first Elections under Museveni's governance were held on 9 May 1996. Museveni defeated Paul Ssemogerere of the Democratic Party, who contested the election as a candidate for the "Inter-party forces coalition", and the upstart candidate, Mohamed Mayanja. Museveni won with a landslide 75.5 per cent of the vote from a turnout of 72.6 per cent of eligible voters. Although international and domestic observers described the vote as valid, both the losing candidates rejected the results. Museveni was sworn in as president for the second time on 12 May 1996.

In 1997 he introduced free primary education.[20]

The second set of elections were held in 2001. President Museveni beat his rival Kizza Besigye as he sailed through with 69% of the vote. Dr Besigye had been a close confidant of the president and he was his bush war physician. They however had a fallout shortly before the 2001 elections, when Dr Besigye decided to stand for presidency. The 2001 election campaigns were a heated affair with president Museveni threatening his rival to put him "six feet under".

The election culminated into a petition filed by Dr Besigye at the Supreme Court of Uganda. The court ruled that the elections were not free and fair but declined to nullify the outcome by a 3:2 majority decision. It was held that the many cases of election malpractice did not however affect the result in a substantial manner. Justices Benjamin Odoki (Chief justice), Alfrerd Karokora, and Joseph Mulenga ruled in favor of the respondents while Justices Aurthur Haggai Oder (RIP) and John Tsekoko ruled in favor of Dr Besigye.

The most recent presidential elections were held in 2006 where again Museveni prevailed over Dr Besigye scoring 59% of the vote. The election petition in this case had more evidence of election malpractice but by a 4:3 decision, the result was upheld.

International recognition

Museveni has won praise from Western governments for his adherence to AIDS. During the 1980s, Uganda had one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, but now Uganda's rates are comparatively low, and the country stands as a rare success story in the global battle against the virus (see AIDS in Africa). One of the campaigns headed by Museveni to fight against AIDS was the ABC program. The ABC program had three main parts "Abstain, Be faithful, or use Condoms if A and B are not practiced.[21] In April 1998, Uganda became the first country to be declared eligible for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, receiving some US$700 million in aid.[22] Museveni was lauded for his affirmative action program for women in the country, he was served by a female vice-president, Specioza Kazibwe, for nearly a decade, and has done much to encourage women to go to college. On the other hand, Museveni has resisted calls for greater women's family land rights (the right of women to own a share of their matrimonial homes).[23]

From the mid-1990s, Museveni was seen to exemplify a new breed of African leadership, the antithesis of the "big men" who had dominated politics in the continent since independence. This section from a New York Times article in 1997 is illustrative of the high esteem in which Museveni was held by certain western media, governments and academics:

These are heady days for the former guerilla who runs Uganda. He moves with the measured gait and sure gestures of a leader secure in his power and his vision. It is little wonder. To hear some of the diplomats and African experts tell it, President Yoweri K. Museveni started an ideological movement that is reshaping much of Africa, spelling the end of the corrupt, strong-man governments that characterized the cold-war era. These days, political pundits across the continent are calling Mr. Museveni an African Bismarck. Some people now refer to him as Africa's "other statesman," second only to the venerated South African President, Nelson Mandela.[24]

In official briefing papers from Madeleine Albright's December 1997 Africa tour as Secretary of State, Museveni was called a "beacon of hope" who runs a "uni-party democracy," despite Uganda not permitting multiparty politics.[25]

Museveni has been important US ally in the War on Terror.[26]

Regional conflict

In Uganda, there were significant numbers of ethnic Rwandan Tutsi immigrants – who comprised a significant numbers of NRA fighters. The Uganda-based Tutsi-dominated Rwandese Patriotic Front rebel group were close allies of the NRA, and once Museveni had solidified his hold on central power, he lent his support to their cause. Unsuccessful attacks were launched by the RPF against the Hutu government of Rwanda in the first half of the 1990s from bases in southwest Uganda. It was not until the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 that the RPF took power and its head, Paul Kagame (a former soldier in Museveni's army), became president.

