For Uganda, the ‘Day After Museveni’ Looms With Peril

For Uganda, the ‘Day After Museveni’ Looms With Peril
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni attends a ceremony celebrating Uganda National Day at the Dubai Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 3, 2021 (AP photo by Kamran Jebreili).

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ruled his country of approximately 40 million people for nearly 40 years, making him one of the longest-serving leaders in the world. Having triumphed over his domestic rivals, Museveni has also outlasted most of his continental peers, with only Equatorial Guinea’s Theodore Obiang and Cameroon’s Paul Biya surpassing him for time in office.

When Museveni seized power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, eight different governments had ruled Uganda since the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Few Ugandans alive today have memories of any other leader besides the 78-year-old president, and the most pressing question the country now faces in the medium term concerns a transition of power and how Museveni will leave office.

But for now, there is no certainty that Museveni plans to step down, nor is there a succession plan to facilitate an orderly transition that would preserve peace and stability in the event he does. Given the concentration of power Uganda’s constitution places in the presidency, the overwhelming dominance Museveni exercises over domestic politics and the arbitrariness with which he wields power, the road ahead is uncertain and likely to be perilous.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review