Uganda President begins march through jungle

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has begun a six day march through the jungle, walking 195 km.

He is retracing the route he and his forces took in 1986, when they seized power from Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

Critics have dismissed the march as a stunt ahead of Uganda’s elections next year, when Mr Museveni is expected to seek a sixth term in office.

He is facing a challenge from former pop star Bobi Wine, who portrays himself as a champion of the poor.

Mr Museveni will end his march in the western town of Birembo, the site of one of the fiercest battles between Mr Museveni’s rebels and then-President Obote’s troops, on 10 January.

The president’s senior press secretary, Don Wanyama, said “This is a journey that the president is leading, a journey through the past to appreciate the present.

“The journey will take a week through the jungle, a route the liberators led by Museveni took to liberate the country.”

Mr Museveni, 75, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. Mr Wine – whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi told reporters that the president’s walk was “wasteful”.

“My advice is, rather than spending taxpayers’ money on such trips, Museveni should know time is up for him to leave power,” Mr Wine said. “The time for hoodwinking peasants has passed him.”

Opposition MP Asuman Basalirwa also called the march a “campaigning tool”.

“Ugandans deserve better than a president walking through a jungle,” he said.

He added that time spent should be used for other important issues affecting the country, especially how he plans to hand over power.

 

Dominica Nwabufo