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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 11:46 GMT
Is Yoweri Museveni's election victory good for Uganda?
Is Yoweri Museveni's elections victory good for Uganda?
The Ugandan President, Yoweri Musevni, has won the country's presidential elections by a huge margin, receiving almost 70 per cent of the vote.

The main opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, launched a legal challenge alleging fraud and intimidation. But international observers said that, overall, the vote was run in a peaceful and orderly way.

Mr Museveni says that he needs another five years in office to carry on the process of stabilisation and modernisation. His opponents say he is running an administration full of corruption and nepotism.

What does Mr Museveni's election victory mean for Uganda? Will it bring stability? Or is it detrimental to democracy?


This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Museveni's re-election is bad news for Uganda, bad news for the international community and bad news for all of our neighbours.
Jafari K. Salimu, Kasese, Uganda

I think that Museveni has proved to be a brilliant and able leader. He should however fight corruption and nepotism which is currently a major impediment to his success.
Richard Sensalo, England


Better electoral mechanisms must be put in place

Pascal Karamuka, Canada
Museveni Yoweri Kaguta worn the 03/12/01 no doubt about it. No elections are immune of irregularities on this planet. But It has been a good exercise for Ugandans. What is important we know democracy is no longer an option in Uganda but a reality. Better electoral mechanisms must be put in place in the five years so as to ensure better results in the next elections.
Pascal Karamuka, Canada

One wonders what happened to the Museveni who told us in 1987 at Makerere University during the East Africa inter-university games that "any president staying in power beyond fifteen years is courting disaster". Whom will he blame when his own prophesy is fulfilled?
Mishael Akunda, Uganda

On behalf of NULU/NALU and on my own behalf, I beg to inform the whole world that the whole election exercise was a farce. Museveni's election means more wars and suffering to Uganda. The West might be happy...because through him, they have managed to re-colonise Uganda. They have completely striped Uganda of its resources through privatisation...."the selling of a nations resources at below market prices to western nationals".
Deac. Myinga Ponsiano,, Tanzania.

Yes we are for democracy. Democracy not only in our respective countries but also in the international sphere. We want the UN and all related international agencies democratised. We want economic freedom from the World Bank and the IMF! We must free ourselves from west European and American tools of modern enslavement and their supporters planted as leaders in our countries!
Mohammed Bashir Shuwa, Nigeria

Museveni may be a dictator, but he can't be compared to other African dictators like Mobutu and Amin. He has done a good job and has ended the nightmare that Ugandans went through during the 70's and 80's. So many African countries are still fighting to reach the Uganda level and Museveni takes all the credits for the peace, security and prosperity that the country is enjoying today. He surely deserves five more years.
Thierry Stalon, Canada

I sincerely believe that African leaders should stay in power for as long as they want provided they run their country well. We have a shortage of talented leaders in Africa and good ones should not be wasted.
Mallam Issah, Ghana

Enough is enough, there should be a limit of at least two terms. When it gets beyond that these leaders are only interested in amassing their fortunes.
Kawoomera Eche, Ugandan in Boston USA

We have elected presidents and changed leaders a number of times but I think with all the accusations levelled at our leaders may be time has come for us as Ugandans to change our ways too. It is not only the leaders who are corrupt but most Ugandans too so before we pick up stones to throw at them let's check ourselves too. Maybe if we work hand in hand with them on certain issues instead of playing the blame game Africa and Uganda will rise and shine again
Ivan Lugya, usa

I think the limit should be two terms of three years, their powers should be limited too, and Africans should have a chance to get rid before the end of their terms of them if they are not doing their job right.
ngofero, USA

Zimbabwes' president Robert Mugabe has demonstrated that a constitution is not worth the paper it is written on. Asking how long African leaders should remain in power is relative to the constitution which governs that country. If the constitution can be re-written by African dictators - then what does it matter what you and I think? The constitution will be amended so that the dictator can remain in power until he dies a natural death or is forced out via a coup. African history is rich with such examples.
Sean Gallagher, U.K.


There should most definitely be a limit to how long ANY President is in power

Lauren, Zimbabwean in UK
There should most definitely be a limit to how long ANY President is in Power. Look at Mugabe and the extremes he will go to just to hang onto a few more years. He is out of touch with politics today and is continuously living in the past. Mugabe is not the man people once believed him to be and is in power for his own benefit not for the people of Zimbabwe. The longer people have in power the more it goes to their head and they loose track of what is right and wrong - using fear tactics, taking away peoples rights like freedom of speech and obstructing justice - all this to feed their bank accounts!
Lauren, Zimbabwean in UK


Suffering is not anywhere near the level it used to be

Randall Collins, USA
All things considered, Museveni has done a relatively good job of bringing civility to a nation which once slipped into barbarism. If you visited Uganda during the 70's and 80's, your very life was at risk. Now people feel safer walking alone at night, and suffering is not anywhere near the level it used to be. I'm not saying that Museveni is perfect - and yes, in a lot of ways he is a dictator, but I'd choose him over an Amin or Obote in a hot second.
Randall Collins, USA