Following the Rwandan genocide, the new Rwandan government felt threatened by the presence (across the Rwandan border in Congo - known then as Zaïre) of former Rwandan soldiers and members of the previous regime. These soldiers were aided by Mobutu Sese Seko – leading Rwanda (with the aid of Museveni) and Laurent Kabila's rebels to overthrow him and take power in Congo. (see main article: First Congo War).[27]:267–268

In August 1998, Rwanda and Uganda undertook to invade Congo again, this time to overthrow Museveni and Kagame's former ally - Kabila (see main article: Second Congo War). Museveni and a few close military advisers alone made the decision to send the UPDF into Congo. A number of highly placed sources indicate that the Ugandan parliament and civilian advisers were not consulted over the matter, as is required by the 1995 constitution.[27]:262–263 Museveni apparently persuaded an initially reluctant High Command to go along with the venture. "We felt that the Rwandese started the war and it was their duty to go ahead and finish the job, but our President took time and convinced us that we had a stake in what is going on in Congo", one senior officer is reported as saying.[28] The official reasons Uganda gave for the intervention were to stop a "genocide" against the Banyamulenge in DRC in concert with Rwandan forces,[29] and that Kabila had failed to provide security along the border and was allowing the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) to attack Uganda from rear bases in DRC. In reality, the UPDF were not deployed in the border region but more than 1,000 kilometres (over 600 miles) to the west of Uganda's frontier with Congo[30] and in support of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC) rebels seeking to overthrow Kabila. As such, they were unable to prevent the ADF from invading the major town of Fort Portal and taking over a prison in Western Uganda.

Troops from Rwanda and Uganda plundered the country's rich mineral deposits and timber. The United States responded to the invasion by suspending all military aid to Uganda, a disappointment to the Clinton administration, which had hoped to make Uganda the centrepiece of the African Crisis Response Initiative. In 2000, Rwandan and Ugandan troops exchanged fire on three occasions in the Congolese city of Kisangani, leading to tensions and a deterioration in relations between Kagame and Museveni. The Ugandan government has also been criticised for aggravating the Ituri conflict, a sub-conflict of the Second Congo War. In December 2005, the International Court of Justice ruled that Uganda must pay compensation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for human rights violations during the Second Congo War.[31]


2001–2006: A second term

2001 elections

In 2001 Museveni won the presidential elections by a substantial majority, with his former friend and personal physician Kizza Besigye as the only real challenger. In a populist publicity stunt, a pentagenarian Museveni travelled on a bodaboda motorcycle taxi to submit his nomination form for the election. Bodaboda is a cheap and somewhat dangerous (by western standards) method of transporting passengers around towns and villages in East Africa.[32]

There was much recrimination and bitterness during the 2001 presidential elections campaign, and incidents of violence occurred following the announcement of the results – which were won by Museveni. Besigye challenged the election results in the Supreme Court of Uganda. Two of the five judges concluded that there were such illegalities in the elections, and that the results should be rejected. The other three judges decided that the illegalities did not affect the result of the election in a substantial manner, but stated that "there was evidence that in a significant number of polling stations there was cheating" and that in some areas of the country, "the principle of free and fair election was compromised."[33]

Political pluralism and constitutional change

Museveni in Washington, D.C, June 2003

After the elections, political forces allied to Museveni began a campaign to loosen constitutional limits on the presidential term, allowing him to stand for election again in 2006. The 1995 Ugandan constitution provided for a two-term limit on the tenure of the president. Given Uganda's history of dictatorial regimes, this check and balance was designed to prevent a dangerous centralisation of power around a long-serving leader. This period witnessed the removal of key and influential Museveni supporters from his administration, including his childhood friend Eriya Kategaya and cabinet minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali.

Moves to alter the constitution and alleged attempts to suppress opposition political forces have attracted criticism from domestic commentators, the international community and Uganda's aid donors. In a press release, the main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), accused Museveni of engaging in a "life presidency project", and for bribing members of parliament to vote against constitutional amendments, FDC leaders claimed:

The country is polarized with many Ugandans objecting to [the constitutional amendments]. If Parliament goes ahead and removes term limits this may cause serious unrest, political strife and may lead to turmoil both through the transition period and thereafter ... We would therefore like to appeal to President Museveni to respect himself, the people who elected him and the Constitution under which he was voted President in 2001 when he promised the country and the world at large to hand over power peacefully and in an orderly manner at the end of his second and last term. Otherwise his insistence to stand again will expose him as a consummate liar and the biggest political fraudster this country has ever known.[34]

