President of Uganda takes “forced leave” for COVID-19

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Uganda’s president has announced he is taking “forced leave” after testing positive for COVID-19.

Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, said on Twitter that he is experiencing “mild symptoms” and will self-isolate.

Although two of the three tests taken a few days ago were negative, one was positive, the president said in a statement on Thursday.

“Therefore, I must take my second forced leave in 53 years, since 1971, when we started fighting Idi Amin,” he said, referring to the dictator who ruled Uganda in the 1970s.

Museveni, 78, said he has delegated duties to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja.

The news sparked mixed reactions among Ugandans. Some wished him a speedy recovery while others, on social networks, were not so kind.

Museveni won a sixth presidential term in 2021. Supporters have asked him to run again in 2026 amid an apparent candidacy by his son, who has criticized the ruling party.

While Museveni is adored by many Ugandans who credit him with bringing relative stability to the East African country, others see him as an authoritarian leader who relies on security forces to stay in power.

2023-06-08 14:14:25

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