President Yoweri Museveni took the oath of office Wednesday and was sworn in to a sixth term in office at a ceremony held at Kololo Independence grounds.
Speaking at the inauguration, President Museveni thanked the heads of state that graced the ceremony for honoring his invitation.
The ceremony was also graced by heads of delegation from across the world, other foreign dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps and invited members of public.
Museveni expressed concerns over the growing security situations in major African countries caused by armed conflicts and foreign interference most especially by the western actors something he said must be urgently addressed by African states themselves.
“I need to express my concern to the African brothers and sisters that are here today and those that are not here, that the situation in a number of points in Africa does not give credit to the African people. The security situations in: Libya; Mali; Niger; some parts of Nigeria; Chad; Central African Republic; some parts of Cameroon; Eastern Congo; Somalia; recently, Northern Mozambique; etc., must be addressed and can be addressed”’ Museveni said.
He noted that the situation in Libya was created by the arrogant and irresponsible actions of some actors that took actions that were against the express position of the African Union.
“I can reveal to you now, that those actors had a narrow escape. When some actors started attacking Libya against the decision of the African Union, I contacted H.E. Jacob Zuma of South Africa for African Armies, that so decided, to intervene in Libya and confront and teach a lesson to those aggressors. We were let down by Muammar Gaddaffi who abandoned Tripoli without a fight. Although, at that time, I did not have direct link with Muammar Gaddaffi, I advised his envoy who came to see me, to turn Tripoli into a Stalingrad”.
He noted that with Jacob Zuma, they had to work out a solution for the air-craft and cruise missiles that attacked defenseless people from far away, “so that if the aggressors so wished, could come on the ground and we fight man to man. Such a confrontation would, of course, have been imposed on us unnecessarily”.
“We have, since long time ago, stated that African patriots, like we in the NRM, are neither pro-West nor pro-East. We are, first and foremost, pro-Africa. It is on account of that, which good friends should only deal with contentious strategic African issues via the African Union”.
“By-passing the African Union is not acceptable when it comes to dangerous strategic African issues. We have no interest in fighting anybody except poverty and under-development in Africa, starting with Uganda. However, some actors are always “in search of enemies”. Our role there, is to advise those who are advisable, but also do our patriotic duty if unavoidable. Unfortunately, the Libyans collapsed quickly”.
“On account of that, much of North West Africa has been with security problems that were not there before: Libya, Chad, Mali, Niger, parts of Nigeria, Central African Republic and Cameroon. Who is responsible for this hemorrhage? Of course, Muammar Gaddaffi had his own problems”.
“I had had the task of fighting him twice ─ 1972 and 1979 ─ as he intervened in Uganda on the side of Idi Amin because he was a Moslem. However, foreign armies attacking an African country against the express objection of the African Union, is not the solution”.
“The huge concomitant suffering of the Africans in Libya and the surrounding countries has proven that, if any proof was needed. Africa can defend itself against any and all aggressors if we co-ordinate. In 1963, our leaders met in Addis Ababa (only 36 of them at that time) and declared that the rest of Africa must be freed peacefully or Africa will use force”.
“That time, some actors thought, as they seem to think now, that this was just idle talk. Exactly 11 years later, in 1974, the African Armies, of Mozambique, Angola and Guinnea-Bissau, supported by the courageous Mwalimu Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Sekou Toure, Boumeddiene, Nasser and briefly Nkrumah and the socialist countries, had defeated the Portuguese African Armies, totaling almost 200,000 soldiers. Just before this victory, there had been the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, where the Egyptian Army put up a better performance and quite bled the Israelis before the latter crossed the canal and surrounded the Egyptian 2nd and 3rd Armies in Suez and Port Said”.
They (the Israelis) badly needed resupplies by the USA. However, the USA had a problem because many of the European countries did not want to refuel the American transport planes in fear of the Arab anger. The Arabs had announced the 1973 oil boycott against those that they saw as their enemies.
That left the Portuguese Islands of the Azores. In the USA. National Security Council meeting of 1974, the issue of using the Azores came up. Somebody in the meeting, pointed out that Africans will be very annoyed. Henry Kissinger, who was said to be a very clever man, is said to have said that African anger does not matter because they have no capacity to enforce it.
“Exactly 5 months from the date of that meeting, the Africans who did not matter, defeated the Portuguese who mattered. I am told Kissinger is still alive. It would be good for his record, if he cleared up this allegation. It is up to us to show all and sundry, that we matter and we have the capacity. We defeated the Islamic hoodlums in Somalia; we defeated the racist Whites in Southern Africa. We can defend Africa, if we act together and act.
President Museveni called upon all Ugandans to engage themselves in productive work so as to combat poverty now that elections are over.
“The elections are over! Let us get down to work, so as to chase poverty from our homes. Engage in commercial agriculture, counting profitability, industrialization, ICT and services,” Said President Museveni.
The President noted that in this coming term, emphasis is going to be put on dealing with some obstacles that have hindered projects like Operation Wealth Creation, youth funds and emyooga.
The President called upon Ugandans to embrace vaccination against Covid-19 as a guaranteed way of dealing with the virus which he said had affected key areas of the economy.
“As far as corona-19 virus is concerned, we shall open up once we have vaccinated 4.8million people as follows: Population over 50 years, Health Workers, Teachers, Lectures, Security Personnel and those with Commodities.
Apart from importing vaccines from other countries, we are developing our own vaccine, able to deal with all the known variants. We have also been trying, in humans, some therapeutics, which seem to be effective.” President Museveni noted.
The President further added that Shs 464b has been set aside in the coming financial year to be able to help sectors that have been badly affected by Covid-19.