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Monday, May 1, 2017

Yoweri Museveni: A five times-elected dictator?

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (AFP: File picture)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni 
(AFP: File picture)
Kampala - He's ruled Uganda for 31 years. With five presidential terms in office, Yoweri Museveni is surrounded by controversies related to freedom of speech, human rights, allegations of nepotism, and even the killing of Ugandan citizens.

But President Museveni claims Uganda is one of the most democratic countries in the world and that he is leading his people out of poverty and to an even better future.

At 72, though, he's three years away from the constitutional age limit to serve as president. But there is already speculation he will try to change that limit so he can get around it.

As he visited the State of Qatar, Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, talked to Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera: Human Rights Watch, in its latest report, criticised Uganda's government's dealings in terms of human rights. Suppression of free speech, putting dissidents in jail … we have the case of Stella Nyanzi who is still in jail just because she expressed herself. We also have the opposition leader who has been in jail several times.

We have the government cracking down on opponents and preventing people from rallying freely. By law, more than five people should have the consent and agreement of the police before they can express themselves in the street.

Yoweri Museveni: Uganda is one of the most democratic countries in the world. In terms of free speech, we have something like 250 private radios, which say whatever they want. We have so many television stations, private … I don't know how many you have here in Qatar, private ones … maybe you can tell me. I only see Al Jazeera. But for us, we have so many. The empowerment of women - many women compared to other countries - in leadership.

Al Jazeera: Why is activist Stella Nyanzi still in jail just because she expressed herself?

Museveni: If you are an activist and you commit an offence, because with human rights you must also speak of the rights of others, you cannot trample on the rights of others, and you say "it is my right to abuse other people", to insult other people … no. Rights go with responsibilities - if you know anything about democracy.

Read more: news24.com

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