H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

President of the Republic of Uganda

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, (born 1944, Mbarra district, Uganda), politician who became president of Uganda in 1986.

Museveni was born to cattle farmers and attended missionary schools. While studying political science and economics at the University of Dar es Salaam (B.A., 1970) in Tanzania, he became chairman of a leftist student group allied with African liberation movements. When Idi Amin came to power in Uganda in 1971, Museveni returned to Tanzania in exile. There he founded the Front for National Salvation, which helped overthrow Amin in 1979.

Museveni held posts in transitional governments and in 1980 ran for president of Uganda. When the elections, widely believed to have been rigged, were won by Milton Obote, Museveni and former president Yusufu Lule formed the National Resistance Movement (NRM); Museveni led the NRM’s armed group, the National Resistance Army, which waged a guerrilla war against Obote’s regime. The resistance eventually prevailed, and on January 26, 1986, Museveni declared himself president of Uganda. He was elected to the post on May 9, 1996, and his backers won control of the National Assembly in legislative elections held the following month. Museveni was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006 after a constitutional amendment passed the previous year had eliminated established term limits for the presidency. He was reelected again in 2011 and 2016, although the opposition and international observers noted problems with the polling process in both elections.