Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni was sworn in as the country’s leader for a sixth five-year term on Wednesday, setting the former rebel leader in control for 40 years.
But observers say The Ugandan Leader is now facing unusual political and economic challenges. This includes healing a divided population affected by violent political campaigns and a controversial election result, an economy collapsing due to the devastating effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic and high unemployment among the country’s youth population.
< p> The President will also have to deal with the inflated government spending and widespread corruption that defined his previous administrations during this term.
During his inaugural address, President Museveni largely avoided these problems and spent a lot of time with them to talk about a United Africa and why the West should leave Africans to solve their problems in their preferred way.
Problems to be faced
To the African leaders present at the inauguration belonged to Uhuru Kenyatta from Kenya, Felix Tshisekedi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Évariste Ndayishimiye a us Burundi, Samia Hassan from Tanzania, Alpha Conde from Guinea and Emmerson Mnangagwa from Zimbabwe. Others were Hage Geingob from Namibia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo from Somalia and Salva Kiir from South Sudan.
After 35 years in power, President Museveni has been struggling to carry out several of the issues his party’s manifesto promises, including Bringing poverty and Uganda into the lower and middle income economy.
But National Resistance Movement’s ruling communications director Emmanuel Dombo says most of these upcoming problems will be accelerated.
“” For the current manifesto, we may not get 100 percent implementation for several reasons, but we could do more than 100 percent if resources are available, “he said.
Political analysts say the president is the first The hurdle will be legitimacy at home and abroad. He was named election winner in January on charges of electoral fraud by his youthful challenger Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.
Mr Museveni won almost 59 percent of the vote, Bobi Wine was around 35 percent.
< However, the elections were marked by violence. During the election campaign, in which at least 54 people were killed, security forces attacked opposition candidates and their supporters.
The opposition rejected the results and several election observers said the process was flawed.
Even President Museveni’s supporters, the European Union and the United States, refused to give him the much-needed nod, stating that the election was neither free nor fair.
Prof. Mwambustya Ndebesa, a lecturer in political science at Makerere University, said the United States – which has already imposed travel bans on top Ugandan security officials – may not be ready to fully sanction the president for election m practices because of his is a strategic ally in the war on terrorism and security in the region.
“You still need his soldiers in Somalia, and he is the key to the war on terrorism and stability in the Great Lakes region and South Sudan. But his excess of power seems to make them skeptical, ”said Prof. Ndebesa.
He added that Museveni must first seek legitimacy at home, where he lost a large base of support in the central region and one region Legion of unemployed youth – most of whom were born after he took power in 1986 – long for change.
To achieve this, Museveni must recognize and reach an opposition that he despises and dismisses as enemies and criminals .
“Talks should address political principles, freedom of assembly and association, military participation in politics, access to the media and the country’s political future, including the reintroduction of term limits in the constitution “Said the scholar.
When Museveni was sworn in, the homes of the two main opposition leaders, Dr. Kizza Besigye and Bobi Wine, besieged by the military and the police. And instead of appeasing a nervous public, the capital Kampala was also besieged militarily.
Many young opposition supporters languished in prison and were arrested during and after the parliamentary elections on January 14, 2021.
< At the inauguration on Wednesday, the invited former presidential candidates declined the invitation, which can be construed as a refusal to approve of the president's victory and potentially undermining the event's credibility.
Mugisha Muntu, who are around promoting the Alliance for National Transformation Party’s ticket, said, “We thank them for inviting us, but I cannot go to celebrate impunity, manipulation, deception, lies and lies in fraud. “
Bobi Wine said he should have been the one who was sworn in.
” What kind of swearing in? ” It’s illegal and I don’t participate in any illegality. As far as I know, I am the elected President, ”he said.
Museveni’s NRM won a majority of the seats in parliament, and analysts believe that this is reason enough not to reach the opposition.
If the talks take place, he would most likely be interested in soliciting individual opposition actors and involving them in his government rather than addressing critical issues affecting the broader opposition.
The The Opposition seems to go on. A week ago, Bobi Wine wrote to the main opposition party presidents asking for meetings to find a way forward.
Museveni is also faced with the challenge of creating jobs for the majority of young people who despise them continues to increase for him. Many government programs that were previously initiated to promote employment, such as the Youth Livelihood Fund, have not had the desired impact, mainly due to corruption.
Museveni has now turned his hopes on industrialization for more jobs for the youth
Just last week the cabinet approved a proposal to set up 10 more industrial parks across the country, which are expected to create around 250,000 jobs. However, that’s just a drop in the ocean when you consider that more than 75 percent of Uganda’s population is under 30 and the country has one of the highest youth unemployment rates (13.3 percent) in sub-Saharan Africa.
Museveni said his government allocated $ 464 billion ($ 130 million) this fiscal year to help these groups once the remaining lockdown After the vaccination, 4.8 million people will be lifted.
In order to support the economy and create more jobs, according to Dombo, the party will focus on four sectors in this term: commercial agriculture, industrialization, service sector and ICT.
“We believe if we focus on these there will be little disruption, as we saw with Covid-19.
” We will develop accelerate, increase household incomes and create jobs for our youth, “he said.