By our reporter
KAMPALA – November 10, 203_
Uganda’s longest-serving leader, Yoweri Museveni has died. News reaching our East Africa bureau indicates that the 91-year-old former guerrilla passed on peacefully in his sleep.
Since taking power in 1986, through a protracted guerrilla war, Museveni has been at the helm of the East African country, making him one of the longest-serving leaders in the world.
Confirming the news to our reporter, Duncan Abigaba the government spokesperson and minister for Information called for calm as the country mourns the passing of its longest-serving president. “It is a sad moment, not only for Uganda but Africa and the world as a whole for us to lose President Museveni,” said Mr Abigaba. “He has been a pillar for stability and peace in our region and the Horn of Africa,” he continued.
Museveni died in the middle of his eighth term of office, having scrapped age limits in the country’s constitution two decades ago to allow him to rule for life.
Many commentators are still tight-lipped about who might succeed the veteran leader, with many fearing that the army and Museveni’s relatives might want to influence the process.
Following the constitution, however, Vice President Jimmy Akena will assume the reigns and prepare the country for polls in January. Akena is the son of Milton Obote, Uganda’s two-time president who was overthrown in 1985 before dying in exile in 2005.
Akena is widely looked at as a consensus candidate since he comes from the Lango tribe in the north of the country, a region that has historically been marginalized under Museveni.
The biggest hurdle Vice President Akena faces, however, is uniting the army commanded by General Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Muhoozi is the deceased president’s eldest son and the country’s longest serving army commander.
Akena, however, has the backing of parliament led by speaker Anna Adeke and the prime minister, veteran politician, Nobert Mao.
The streets of the capital, Kampala, remained calm Tuesday as news filtered in that Museveni had passed on. Robert Musisi, a trader, said, “It is a sad moment for the country. Museveni has been such a strong pillar of unity.” He hoped that the army would respect the constitution and not cause chaos.
Mariam Namirimu a businesswoman in Nakasero was less optimistic, “I have already called my husband in Nairobi to prepare for our arrival. I will take the train tomorrow with the kids and follow the events from there. I cannot stay here!”
Regional leaders react to the news
Condolence messages continue to stream in from world leaders. Kenyan President Gideon Moi tweeted: “My sincere condolences to our Ugandan brothers and sisters on the passing of your President! Mungu amlaze Mzee pema peponi!”
Former Rwandan president Paul Kagame also sent his condolences. A statement from his spokesperson read, “President Kagame is saddened to learn of the news of the passing of his mentor, comrade and friend Yoweri Museveni. He condoles with the people of Uganda.”
Other world leaders who have sent their condolence messages include President Julius Malema of South Africa, the UK prime minister Chuka Umunna, among others.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be made public but a source close to the Museveni family who preferred to speak off the record intimated to this reporter that burial might be delayed by several days to allow for family members abroad to attend.
It remains unknown whether Museveni’s exiled son-in-law Odrek Rwabwogo will return to the country to take part in the burial. Rwabwogo was forced into exile in 2026 after unsuccessfully running against Museveni in the polls that he claims he won. He faces charges of treason and terrorism and it remains to be seen if he will take part in the polls next year.
The events described above are fictitious and are an object of the author’s imagination.