Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (1944- )

Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is the President of Uganda, a post he has held since 1986. Museveni was born on September 15, 1944 to Mzee Amos Kaguta and Esteri Kokundeka Nganzi in Rukungirl, British Protectorate of Uganda (now Uganda). At an early age, Museveni moved to Ntungamo, Uganda Protectorate. He attended Kyamate Elementary School, Mbarara High School, and Ntare School. After graduating from high school, Museveni attended the University of Dar es Salaam beginning in 1967. While attending the University, Museveni studied economics and political science. He also became a Marxist and became involved in radical Pan-African politics. He formed the University Students African Revolutionary Front, an activist group, and led a student delegation to FRELIMO-held territory in Portuguese-controlled Mozambique where he received guerrilla training.

In 1973, 29-year-old Museveni formed the Front for National Salvation, a Ugandan rebel group. Five years later in October 1978, the Ugandan-Tanzania War began after Ugandan troops invaded the Kagera Salient in northern Tanzania. The nations at war were led by Ugandan President Idi Amin and Tanzania President Julius Nyerere, with Museveni supporting Nyerere because he opposed Amin’s dictatorship. Tanzania won the conflict and deposed Idi Amin from power.

In 1981, a civil war called the Ugandan Bush War pitted former Ugandan President Milton Obote and the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Museveni. This five-year conflict lasted from 1981 to 1986 and resulted in an NRA victory and Museveni becoming the new President of Uganda. Despite his Presidency, guerrilla wars continued until 1994 as various factions attempted to overthrow the new government.

In 1996, the first presidential elections under Museveni’s government were held. He defeated candidates Paul Ssemogerere and Kibirige Mayanja. During that same year, Museveni led Uganda to intervene in the Second Congo War where he assisted Rwanda and Laurent-Desire-Kabila of the Alliance of Democratic Forces of the Liberation the Congo (ADFLC) in an attempt to overthrow longtime dictator President Mobutu Sese Soko. Museveni led Uganda’s involvement in the Third Congo War in 1998 when he allied with Rwanda against Laurent-Desire-Kabila Kabila’s new government that only two years earlier he helped install in power.

In 2001, Museveni won reelection by defeating Presidential candidate Kizza Besigy. He would defeat Besigy in three reelection campaigns, 2006, 2011, and 2016. In 2021, Museveni won reelection for a sixth term against Robert Kyagulanyi “Bobi Wine” Ssentamu. This election was hard fought and Wine and his followers charged the government with intimidating his supporters and rigging the election. Nonetheless Museveni remains in power in Uganda after 35 years as President.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni married Janet Kataaha Museveni in 1973. The couple have four children, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Natasha Karugire, Patience Rwabwogo, and Diana Kamuntu.