Key issues in Museveni’s past five inaugural speeches

Wednesday May 12 2021

Military amoured vehicles have been patrolling Kampala in line with preparations for President Museveni’s swearing-in on May 12. PHOTO/ MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

On January 26, 1986, Mr Yoweri Museveni took over power and was subsequently sworn in as Uganda’s eighth president after overthrowing Tito Okello.
This was after waging a five-year Bush War on claims that the then president Milton Obote had rigged the 1980 election. Uganda had experienced coups at every change of guard. 

In his inaugural speech on the steps of Parliament, Mr Museveni hinged his reign on restoring democratic practices and ensuring security. 
He said then that while they could have wrong elements in the National Resistance Movement, their objective was primarily to improve the country’s politics. 

“No one should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guard: it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country. In Africa, we have seen so many changes that change, as such, is nothing short of mere turmoil,”  the President said.

“We have had one group getting rid of another one, only for it to turn out to be worse than the group it displaced. Please do not count us in that group of people: the National Resistance Movement is a clear-headed movement with clear objectives and a good membership,”  he added.

Mr Museveni also focused on building a disciplined security force, unity and regional cooperation that would boost market for home-made products.
His advocacy for infrastructural development such as roads and railway, service delivery, fight against corruption and access to cheap electricity have been repeated in inaugural speeches as a five-time presidential winner.

For example, in 2011 as Mr Museveni sworn in for the fourth elective term, he promised to improve the kilowatt hour (kWh) per capita from 70 to 500 by 2016 against today’s 215 and encouraged farmers to irrigate using plastic water bottles and fertilizers for higher yields. 


To respond to the high fuel prices at the time, the President said they would engage South Sudanese government for cheaper fuel, promising to locally start oil production by the third year of that term. To date, the country has no refinery. 
“In the next three years, we shall be using our own fuel after the building of the refinery is finished. On the issue of food, predictions are showing that this is a temporary problem. We are likely to have a bumper harvest… Farmers can use very simple methods, such as the plastic water bottles,” Mr Museveni said.

“You fill a bottle with water, make a small hole in the bottle and put it next to the plant. The plant will grow very well. We, however, need to work out mechanism of stabilising food prices for the urban-dwellers and salary-earners in towns. All this should be done without interfering with the foundation projects I have talked about above – electricity, roads, the railway, education and health,” Museveni noted in 2011. 

Mr Museveni has continued to promise to increase salaries of health workers and other scientists as well as crack down on drug theft in health centres. 
Having achieved on security in 2016, Mr Museveni promised to take the country into a middle-income economy by 2020 while swearing in for the  fifth elective term. 

He said there was surplus electricity and plans were underway to produce nuclear energy from uranium. 
As he takes oath for the sixth elective term, the country awaits to hear to will be Mr Museveni’s priority areas in the next five years.

The Standard Gauge Railway

The government is yet to deliver the Standard Gauge Railway they promised five years ago which was expected to ease transport at a cheaper cost. 
Mr Museveni appealed for modernised and commercialised agriculture that would create jobs and increase  high quality yields.


Some changes during Museveni's reign.