As observed by some political commentators, including Wafula Oguttu, Museveni had previously stated that he considered the idea of clinging to office for "15 or more" years ill-advised.[35] Comments by the Irish anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof sparked a protest by Museveni supporters outside the British High Commission in Kampala. "Get a grip Museveni. Your time is up, go away," said the former rock star in March 2005, explaining that moves to change the constitution were compromising Museveni's record against fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS.[36] In an opinion article in the Boston Globe and in a speech delivered at the Wilson Center, former U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Johnnie Carson heaped more criticism on Museveni. Despite recognising the president as a "genuine reformer" whose "leadership [has] led to stability and growth", Carson also said, "we may be looking at another Mugabe and Zimbabwe in the making".[37] "Many observers see Museveni's efforts to amend the constitution as a re-run of a common problem that afflicts many African leaders – an unwillingness to follow constitutional norms and give up power".[38]

Satirical cartoon commenting on attempts to change the constitution. The Movement is depicted here as a puppet controlled by Museveni, writing "third term" into the Ugandan constitution.

In July 2005, Norway became the third European country in as many months to announce symbolic cutbacks in foreign aid to Uganda in response to political leadership in the country. The UK and Ireland made similar moves in May. "Our foreign ministry wanted to highlight two issues: the changing of the constitution to lift term limits, and problems with opening the political space, human rights and corruption", said Norwegian Ambassador Tore Gjos.[39] Of particular significance was the arrest of two opposition MPs from the Forum for Democratic Change. Human rights campaigners charged that the arrests were politically motivated. Human Rights Watch stated that "the arrest of these opposition MPs smacks of political opportunism".[40] A confidential World Bank report leaked in May suggested that the international lender might cut its support to non-humanitarian programmes in the Uganda. "We regret that we cannot be more positive about the present political situation in Uganda, especially given the country's admirable record through the late 1990s", said the paper. "The Government has largely failed to integrate the country's diverse peoples into a single political process that is viable over the long term...Perhaps most significant, the political trend-lines, as a result of the President's apparent determination to press for a third term, point downward."[41]

Museveni responded to the mounting international pressure by accusing donors of interfering with domestic politics and using aid to manipulate poor countries. "Let the partners give advice and leave it to the country to decide ... [developed] countries must get out of the habit of trying to use aid to dictate the management of our countries."[42] "The problem with those people is not the third term or fighting corruption or multipartism," added Museveni at a meeting with other African leaders, "the problem is that they want to keep us there without growing.".[43]

In July 2005, a constitutional referendum lifted a 19-year restriction on the activities of political parties. In the non-party "Movement system" (so called "the movement") instituted by Museveni in 1986, parties continued to exist, but candidates were required to stand for election as individuals rather than representative of any political grouping. This measure was ostensibly designed to reduce ethnic divisions, although many observers have subsequently claimed that the system had become nothing more than a restriction on opposition activity. Prior to the vote, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson stated "Key sectors of the economy are headed by people from the president's home area... We have got the most sectarian regime in the history of the country in spite the fact that there are no parties."[44] Many Ugandans saw Museveni's conversion to political pluralism as a concession to donors – aimed at softening the blow when he announces he wants to stay on for a third term.[45] Opposition MP Omara Atubo has said Museveni's desire for change was merely "a facade behind which he is trying to hide ambitions to rule for life".[46]

Death of an ally

On 30 July 2005, Sudanese vice-president John Garang was killed when the Ugandan presidential helicopter crashed while he was travelling to Sudan from talks in Uganda. The incident was acutely embarrassing for the Ugandan government and a personal blow for Museveni – Garang had been a political ally since their days together at university. Garang had only been Sudanese vice-president for a matter of weeks before his death, which damaged hopes of a regional order based on a Uganda-South Sudan alliance.

Widespread speculation as to the cause of the crash led Museveni, on 10 August, to threaten the closure of media outlets which published "conspiracy theories" about Garang's death. In a statement, Museveni claimed such speculation was a threat to national security. "I will no longer tolerate a newspaper which is like a vulture. Any newspaper that plays around with regional security, I will not tolerate it – I will close it."[47] The following day, popular radio station KFM had its license withdrawn for broadcasting a debate on Garang's death. Radio presenter Andrew Mwenda was eventually arrested for sedition in connection with comments made on his KFM talk show.[48]