It is annoying that most people I have talked to mistake peaceful election with free and fair elections. Museveni has stolen the future of Ugandan democracy.
Kaddu Sebunya, Boston USA

Dr. Besigye did not lose the election because he lacks leadership qualities, he lost because he had nothing more to offer Ugandan voters than Mr. Museveni had already given. Better the devil you know.
R Nassali-Lukwago, France

Apart from a few cases of corruption and giving some good jobs to a few of his relatives, which has been done by many African presidents, Museveni has done a lot more for Uganda than any other president in recent memory. For the first time people can go about their business without worrying whether they will see their families when they go home in the evening! Let's face it, it is going to be hard to find another man who can do even half of the good Museveni has done for Uganda
Edna Bukenya, UK

Seventy per cent of the people in Uganda voted for Mr Museveni in the elections, and we must accept this, and respect their choice. It is unfair for Western society to bully a nation into voting/not voting for a certain individual. As least it didn't take Uganda six months to find out who their President was going to be!
J Scholey, UK

How can any person say that the Ugandan election was democratic, fair and free when Museveni had all the governmental machinery working for him. Uganda has a long road towards democracy and the citizens should not be complacent.
Patiko P, Canada

The bottom line is that Museveni has had more than ten years to do what he wanted to do when he first came to power. During that period he has had very little serious opposition. I wonder what added value the additional time he claims to need to fulfil his dreams for Uganda will have. Having said that, I applaud the Ugandans for the relative peace with which they conducted the elections. I pray that other African countries emulate this.
Thomas Oyieke, Kenya

If the Ugandan president won the election in a peaceful manner I think he deserve the next term. As an African we should not forget there is no elections at all in some of our countries. This is a good day for the continent. Let's appreciate the good rather than focus on shortcomings.
T.Sereke, Canada


Elections are generally nasty

Bryan Kabajo, USA
I think in the short term Besigye's suppoters might want to show how they feel, this might be done in a number of ways. As for Museveni he must now seriously start the process of bringing back multiparty democracy. Museveni says parties are bad for Uganda because they divide Ugandans along tribal lines, but this election might have divided Ugandans even more. Elections are generally nasty, even in America albeit in a more advanced manner.
Bryan Kabajo, USA

As a Ugandan who grew up in Uganda during the terrible times of Amin and 0bote I for sure thank God for Museveni. He has done a lot to revive the country. I do not think Besigye is capable of ruling Uganda. All those people from the diffrent political parties who joined him just wanted to use him to get rid of Museveni and then they would have turned around and kicked him out. They are all just greedy for power. They would have plunged the country into chaos again. They all hate Museveni because they know that they cannot manupulate him. The Ugandan people know it. That is why they overwhelmingly voted Mueveni back into power. The majority of us Ugandans pray for Musevsni and wish him the best as he leads our beloved country
Rev.Patrick Waiswa Kisuule U.S.A.

I believe Museveni won the election, hence my disappointment at the harassment and irregularities by his team; it was always easy to see he would win, so there was no need for dirty politics! Besigye failed to articulate a clear stand with all sorts of disparate parties supporting him! But he got the vote of the intelligentsia! It is worrying the President was elected by the uneducated rural masses!
Nnyombi-Kaggwa Daniel, Canada

I once supported Mr. Museveni as a bright member of the "new African leadership." Although he has done some good things for Uganda, in general I think he has utterly failed bringing forth his part of an "African Renaissance." We all know how easy it is for an incumbent leader to continue to win elections in a poverty-stricken country with a relatively uneducated population. He would have shown far more patriotism and grace by standing down and letting another leader give it a try. But he did not, and meanwhile democracy, as much of the rest of the world knows it, still does not exist in Uganda.
Jake Layman, United States


True democracy will remain elusive to Uganda as long as Museveni and his cronies are in power

Tony Nsubuga, Germany
In the aftermath of the election mockery, Museveni's pseudo-victory means one thing: that the worst is yet to come. Uganda is now doomed to 5 or more years of dictatorship and turmoil, punctuated with corruption of the highest order, more people dying in the infamous 'safe-houses', war-mongering inside and outside Uganda, while the progressive democratic voices are suffocated in limbo. I'm no prophet of doom, but there is a likelihood that people in many parts of Uganda are going to face what those of northern Uganda have suffered for the past 15 years. True democracy will remain elusive to Uganda as long as Museveni and his cronies are in power!
Tony Nsubuga, Germany

Though most observers think that it's been a fair election, it will always not be fair for the greedy Museveni. In his last term, he is going to make sure that all the resources of my country are depleted and that he will be contented. With all the confusion he has caused in the Great Lakes region, I thought it wise for him to leave and rest. He thought that all his confusion would not be brought to light but we are all informed. I wish he left Uganda to recover from the bad economic situation he has left it in.
Henry K M, USA

