The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Then and Now - Obote Only Fit to Rear Goats, Says Museveni

President Museveni has not always had kind words for former leaders.

Shortly after taking power in 1986, he said he found State House full of alcohol bottles. He said Milton Obote had spent most of his time drinking whisky instead of governing the country.

Another time, during a public function, he described former presidents as swine, a comment that did not go down well with a big section of the public. Therefore it is not surprising that in June 1999, while meeting district leaders in Mpigi, he told them that Dr Milton Obote, who led Uganda twice, was only fit to rear goats, not to dabble in politics.

"If Obote had reared one goat [starting] in 1966, he would be a millionaire by now. He would have many goats other than staying in exile," Museveni said.

In the same vein, Obote, while living in exile in Zambia never had any kind words for Museveni. He once described him as the most corrupt and dictatorial leader on the African continent.

However when Obote died, Museveni, started extending an olive branch to his family. In fact as Obote's body lay in state in Parliament, Museveni spoke glowingly of the late leader, saying he had no personal differences with him only that some people in UPC had wanted to create a rift between him and Obote. More recently Museveni met the medical expenses of Obote's widow, Miria, when she was taken ill to Nairobi, Kenya.

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