February 2006 elections

On 17 November 2005, Museveni was chosen as NRMs presidential candidate for the February 2006 elections. His candidacy for a further third term sparked criticism, as he had promised in 2001 that he was contesting for the last term. The arrest of the main opposition leader Kizza Besigye on 14 November – charged with treason, concealment of treason and rape – sparked demonstrations and riots in Kampala and other towns. Museveni's bid for a third term, the arrest of Besigye, and the besiegement of the High Court during a hearing of Besigye's case (by a heavily armed Military Intelligence (CMI) group dubbed by the press as "Black Mambas Urban Hit Squad"), led Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to withhold economic support to Museveni's government due to concerns about the country's democratic development. On 2 January 2006 Besigye was released after the High Court ordered his immediate release.[49][50][51][52]

The 23 February 2006 elections were Uganda's first multi-party elections in 25 years, and was seen as a test of its democratic credentials. Although Museveni did less well than in the previous election, he was elected for another five-year tenure, having won 59% of the vote against Besigye's 37%. Besigye, who alleged fraud, rejected the result. The Supreme Court of Uganda later ruled that the election was marred by intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement, and other irregularities. However, the Court voted 4-3 to uphold the results of the election.[53]

Third term (2006–2011)

In 2007, Museveni deployed troops to the African Union's peacekeeping operation in Somalia.

Also in this term Museveni held meetings with investors that included Wisdek, to promote Uganda's call centre and outsourcing industry and create employment to the country.[54]

September 2009 riots

In September 2009 Museveni refused Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi, the Baganda King, permission to visit some areas of Buganda Kingdom, particularly the Kayunga district. Riots occurred and over 40 people were killed while others remain imprisoned to this date. Furthermore, nine more people were killed during the April 2011 "Walk to Work" demonstrations. According to the Human Rights Watch 2013 World Report on Uganda, the government has failed to investigate the killings associated with both of these events.[55]

Fundamentalist Christianity

In 2009, MSNBC and NPR reported on Jeff Sharlet's investigation regarding ties between Museveni and the American fundamentalist Christian organization [57]

LGBT rights

Further international scrutiny accompanied the 2009 Ugandan efforts to institute the death penalty for homosexuality, with British, Canadian, French, and American leaders expressing concerns for human rights.[58][59] British newspaper The Guardian reported that Museveni "appeared to add his backing" to the legislative effort by, among other things, claiming "European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa", and saying gay relationships were against God's will.[60]

2011–present: Fourth term

Museveni was re-elected on 20 February 2011 with a 68 percent majority with 59 percent of registered voters having voted. The election results were disputed by both the European Union and the opposition. "The electoral process was marred with avoidable administrative and logistical failures", according to the European Union election observer team.[61][62]

Following the fall of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Museveni became the fifth-longest serving African leader.[63]

In October 2011, the annual inflation rate reached 30.5 percent, principally due to food and fuel increases.[64] Earlier in 2011, opposition leader Kizza Besigye staged "Walk to Work" protests against the high cost of living. On 28 April 2011, Besigye was arrested because Museveni said Besigye had attacked first, a charge he denied.[65] Besigye's arrest led to more riots in Kampala.[66] Besigye promised that "peaceful demonstrations" would continue. The government's response to the riots has been condemned by donor nations.[67]

In more recent years, infringements on press freedom have increasingly been a central focus. According to [68] During this period, two widely read periodicals, The Daily Monitor and The Red Pepper, were shut down and seized by the government because they published allegations about a "plot to assassinate senior government and military officials who [were] opposed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni ... and his plans to hand over power to his son when he retires".[69]

Another issue of human rights became an issue in early 2014 when Museveni signed an anti-homosexuality bill into law. In an interview with CNN, Museveni called homosexuals "disgusting" and said that homosexuality was a learned trait. Western leaders, including United States President Obama, condemned the law.[70]

Museveni has criticised the US's involvement in the Libyan civil war, and in a UN speech argued that military intervention from African countries produces more stable countries in the long term, which he calls "African solutions for African problems."[71]

Honours and awards

Honorary degrees

University Country Honour Year
Humphrey School of Public Affairs United States Doctor of Laws 1994[72]
Mbarara University of Science and Technology Uganda Doctor of Laws 2003[73]
Latin University of Theology United States Doctor of Divinity 2007[74]
Fatih University Turkey Honorary degree 2010[75]
Makerere University Uganda Doctor of Laws 2010[76]
University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania Doctor of Literature 2011[77]
University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania Doctor of Literature 2015 [78]

