Uganda: Museveni’s Triumph and Weakness

Issue Date July 2011
Volume 22
Issue 3
Page Numbers 64-78
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Elections in Africa are today the undisputed ticket to regime legitimacy. However, as much of sub-Saharan Africa embraces elections, they have also set up a death match between competing elites—turning elections into the single most destabilizing event in Africa. When Uganda went to the polls in February 2011, it did so under great pressure that elections provide its ruler of 25 years, Yoweri Museveni, with a legitimate claim to power. However, the wanton misuse of public funds weakened the economy, sparking Egypt-style riots that were brutally suppressed and revealing the vulnerability of Uganda’s institutions of governance.