Uganda’s President-elect Yoweri Museveni said Saturday he will decisively deal with those planning to create chaos in the East African nation.
“If anyone tries to disrupt our peace, we shall deal with them decisively,” the 76-year-old leader said in his inaugural address to the nation broadcast live on television.
Simon Byabakama, the head of Uganda’s electoral commission, announced Museveni as winner of Thursday’s presidential election after securing 58.64% of the votes.
The official results showed opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi secured 34.83% of the votes, but the pop star-turned-politician has rejected the results as “fake.”
In November, protests erupted in the capital Kampala and other urban centers following the arrest of Kyagulanyi, prompting police to open fire that killed dozens of protesters who were demanding his release.
At the time, Kyagulanyi 38, had been arrested in eastern Uganda for allegedly contravening electoral guidelines which require candidates not to have more than 200 supporters at a rally so as to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The protests broke out across the country immediately after Kyagulanyi was arrested.
His supporters barricaded roads and burnt tires, calling for his immediate release.
Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, had nine challengers in Thursday’s election.
In his address, he congratulated Ugandans for turning up to vote and the opposition for participating in the race.
Museveni blasts the West
Museveni lambasted the West for “interfering” in Uganda’s internal politics.
He said it is Europeans, locally known as Basungu, and not the Chinese or Arabs who are “interfering” in Uganda’s doemstic politics.
“The people of Uganda have rejected the politics of sectarianism, religion or tribe. The people of Uganda have stuck to the idea of patriotism, Pan-Africanism and love for country,” he added.
Museveni pledged to inject more funds to support youth programs in the country to fight unemployment.
He also took a swipe at western media outlets which reportedly predicted that his opponent would sweep the vote because of the large turnout.
He said the majority of youth in the country support his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), contrary to what he said western media had predicted that the youth would vote his rival.