See also


  1. ^ Different biographical sources will commonly list various birthplaces for Museveni due to reorganization of districts in Uganda. In 1944, there were four provinces, one of which was Western, encompassing Museveni's birthplace. By 1966, there were 19 administrative divisions, including the Ntungamo was formed from parts of Mbarara and Bushenyi. Museveni's birthplace has fallen, at various times, in administrative regions known as Western, Akole, Southern, Mbarara and Ntungamo, without any contradiction. The article is reflecting the most recent region, Ntungamo. (Source: Statoids). The following sources are up to date in the respect that they give Museveni's birthplace as Ntungamo:, Encarta, Norwegian Council for Africa and Columbia Encyclopedia. Archived 25 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "New-Breed Leadership, Conflict, and Reconstruction in the Great Lakes Region of Africa: A Sociopolitical Biography of Uganda's Yoweri Kaguta Museveni", Joseph Oloka-Onyango, Africa Today - Volume 50, Number 3, Spring 2004, pp. 29–52
  3. ^ "Mutebi's Exit, And The Tale Of Kaguta's Clan", Charles Onyango-Obbo, The Monitor, 25 August 1999 Archived 15 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Fanon's Theory on Violence: Its Verification in Liberated Mozambique", Yoweri Museveni, from Essays on the Liberation of Southern Africa, ed. Nathan Shamuyarira (Dar es Salaam: Tanzania Publishing House) 1971, pp. 1–24
  5. ^ Self-Determination Conflict Profile: Uganda, J. Clark; and Causes and consequences of the war in Acholiland, O. Otunnu, Accord magazine, 2002
  6. ^ a b "Chronology" (PDF). Conciliation Resources. 2013-06-05. p. 87. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  7. ^ , authored by Alicia C. Decker, Ohio University Press, 2014, page 18, accessed 11 November 2014In Idi Amin’s Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda
  8. ^ "Causes and consequences of the war in Acholiland", Ogenga Otunnu, from Lucima et al., 2002
  9. ^ "Profiles of the parties to the conflict", Balam Nyeko and Okello Lucima, from Lucima et al., 2002
  10. ^ "CIA Factbook - Uganda". Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  11. ^ Uganda, 1979–85: Leadership in Transition, Jimmy K. Tindigarukayo, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4. (Dec., 1988), pp. 619. (JSTOR)
  12. ^ a b "Kampala troops flee guerrilla attacks", The Times, 23 January 1986
  13. ^ "Troops from Zaire step up Uganda civil war", The Guardian, 21 January 1986
  14. ^ "Museveni sworn in as President", The Times, 30 January 1986
  15. ^ "UGANDA: Profile of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni". IRIN. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "Structural Adjustment in Uganda". Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  17. ^ "Africa’s child soldiers", Daily Times, 30 May 2002
  18. ^ "Uganda: A Killer Before She Was Nine", Sunday Times, 15 December 2002
  19. ^ Uganda:Breaking the Circle", Amnesty International, 17 March 1999
  20. ^ "Uganda's first Batwa pygmy graduate", BBC, 29 October 2010
  21. ^ Leone, Daniel A., ed. Responding to the AIDS Epidemics. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven press, 2008.
  22. ^ "Uganda: Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC)", World Bank
  23. ^ "Gender implications for opening up political parties in Uganda", Dr. Sylvia Tamale, Faculty of Law, Makerere University, from the Women of Uganda Network
  24. ^ Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order, James C. McKinley, New York Times, 15 June 1997
  25. ^  
  26. ^ Uganda: The General Challenges the Dictator 24.April.2014 New York Review of Books
  27. ^ a b "Explaining Ugandan intervention in Congo: evidence and interpretations", John F. Clark, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 39, pp. 267–268, 2001 (Cambridge Journals)
  28. ^ "Uganda and Rwanda: friends or enemies?", International Crisis Group, Africa Report No. 14, 4 May 2000
  29. ^ New Vision, 26 and 28 August 1998
  30. ^ "L'Ouganda et les guerres Congolaises", Politique Africaine, 75: 43–59, 1999
  31. ^ "Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda)" at the Wayback Machine (archived October 2, 2006) , ICJ Press Release, 19 December 2005
