President Yoweri Museveni has so far posted twice on his face book account thanking Parliament and Ugandans for giving him an audience as he made the State of the Nation address. Analysts have interpreted this as a sign that Mr. Museveni had anticipated some embarrassing moments or a boycott of the function.
“After 31 years in power Museveni must be grateful to Ugandans who can still afford him an audience” said the Opposition Jeema President Asuman Basalirwa when the SpearNews sought for his comment. He added that after ALL THOSE YEARS in power there is a visiual and audio fagitue of the person of Mr. Museveni among Ugandans.
“Mzee no longer takes people’s support for granted, that is why he interacts with them more often than before” one of the aides to the President who requested for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on this matter told the SpearNews.
“ State house is aware of Opposition MPs who deliberately kept away from yesterday’s function to cause embarrassment to the President and NRM lazy MPs who don’t realize the importance of giving the President a befitting audience”, the aide said.
He added that State house and the President’s Office are happy that there was no walkout or other embarrassing moments to the president during this year’s State of the Nation, something that shows a good working relationship with the two sides of the house.
Last year Mr. Museveni faced hard time on the day of the State of the Nation address when opposition MPs raised placards demanding for the release of Dr. Kizza Besigye who had been exiled to Moroto and later imprisoned at Luzira for treason.
On that day MPs including first timers Allan Ssewanyana of Makindye,Munyagwa Mubarak of Kawempe South and Francis Mujwike walked out on the President while Bakireke Betty Nambooze, Mukono Municipality walked out on the President on the budget day two days later.
This time round many of the “notorious opposition MPs” were absent from the Serena sitting of Parliament or those who appeared remained silent throughout the function.
Earlier in the day, opposition MPs led by their deputy chief whip Roland Mugume had told the press that Museveni had to lay before the house his exit plan since he is about to clock the 75 constitutional age limit for presidency. ” Today,Museveni must tell us, when and how he is going”, Mugume told the Media a few hours before the Serena meeting. The same MP sat quietly and attentively throughout Museveni’s speech.
Museveni first posted at 18.04 saying that “I thank Parliament and all Ugandans for giving me audience” and then 47 minutes later he posted again “Once again I thank Parliament and Ugandans for the audience”. On the first note of thanks he attached his full speech while on the latter he attached photographs taken by his team during the function.