Museveni sworn in as President amid controversy in Uganda

May 13, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Gloria Nakiyimba

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been sworn in as Uganda’s President. In his maiden speech after taking the Presidential Oath for another term of five years, president Museveni called upon African leaders to work for total peace in Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Central African Republic.

“The situations in Somalia, eastern Congo, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Mali, Libya and activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, cause concern,” he said.

President Museveni took his 6th Presidential Oath at 11:58 am East African Standard time at the Kololo ceremonial grounds in the capital Kampala.

The Oath of presidency was administered by the Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe and the chief registrar of court Paul Gadenya, before thousands of supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement, NRM, and other invited guests.

Shortly after being sworn in, President Museveni was handed the instruments of power. These included the Constitution of Uganda, the National flag, the Presidential standard flag, the National Anthem, the Court of Arms and a Public seal.

He also received a Sword and Shield, symbols of the national defense forces the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, UPDF. These were handed to the newly sworn in head of state by the Chief of Defense Forces,CDF, General Edward Katumba Wamala.

 

 

President Museveni noted that Uganda will remain at peace adding that the country has been at peace for the first time in 500 years, for many years.

“Nobody has capacity to disturb this, however hard they might try” he told a mammoth crowd at Kololo ceremonial grounds.

The president vowed to deal directly with errant public servants during his sixth term that officially kicked off on Thursday.

“While in the past I have relied on the accounting officers to do the needful as they are mandated by the constitution, this time I will act directly so as to discipline the public service as we disciplined the army” he said.

On the Economy of the country, the President said his government will have to expunge two weaknesses; corruption by public officials and delay of decision making.

“Those two mistakes irritate the public and frustrate the investors. It is betraying the country. I will directly deal with these weaknesses” he pointed out.

According to President Museveni, the NRM [ruling party] has been in power for the last 30 years and has delivered Uganda from the abyss of insecurity. He noted that Uganda is now at the threshhold of becoming a middle income country by 2020.

“We would indeed have already become a middle income country if we had more decisively handled the issue of exports” he said.

Museveni defeated his nemesis retired Col. Dr. Warren Kizza Besigye in the elections held February 18th this year.

 

 

Several African Heads of state attended the inauguration ceremony.

They included Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta of Kenya, John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania.

Others present were Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Idriss Deby of Chad, Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, King Letsie III of Lesotho and Philemon Yang the Prime Minister of Cameroon.

Ambassador Bruce Wharton, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs with the U.S. Department of State, also attended President Museveni’s inauguration, though diplomats from the United States, Canada and Europe attending the event walked out in protest following disparaging comments Museveni made regarding the International Criminal Court (ICC). The US State Department also reportedly objected to the presence of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at the event, who is currently wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide.

 

 

Social media blocked

 

Social media in Uganda was blocked as the country witnessed the swearing in of President Museveni. The interruption started Wednesday night and continued throughout Thursday. Uganda Communications Commission ordered the social media switch off.

Dear Customer, as per UCC directive, social media has been temporarily blocked however all our other services are available. We regret any inconviniences caused” read a message from Airtel Uganda one of the telecom companies.

This came hours after a video showing FDC’s Col. Kizza Besigye being sworn in as the president of Uganda. The video circulated mostly on Facebook and twitter on Wednesday shortly after Besigye made a surprise show in Kampala.

 

 

Besigye Arrested

 

On Wednesday, opposition FDC former presidential flag bearer Besigye was arrested and locked up at Nagalama police station. Business was paralyzed in Kampala when the FDC presidential flag bearer beat security and appeared in Kikubo business center.

Military police, police, army and plain clothes personnel were seen beating up Besigye’s supporters as they chanted songs praising him.

Besigye had been earlier placed under house arrest by police who claimed he had plans to disrupt Thursday’s swearing in ceremony.

All shops downtown were closed and people were ordered by the military to go back home. The army and other plain clothed security men stormed shopping arcades beating up people.

Many of them were seen moving while surrendering, at Mini price, inside Kikubo, and Mukwano shopping arcades.

The operation to arrest Besigye was commanded by the Kampala Central Police Station DPC Aaron Baguma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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