  32. ^ "'Boda-boda' men keep Museveni in driving seat", Telegraph, 13 August 2005
  33. ^ "State of Pain:Torture in Uganda" - Part III, Human Rights Watch
  34. ^ "Press release: FDC Position on amending article 105(2) of the constitution", Forum for Democratic Change, 27 June 2005
  35. ^ "The Travails and Antics of Africa's "Big Men" - How Power Has Corrupted African Leaders", Wafula Okumu, The Perspective, 11 April 2002
  36. ^ "Ugandans march against Bob Geldof", BBC News, 22 March 2005
  37. ^ "Uganda: An African Success Turning Sour", Johnnie Carson, speech delivered at the Wilson Center, 2 June 2005
  38. ^ "A threat to Africa's success story", Johnnie Carson, Boston Globe, 1 May 2005
  39. ^ "Norway cuts aid to Uganda over political concerns", Reuters, 19 July 2005
  40. ^ "Uganda: Key Opposition MPs Arrested", Human Rights Watch, 27 April 2005
  41. ^ "World Bank may cut aid", Paul Busharizi, New Vision, 17 May 2005
  42. ^ "Museveni advises donors", New Vision, 27 May 2005
  43. ^ "Donors Fear Me, Says Museveni", Frank Nyakairu, The Monitor, 26 May 2005
  44. ^ Uganda: Nation decides on political parties, UNOCHA-IRIN, 27 July 2005
  45. ^ "Uganda backs return to multiparty politics", Reuters, 30 July 2005
  46. ^ "Referendum ends 20-year ban on political parties", Reuters, 1 August 2005
  47. ^ "Museveni warns press over Garang", BBC, 10 August 2005
  48. ^ "Banned Ugandan radio back on air", BBC, 19 August 2005
  49. ^ "Uganda riots over treason charge", BBC, 14 November 2005
  50. ^ "Col Besigye Case Opens", New Vision, 16 November 2005
  51. ^ "Sweden withholds Uganda aid due to democracy worry", Reuters, 19 December 2005
  52. ^ "Netherlands withholds 6 mln euros aid to Uganda", Reuters, 30 November 2005
  53. ^ "Uganda's Museveni wins election", BBC, 25 February 2006
  54. ^ "President Receives Call Centre Investors Says Project Will Create Employment, State House of the republic of Uganda, 8 October 2010.
  55. ^ Human Rights Watch. (2013). World Report 2013 (Uganda).
  56. ^ "Rachel Maddow Show transcript". 30 November 2009. 
  57. ^ a b "The Secret Political Reach of 'The Family'", NPR Fresh Air transcript, 24 November 2009.
  58. ^ "Harper lobbies Uganda on anti-gay bill", The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 29 November 2009.
  59. ^ "British PM against anti-gay legislation", Monitor Online, 29 November 2009
  60. ^ "Uganda considers death sentence for gay sex in bill before parliament", Guardian, 29 November 2009.
  61. ^ Kron, Josh (20 February 2011). "President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda Easily Wins Election". The New York Times. 
  62. ^ "Uganda's Museveni wins disputed presidential vote". Reuters. 20 February 2011. 
  63. ^ "Who among the seven longest serving African leaders will be deposed next?". Reuters. 21 October 2011. 
  64. ^ "Ugandan Inflation Rate Climbs to 18-Year High on Food, Fuel". Business Week. 31 October 2011. 
  65. ^ "Uganda: Besigye vows protests will continue". BBC. 1 May 2011. 
  66. ^ "Ugandans Riot over Kizza Besigye's arrest". BBC. 30 April 2011. 
  67. ^ "Deadly Crackdown on Uganda's Walk-to-Work Protests". Time. 23 April 2011. 
  68. ^ Human Rights Watch. (2013). World Report 2013 (Uganda)
  69. ^ Natabaalo, Grace. (2013). Ugandan Police Shutdown Papers Over 'Plot'. Al Jazeera.
  70. ^ "'"Uganda president: Homosexuals are 'disgusting. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  71. ^ "AP Interview: Uganda's president says he's the one bullied". Associated Press. 6 May 2015. 
  72. ^ "Honorary Degrees".  
  73. ^ "H. E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni-Former Chancellor". Makerere University. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  74. ^ "Museveni awarded doctorate degree". New Vision. January 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  75. ^ "Museveni gets Turkish doctorate". New Vision. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  76. ^ "Makerere honours President Museveni". Makerere University. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  77. ^ "Kikwete awarded PhD by UDSM". 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  78. ^ "President Museveni awarded with Doctorate of Literature". Iconz Magazine. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 

