Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni
Museveni

OBINNA EZUGWU

Ugandan president, Yoweri K Museveni on Monday, secured the nomination of the country’s Independent Electoral Commission to run for presidential election in 2021, which if he wins, would see him remain in power till 2026 when another election is due.

Museveni who has been in power since 1986, after toppling the government of Gen. Tito Okello, could stretch his rule in the East African country to 40 years.

“I have been duly nominated by the Independent Electoral Commission as a candidate for the 2021 presidential election. I thank my nominators, the two young people, Nassur Gaddafi and Hellen Seku,” Museveni announced via his twitter handle @KagutaMuseveni on Monday.

“I also thank the rest of my entourage led by the NRM vice-chairperson Al-Hajj Moses Kigongo and the Secretary General, Justine Lumumba. Special gratitude to our supporters in the districts who signed my endorsement forms.

“At this nomination, I would want to emphasise two points; measures against the Covid-19 pandemic and security. Covid-19 is killing our people. In recent days, we lost an environment expert, Paul Mafabi, and my friend, Francis Kitaka, the veterinary expert and entrepreneur.

“Do not take this disease lightly. The talk that the villages are insulated from Covid-19 is false. Please follow all guidelines of health experts. Sanitize, wear masks and observe social distancing.

“Secondly, I encourage everybody to maintain peace. I hear talk that some people want to cause chaos. Anyone planning mischief will fail. No one should threaten Ugandans with chaos. I thank you and I will delve into details of our manifesto at the launch later today.”

The 76 year-old had led an armed rebellion, the Ugandan Bush War, against Milton Obote after the latter was declared winner of a disputed presidential election in December 1980 in which he was one of the losing candidates.

Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) succeeded in taking power in 1986 from the government of Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa who had six months earlier toppled Obote’s UPC government in a July 27, 1985 military coup, making him president.

Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) subsequently created a form of “no-party democracy”, banning political parties from fielding candidates directly in elections.

In the “no-party” presidential election in 1996, Museveni defeated Paul Ssemogerere and Mohamed Mayanja by a landslide, an election whose results the losing candidates rejected.

In 2001, he won another presidential election, beating his key opponent, Kizza Besigye by substantial margin.

In 2005, the country’s parliament carried out constitutional amendments scrapping presidential term limits which enabled him to stand for another election in 2006, and other elections subsequently in 2011 and 2016.

In 2017, a year after his reelection in the 2016 polls, the parliament again removed the presidential age limit, thus enabling the extension of his rule.

The February 2021 election, which he is likely to win, would see him complete 40 years in power in 2026, by which time he would have been 81 years.