It is 35 years since President Yoweri Museveni came to power. He took power after a five-year guerrilla armed rebellion that followed the 1980 elections which he said was rigged.
There was little funfare this year with a few selected guests attending the celebration at State House Entebbe due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Coming two weeks after a highly contested election that pitted him against the youthful Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, Museveni’s speech at this year’s NRM liberation day dwelt so much on the elections whose results have been rejected by some of the participants.
Museveni polled 5,851,037 votes (58.64 percent) while Kyagulanyi had 3,475,298 votes (34.83 percent), of the total votes cast.
Museveni said that as the country went into the elections, there were some groups that he says wanted to bring violence both during campaigns and in the aftermath of the polls.
He made a passionate appeal to Ugandans not to entertain any ideas about violence and intimidation but hastened to add that his government was ready to overcome any post-election violence.
Museveni said that the government will audit the biometric voter verification machines to find out how many people voted, once all local government elections are concluded across the country and address concerns of voter fraud.
“I hope next time everybody will be convinced and we all vote by biometric because the biometric…God gave us a solution, he gave us a unique stamp…everybody is unique. So why don’t we use that God-given stamp? But people don’t want the truth, I think they were even disabling the machines…ah they are not working…so that they go to their manual for cheating,” Museveni said.
Museveni says that Uganda is currently in a very good position with growth in the industrial sector and hoping that the tourism sector blossoms again in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. He hinted that in his coming term in office, one of the issues will be to strengthen the East African Community (EAC).
Museveni said that if the country solves the issue of markets of the products, it will be a move in good direction since industries are growing, roads are available and electricity is in surplus.
Kampala Archdiocese Vicar General, Rt. Rev. Msgr Charles Kasibante asked the government, as a sign of genuine reconciliation, to allow presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi to have his freedom of movement and expression. Museveni, in response, said that the NRM party was willing to reconcile with its opponents adding that several children of past leaders now serve in the NRM party.
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