By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: It’s a joyful moment for Uganda’s president-elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is already receiving congratulatory messages from all corners of the world for winning the highly contested presidential election which was held on Thursday, January 14.
The Russian and Chinese governments led in wishing the long-serving leader the best ahead of his sixth term in office. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has traditionally had a friendly relationship with Uganda saying his win would enhance bilateral relations.
“Russia and Uganda have a traditionally friendly relationship. I hope your activities as the head of state will further facilitate the development of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in various areas. I wish you success in your work, sound health and well-being,” Putin said.
China’s felicitation message on the other hand was delivered by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, who lauded Museveni for the contributions he made to the relations between the two countries.
“China congratulates President Museveni on his re-election in the recent presidential election. He has made important contributions to China-Uganda relations. We believe that under his leadership, Uganda will achieve new, greater progress in national development, and the China-Uganda comprehensive cooperative partnership will reach new heights,” Hua stated.
Eastern African leaders led by Tanzanian President John Magufuli, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye have also publicly congratulated the National Resistance Movement (NRM) leader who has been in power since 1986.
On there other hand, however, Kenya’s State House was forced to pull down a post congratulating the Ugandan leader on Facebook after it was flagged by the social media giant over alleged misinformation.
Museveni, 76, was declared president-elect by the Electoral Commission on Saturday, January 16 after defeating 10 other presidential candidates to extend his 35-year rule for another term to 2026 after garnering majority vote.
“Having obtained the highest number of votes; and votes cast in his favour being more than 50% at the election, EC declares candidate Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni as the president of Uganda through an election held January 14,” the commission chairperson Simon Byabakama declared.