Strongman Yoweri Museveni might be nearing the end of the road. For 25 years he has ruled Uganda as the country recovered from Idi Amin’s disastrous rule and a brutal civil war. To add to the stability brought about by his regime, Uganda has also been one of the fastest growing in Africa since the mid 1990s.
But recent inflationary pressures on the prices of fuel and other essential commodities are increasing pressure on the strongman. The last two days have seen running battles in Kampala and Gulu, with at least two reported dead. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye was reportedly shot in the hand by a rubber bullet on Thursday.
Museveni’s game plan in reaction to all this still remains unclear. Whatever the eventual strategy, it is gonna be hard to keep the rallies against his regime bloodless if the people keep coming out to protest. Most people tend to forget that Museveni has never really stopped being a military ruler.
History shows that the most frequent way through which military rulers are ousted, at least on the continent, is through coups.
Those who enter power by the gun also tend to exit by the gun.
Overall, African autocrats with the longest tenures include: Obiang’ of Equatorial Guinea (32 years); Edwardo dos Santos of Angola (32); Biya of Cameroon (29); Compraore of Burkina Faso (25); Mswati of Lesotho (25); Museveni of Uganda (25).
Other autocrats fast approaching the league of lifetime rulers include Omar al-Bashir of (Northern) Sudan, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia (who is planning on crowning himself King), Idris Deby of Chad, and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.