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President back from Uganda

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe this week trav- elled to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to attend the inauguration of that country’s President Yoweri Museveni. President Museveni was sworn in yester- day, for another five-year presidential term, after winning February’s elections with 68 percent of the votes. He won the elections ahead of opposition leaders, Kizza Besigye, who was once his medical doctor; Olara Otunnu of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Nobert Mao of the Democratic Party (DP). President Museveni has for the past 25 years been taking stern measures to prevent unrest similar to that witnessed in the Arab world. The leader has held the country together to give the country’s nationals a peaceful era from that of Idi Amin which was character- ised by gunshots and roadblocks. President Museveni has also embarked on a massive rebuilding of major highways and transport corridors into the countryside hav- ing allocated over US$700 million for exer- cise in the national budget. He is viewed by many Ugandans as being very much in touch with the people and al- most everyone agrees that he did a fantastic job for the country for much of his time in office. President Museveni also initiated a sub- stantial economic liberalisation and general Press freedom, and instituted economic re- forms in accord with the International Mon- etary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments. His country’s bilateral relations with other countries in the region and beyond have gen- erally been good. In appreciation of his cordial relations with other leaders, close to 18 Heads of State were in Uganda for the inau- guration. They included Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki, Ethiopian Prime Min- ister, Meles Zenawi and Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete in a colour- ful ceremony that was held at the Ko- lolo Ceremonial Grounds. Ugandanauthoritiesdeclared Thursday a national holiday in order to allow Ugandan people to attend the swearing- in ceremony. President Mugabe, who returned from Uganda yesterday, was accom- panied by the Minister of Foreign Af- fairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and the Permanent Secretary in the Min- istry of Media, Information and Pub- licity, George Charamba, among other dignitaries.

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