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Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni on six-day march through jungle

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is on a six-day march through the jungle, walking 195 km (121 miles).

President Museveni, 75, has been in power since 1986
President Museveni, 75, has been in power since 1986

He is retracing his forces’ 1986 route, when they seized power after the fall of Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

Critics have dismissed the march as a stunt ahead of Uganda’s elections next year, when Mr Museveni is expected to seek a sixth term in office.

Mr Museveni, 75, is facing a challenge from pop star Bobi Wine, who portrays himself as a champion of the poor.

Mr Museveni will end his march in the western town of Birembo, the site of one of the fiercest battles between Mr Museveni’s rebels and then-President Obote’s troops, on 10 January.

The president’s senior press secretary, Don Wanyama, told AFP news agency: “This is a journey that the president is leading, a journey through the past to appreciate the present.

“The journey will take a week through the jungle, a route the liberators led by Museveni took to liberate the country.”

Mr Museveni began his march on Saturday.

He tweeted a photo of crowds of people lining the road to greet him, saying they gave him “nostalgic memories”

Mr Museveni is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

In December, he said he had been on a diet to lose 30kg (4st 7lb), and he intended to remain at his current weight of 76kg because it matched his height of 1.7m (5ft 7ins).

Mr Wine – whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi – told AFP that the president’s walk was “wasteful”.

“My advice is, rather than spending taxpayers’ money on such trips, Museveni should know time is up for him to leave power,” Mr Wine said. “The time for hoodwinking peasants has passed him.”

Opposition MP Asuman Basalirwa also called the march a “campaigning tool”.

“Ugandans deserve better than a president walking through a jungle,” he said.

“Time spent should be used for other important issues affecting the country, especially how he plans to hand over power.” BBC News