Uganda: Museveni Dares 'Overestimated, Arrogant' U.S.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Solidarity Conference in 2014.
6 November 2023

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has said he will not bow to pressure from the Americans who recently struck Uganda off The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) over alleged continued human rights violations and in particular over the Anti-Homosexuality law.

Museveni accuses the Americans of "overestimating" themselves and "undermining" Africans, saying Africa has proved in the past that it can take on and defeat the mighty invaders. In a statement issued on his X page, Museveni says Ugandans can survive and grow without external support.

Here is the slightly edited statement

Fellow Ugandans and, especially, the Bazzukulu. Greetings.

I need to advise you not to be over-concerned by the recent actions by the American Government in discouraging their companies from investing in Uganda and on removing Uganda from the AGOA list.

Some of these actors in the western world overestimate themselves and underestimate the freedom fighters of Africa. On account of some of the freedom fighters making mistakes of philosophy, ideology and strategy, some of the foreign actors, erroneously think that African countries cannot move forward without their support.

Certainly, as far as Uganda is concerned, we have the capacity to achieve our growth and transformation targets, even if some of the actors do not support us. It is the eight points that I outlined for you at our recent Independence celebrations that are decisive.

The eight points are: patriotism - not following politics of identity but following politics of interests; supporting the private sector; economic infrastructure development to lower the costs of doing business in the economy; regional integration to create big markets that can absorb our products; working with foreigners who respect us; eliminate corruption; social infrastructure to develop the human resource through universal education and health, and protecting the environment that controls our water and our rain.

It is good that the American government avoided the mistake of de-funding the procurement of the HIV drugs for our 1.4 million people on those drugs. However, all our people on the ARVs and all the Ugandans need to know that we had a contingency plan to fully fund the procurement of those drugs if ever the external funders were unable to fund them.

These pressures from outside are joogo (dharau - looking down upon somebody, underrating somebody) towards the Africans and must be rejected. I am told that some of the Arab countries, have similar [anti-homosexuality] laws. Why don't these actors put similar pressures, on them?

In 1963, the OAU was founded in Addis Ababa. Only 36 African countries were independent at that time and they are the ones that attended. Almost another 20 countries were not yet independent. That OAU meeting, then, demanded that all the African countries, must be independent, either by peace or by war.

The "jogooists" (the arrogant) of the World, mocked us. What can Africans do? In 1964, Frelimo launched the armed struggle against the Portuguese army in Mozambique, joining the MPLA that had launched an uprising earlier.

By 1994, the whole of Africa had been liberated by the force of the Africans supported by the socialist countries of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc. Africa has got all the ingredients to succeed if we use them correctly.

Uganda, under the NRM, is and will succeed, regardless of what some of the external actors and internal detractors do. The further good news, is that not all the western countries' actors are of the same arrogant attitude.

Many, actually, either agree with us or believe in the correct principles of live and let live. Even in the colonial times, some western actors supported our anti-colonial struggle. People like Fenner Brockway, Dingle Foot, Olof Palme, etc., supported us.


Yoweri K. Museveni

Gen (Rtd)


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