Museveni surpasses 18 EAC counterparts in longevity

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 04:02 PM Mar 15 2024
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (left) Samia Suluhu (centre) and William Ruto during a meeting in ZanzIbar.
Photo: State House
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (left) Samia Suluhu (centre) and William Ruto during a meeting in ZanzIbar.

The East Africa Community is a regional intergovernmental organization of eight countries.

These counties are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

In all these countries, Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been one of the longest-serving national leaders having assumed power in 1986 in a military coup, recently clocking 38 years in power on January 26, 2024.

During this time, he has outlived several East Africa Community presidents after working with them for years before they passed on.

Nairobi News now looks at which presidents came, worked with Museveni at one point, and later died; leaving President Museveni still holding on to the seat of power in Kampala.

In Burundi, President Museveni outlived former presidents Jean Baptiste Bagaza, Pierre Buyoya, Melchior Ndadaye, Cyprien Ntaryamira and Pierre Nkurunzinza.

In Congo, Museveni outlived former presidents  Mobutu Seseseko, Laurent Desire Kabila and his son Joseph Kabila.

In Kenya, he worked and outlived former presidents Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki, and Uhuru Kenyatta while in Rwanda, Museveni outlived former president Theodore Sindikubwabo.

In Somalia, Museveni worked with and outlived former presidents Abdullahi Yusuf Mohammed who died in 2012 and Ali Mahdi Muhammad who died in 2021.

In South Sudan, he worked with and outlived former president John Garang while in Tanzania, he worked with and outlived former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi (now deceased) Benjamin Mkapa who died in 2020, Jakayo Kikwete and John Magufuli who died in 2021.

Since taking over power in 1986, Museveni vied in six presidential elections and won in all of them. In the 2021 General Election, he faced stiff competition from Robert Kyagulangi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, but he managed to clinch the presidency in what turned out to be a controversial outcome. Election Observers reported irregularities with the electoral process, and campaigns stopped in opposition areas with claims of preventing the spread of covid-19 but critics said it was a means to stamp out Bobi Wine’s growing popularity and political arrests.

It remains unknown when President Museveni will exit the Office of the President amid suggestions he is preparing to vie for a seventh term. Be that as it may, rumours remain rife that his only son, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, might succeed him.

This comes after Muhoozi spoke out against his father’s long-standing term in office and launched a political movement, MK Movement, that continues to popularize him across Uganda with their eyes set on the presidency in the next election.

This early campaign, and a bling eye being turned to an army General openly campaigning for presidency when it is not allowed by law in Uganda, continues to be cause for debate in the country over the presidency being turned into a family legacy.