Coronavirus scare forces Museveni to take test

Tuesday July 28 2020

President Yoweri Museveni gestures after he was nominated as National Resistance Movement party 2021 presidential candidate on July 28, 2020. Seated is his wife Janet Museveni. PHOTO | NRM


Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is on a “ginger treatment” after losing his voice and having a coronavirus scare that saw him seek medical intervention.

The 75-year-old leader revealed this in his most detailed public comment yet on his health at an event to receive his party’s nomination ticket to seek reelection in the 2021 presidential polls.

“I apologise for my voice. I had long meetings and when I lost my voice my first thought was Covid-19,” Mr Museveni told the National Resistance Movement (NRM) delegates at the party’s headquarters on Tuesday.

“On Sunday morning I called my doctors, they took samples and in the evening they returned and there was no corona. Yesterday (Monday) I attended Cabinet briefly and rested, I am taking ginger and I hope it will recover,” he added.

Mr Museveni is running unopposed for NRM chairman and party flagbearer for the February elections, which if he wins the reelection bid will see him extend his rule to four decades.

Uganda has reported more than 1,100 coronavirus cases with two deaths. The victims are women aged 34 and 80 from eastern Namisindwa district and Kampala respectively.


Mr Museveni cautioned Ugandans against laxity in observing the health measures and guidelines issued by the government to fight the disease, saying the two deaths should serve as a lesson.

“If you wanted to see deaths, now you have seen them. We have been begging you please don't die. People wanted to see the danger but now you have seen. This is 'endozo' (the test), so if you don't listen we are going to do a lot of work,” the President said.

Lord Mayor decamps

While the NRM event was ongoing, the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) also had its own, forcing broadcast stations to air the two functions concurrently.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was unveiled as an FDC member after defecting from the Democratic Party.

Speaking at the event, Dr Kizza Besigye, the party’s four-time presidential candidate declared he was not quitting the fight for democracy and freedom until “it is either finished or I am finished.”

He is, however, yet to declare whether he will be seeking the party’s presidential ticket to challenge Mr Museveni.

- Additional reporting by Daily Monitor.