Late Paulo Muwanga’s prophecy on President Museveni’s long overstay in power comes to pass

The late Paulo Muwanga served as the Vice President of Uganda during Dr. Milton Obote’s second stint as President and later as Prime Minister during the short-lived Presidency of Gen Tito Okello Lutwa.

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After the NRA rebels captured power overthrowing Gen Tito Okello on January 25th1986, Prime Minister Paulo Muwanga decided to stay at his home in Entebbe as he watched the events unfolding.

On 29th January, Gen Museveni was sworn in as president of Uganda with the event being broadcasted live on then-only Uganda’s television, UTV.

As he watched the ceremony, Muwanga remarked that Museveni was to keep himself in power for so long pitying Ugandans who were celebrating thinking that the NRA rebel leader had come to bring peace and restore democracy in Uganda.

It is now 36 years since the late Paulo Muwanga foretold what Gen Museveni was to do something that happened. By the end of this term, Gen Museveni would have been in power for 40 years.

Paulo Muwanga was once in control of the state during the time when the military commission was in charge of the state affairs after Prof Binaisa had been forced to step down as president of the country.

During that time, Muwanga was the de facto president by virtue of being the chairman of the military commission while Yoweri Museveni was the de facto vice president by virtue of being the Vice Chairman of the Military Commission.

Paulo Muwanga was arrested in October 1986 over charges of wanting to overthrow the government but was later acquitted in 1988.

He was re-arrested in detained 1989–1990 with intelligence units accusing him of supporting rebel groups that wanted to overthrow the government. He was also accused of committing crimes against humanity in 1980 as vice president after a case was tabled that he had kidnapped two truck drivers the same year.

Muwanga later died in April 1991 due to stomach complications as reported by his personal doctor 6 months after he left prison in October 1990.

The New York Times on April 2nd, 1991 reported that Mr. Muwanga had died at Nsambya Hospital near Kampala, where he had been under treatment since Friday of that time. The broadcast did not give the cause of death but said he was known to suffer from hypertension and had a heart attack in 1988.

2022 President Museveni pulls out all the stops to stay in power.

Shortly after Yoweri Museveni took power in Uganda in 1986, he published a book titled What is Africa’s Problem? His conclusion was simple. “The problem of Africa in general and Uganda, in particular, is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power.” its now 2022, and the president’s words are returning to haunt him.

Like many African rulers, Mr Museveni’s tenure began well. The size of the economy more than doubled from 1992 to 1999 in current US dollar terms while the national poverty rate fell from 56.4 per cent to 33.8 per cent in the same period, according to the World Bank. 

But as Mr Museveni tightened his grip on power — a two-term presidential limit was scrapped in 2005 — Uganda’s economy began to stumble.

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