Uganda: Museveni's Hits, Misses Over Three Decades in Power

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Solidarity Conference in 2014.

President Museveni's three-decade long rule has seen him undertake major policy decisions that have transformed the country.

However, critics have also blamed his government for failing on many fronts. As he takes oath of office for a 6th elective term tomorrow, we highlight some of the areas he has scored highly and some of those that still lag behind.

After Uganda registered its first Covid-19 case in Kampala in March last year, Mr Museveni announced a national lockdown as a means to protect the citizenry from the fast spreading deadly disease that had ravaged other economies across the globe.

This, his supporters said, emphasised that the President prioritises a healthy population for economic growth and development.

In early 2000, Mr Museveni was hailed for his efforts in combating HIV/Aids.

Global praise was based on his support for the ABC - Abstinence, Being faithful and Condom use - strategy. The ABC method was later adopted by other countries.

The HIV prevalence rate was 18 per cent in the 1990s but has reduced to 6 per cent. There has been a reduction in new infections, perinatal HIV transmissions and Aids-related deaths, according to Ministry of Health figures.

Mr Museveni's government has since championed and popularised several programmes meant to protect the populace, which include the Prevention of Mother-to-Child method (PMCT).

Relatedly, in 2013 as several African countries, especially West Africa, were strained by Ebola, President Museveni's government cushioned itself and ably contained the scourge.

Mr Museveni's government has scored highly in the education sector. For instance, since the NRM took charge, the country's public universities have grown from only Makerere University to more than 10.

There are also more than 30 private universities and other higher institutions of learning.

The government has continued to register progress in infrastructure development in the last two decades, with focus on improved road connectivity across the country, generating more electricity to power industries and rehabilitating the old railway lines to facilitate faster movement of goods and services. Uganda has now a total of about 6,000kms of paved roads.

Despite the President's initiatives to reduce poverty, government is yet to register pronounced progress on this front.

Even when Uganda's literacy rate has grown and education institutions multiplied, Uganda's job market still struggles to accommodate thousands of the graduates churned out by universities and other institutions of learning.

Currently, Uganda produces about 1,250 megawatts of electricity. Of this, about half is being consumed while Ugandans continue to pay high costs for the power that remains unused.

Uganda's connectivity stands at 27 per cent, last year's statistics by the Rural Electrification Agency show, much lower than other sub-Saharan Africa countries, which are at 42 per cent.

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