Further reading

  • Museveni, Yoweri. Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda, Macmillan Education, 1997, ISBN 0-333-64234-1.
  • Museveni, Yoweri. What Is Africa's Problem?, University of Minnesota Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8166-3278-2
  • Ondoga Ori Amaza, Museveni's Long March from Guerrilla to Statesman, Fountain Publishers, ISBN 9970-02-135-4
  • Tripp, Aili Mari, Museveni's Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime, Lynne Rienner Publishers, ISBN 978-1-58826-707-8
Academic papers
  • Uganda, 1979–85: Leadership in Transition, Jimmy K. Tindigarukayo, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4. (Dec., 1988), pp. 607–622. (JSTOR)
  • Neutralising the Use of Force in Uganda: The Role of the Military in Politics, E. A. Brett, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1. (Mar., 1995), pp. 129–152. (JSTOR)
  • Called to Account: How African Governments Investigate Human Rights Violations, Richard Carver, African Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 356. (Jul., 1990), pp. 391–415. (JSTOR)
  • Uganda after Amin: The Continuing Search for Leadership and Control, Cherry Gertzel, African Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 317. (Oct., 1980), pp. 461–489. (JSTOR)
  • Social Disorganisation in Uganda: Before, during, and after Amin, Aidan Southall, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 18, No. 4. (Dec., 1980), pp. 627–656. (JSTOR)
  • Ugandan Relations with Western Donors in the 1990s: What Impact on Democratisation?, Ellen Hauser, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 37, No. 4. (Dec., 1999), pp. 621–641. (JSTOR)
  • Reading Museveni: Structure, Agency and Pedagogy in Ugandan Politics, Ronald Kassimir, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2/3, Special Issue: French-Speaking Central Africa: Political Dynamics of Identities and Representations. (1999), pp. 649–673. (JSTOR)
  • Uganda: The Making of a Constitution, Charles Cullimore, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 32, No. 4. (Dec., 1994), pp. 707–711. (JSTOR)
  • Uganda's Domestic and Regional Security since the 1970s, Gilbert M. Khadiagala, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 31, No. 2. (Jun., 1993), pp. 231–255. (JSTOR)
  • Exile, Reform, and the Rise of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Wm. Cyrus Reed, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3. (Sep., 1996), pp. 479–501. (JSTOR)
  • Operationalising Pro-Poor Growth, A Country Case Study on Uganda, John A. Okidi, Sarah Ssewanyana, Lawrence Bategeka, Fred Muhumuza, October 2004
  • "New-Breed" Leadership, Conflict, and Reconstruction in the Great Lakes Region of Africa: A Sociopolitical Biography of Uganda's Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Joseph Oloka-Onyango, Africa Today - Volume 50, Number 3, Spring 2004, pp. 29–52 (Project MUSE)
  • "No-Party Democracy" in Uganda, Nelson Kasfir, Journal of Democracy - Volume 9, Number 2, April 1998, pp. 49–63 (Project MUSE)
  • "Explaining Ugandan intervention in Congo: evidence and interpretations", John F. Clark, The Journal of Modern African Studies, 39: 261–287, 2001 (Cambridge Journals)
  • "Uganda's 'Benevolent' Dictatorship", J. Oloka-Onyango, University of Dayton website
  • "The Uganda Presidential and Parliamentary Elections 1996" at the Wayback Machine (archived July 31, 2004), James Katorobo, No. 17, Les Cahiers d'Afrique de l'est
  • "Hostile to Democracy: The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda", Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch, 1 October 1999
  • "Uganda: From one party to multi-party and beyond", Ronald Elly Wanda, The Norwegian Council for Africa, October 2005.
  • Protracted conflict, elusive peace - Initiatives to end the violence in northern Uganda, editor Okello Lucima, Accord issue 11, Conciliation Resources, 2002
    • Profiles of the parties to the conflict, Balam Nyeko and Okello Lucima
    • Reaching the 1985 Nairobi Agreement, Bethuel Kiplagat

External links

  • Official website of Yoweri Museveni
  • Presidency State House Official Website
Political offices
Preceded by
Tito Okello
President of Uganda
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lawrence Gonzi
Chairperson of the Commonwealth of Nations
Succeeded by
Patrick Manning
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