Forgive me for objecting to your question. In my view, the only appropriate question should be whether it is true that the Ugandan people want him to remain as their leader. If it is true that they voluntarily returned him to power (and haven't we learnt to regard all "electoral victories" with caution?), then they must be prepared to accept full responsibility for their decision.
UE, UK[Nigeria]

Besigye is simply a poor loser!
Matsande M., Egypt

2011? Most likely yes, at the age of 61 by then he will probably ask for another 5 years to finish up his programs of staying in power just like the Kenyan President, Arap Moi. He has been the president for 23 years and guess what? At 75 years Mr.Arap Moi isn't yet done, the old man is still trying to figure out how he could leave a good legacy behind. Good luck Ugandans! Good luck my brothers!
Boniface Karumbi, Norway

Museveni's victory is wonderful news for most Ugandans. Let's face it, no leader is perfect, but Museveni has done more good than harm for his country, and people don't easily forget such good deeds. As they say, the devil you know is better than the one you don't. No doubt he will learn from this and make amends so as to keep on with the good work he embarked on when he took government.
Eugenia, UK


Museveni and his cronies should have left office in 2001

Mishael Akunda, Uganda
Museveni has reached the peak, done what he could ever do and there are no more tricks from his political hat. What will follow now are diminishing returns. When bees reach their peak in preparing honey, they begin to eat the very honey. Museveni and his cronies should have left office in 2001, the next government will find nothing.
Mishael Akunda, Uganda

President Museveni won the popular vote. The Ugandan people have decided to retain him as their president. This is one of the few African presidents I am very proud of. He has managed to deliver the people of Uganda from the miseries of war, ruthless dictatorship and economic ruin. This was a very good decision by the Ugandan electorate. I wish him all the best in his next five year term.
Sande Onyango, Kenyan/ USA

With Museveni as president, Uganda will register a decline in economical growth. Most likely we shall witness a decline in relations with Rwanda. I think we might see a communication breakdown as most urban folk who are the administrative officers never voted for him.
Noble Banadda, Uganda

Museveni's victory is great for Uganda. I lived in the country during the Obote and Amin years and left in 1987 when Museveni had just come to power. I have seen Uganda at its worst - when life meant nothing, and army men wandered the city shooting, robbing and raping people. In those days getting even sugar or salt was a battle! I went back to Uganda in 1998 and 2000, and I was amazed at how much it had changed! For the first time since the 60's the country is booming and there is hardly a military man on the streets. I know there are many people who are still poor, and that there is some corruption - but let us not forget how terrible things were. Museveni has done a great job and deserves another term in office.
Kenneth Ngobi, UK


Don't expect to see any changes for a better Uganda as long as this dictator is still glued to the presidency

DAVID NDIWANYU, U.K.
Don't expect to see any changes for a better Uganda as long as this dictator is still glued to the presidency. What can he do now in the 5 years that he couldn't do in those 15 years. He is going to be more corrupt; nepotism, sectarianism etc are going to reach their peak because now they know it's their last time. All in all, may God protect Uganda and the Ugandans from this man Museveni.
DAVID NDIWANYU, U.K.

This is a very sorry day for Uganda. We are now condemned to 5 more years of warmongering, nepotism, corruption, gaucheness, arrogance and general incompetence. It's clear that these elections weren't free and fair. Even though the actual day was fairly safe, this had been preceded by months of intimidation by the army. People were frightened to vote for anyone other than Museveni. And now he and his cronies will continue spending all Uganda's hard earned GDP on waging an unpopular war. Oh misery, misery, misery. Why can't Museveni retire to his farm to tend his cattle as he's always threatening. Isn't fifteen years enough?
Serena, UK

Uganda has missed a great opportunity to kick in the after-burners on her journey towards a corruption-free democracy. We will be okay with Museveni, but Kiiza Besigye would have been wonderful.
Jogoo Mukadde Mugisha, USA

Museveni deserves his ballot victory for the last term of office. Throughout his campaign he has promised to maintain stability. Politically, he has to prepare the ground for the Democratic Party and the Uganda Peoples' Congress to return to the political theatre. Economically, he has to alleviate poverty existing all over the country. Socially, corruption has to be tackled to enable a few crumbs of wealth to trickle down to the poor. When Museveni, leaves office five years from now, he will have cemented democratic institutions for the future generations.
Edirisa Bukoma, Mississauga Canada


The successful election means that Mr Museveni has raised Uganda to maturity

Daniel Lubowa, Kampala, Uganda
The successful election with no incidents in Uganda means that Mr Museveni has raised Uganda to maturity. He deserves all the credit and five more years. At the end of this last term, Ugandans will have to create a permanent government position for this statesman so that he can continue to nurture this democracy alongside a new democratically elected president.
Daniel Lubowa, Kampala, Uganda

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