It was a celebration of Uganda’s past progress and how far we have come, and a nod to the future and how far we hope to go.
President Yoweri Museveni was sworn in today during a ceremony at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. The theme of the event underscored his steady hand: “A Firm Foundation Built for Uganda’s Steady Progress.”
The President, in his address to visiting African presidents and dignitaries, committed to further boosting outputs in agriculture, a sector that employs 72% of the workforce. He also gave a clear picture of the changes he expects to make in this new term, particularly on providing government services to the people. Corruption and delays in decision making, irritate the public and frustrate the investors,” he explained. “This time I will act directly so as to discipline the public service as we discipline the army.”
Guests began gathering for the festivities early in the morning. The guests, who were a Who’s-Who of Ugandan dignitaries, included, out-going and in-coming members of Parliament, political party leaders, former presidential candidates, district delegations, religious leaders, traditional and cultural leaders, academics, and business leaders.
Numerous African Heads of State came to witness the event and show support for one of Africa’s best-known visionaries. Among the Heads of State were: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tanzanian President John Magufuli, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, South Sudanese President Salva Kir, South African President Jacob Zuma, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Lesotho King Letsie III, Malian President Ibrahim Boubabacar Keïta, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang, Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Niger President Mohamadou Issoufou, Namibian President Hage Geingob, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
There were also high level dignitaries from numerous countries throughout Africa and beyond, including delegations from Russia, Japan, Germany, India, and China.
The festivities opened with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Badru Kiggundu, reading a proclamation to announce the President Elect to the public, followed by Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, administering the oath of allegiance and oath of the President.
After signing these oaths, President Museveni was presented with the instruments of power: the constitution, National Coat of Arms, the seal, National Flag, and presidential Standard Flag. The President also inspected a Guard of Honor and gave remarks before the distinguished guests and general public.
Following the ceremony, the festivities continued with a luncheon at the Commonwealth Speke Resort.
The festivities mark the fifth presidential inauguration in Uganda. President Museveni won elections in February with a sound majority of 60.62%, beating his rival, Dr. Kizza Besigye, who received 35.61%.