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Ugandans Take a Dig at President Museveni With 30-Year-Old Photos

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda, Citizen Media, History, Photography, Politics
Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni. Photo released under Creative Commons by Russell Watkins/Department for International Development UK).

Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni. Photo released under Creative Commons by Russell Watkins/Department for International Development UK).

January 26, 2016 marks 30 years since President Yoweri Museveni [1] and his National Resistance Movement [2] took over the rule of Uganda, after a 5-year guerrilla war that toppled then-president Milton Obote [3]. Obote had been ousted from power by Idi Amin [4] (1971–79), but regained power after Amin himself was overthrown.

In the year that Museveni came to govern the country, more than 75% of the present-day population of Uganda was not yet born — but those who were are using the hashtag #1986pictures [5] to share their memories of that time.

But why now? President Museveni is currently seeking [6]a sixth term in the office. Presidential elections [7] will take place on February 18, 2016 and while the incumbent will most likely claim victory [8] at the polls, there seems to be a great level of disillusionment [9] with the electoral process.

There has already been a great deal of controversy — the country's economic health [10] is a bit precarious, there are reports [11] that Museveni has spent in excess of $7M on his re-election campaign over the period of just two months, and one of the president's political challengers, Amama Mbabazi [12], has accused him [13] of launching an “offensive” to “intimidate and subdue” opponents’ supporters.

Netizens — who may or may not be going to the polls on election day — decided to make their voices heard online:

This Is Uganda remembered how Museveni was welcomed into office by the West:

Others recalled how their families were forced to flee to the West:

There were several comparisons of “then” and “now”:

Kalundi Serumaga remembered his time in the Uganda National Liberation Front:

Twitter user Charles Onyango-Obbo posted photos of the deterioration of Lake Victoria and made a political parallel:

Many Twitter users thought that 30 years was quite a sufficient run:

One tweet, however, poignantly demonstrated the level of frustration that many younger Ugandans may be feeling: