A video of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni handing brown envelopes to elderly people who kneel before him has provoked criticism online.
It appears to have been tweeted first by a digital consultant who was taking part in Mr Museveni’s six-day march through the jungle, which started on 5 January.
The president is retracing his forces’ 1986 route, when they seized power after the fall of Idi Amin and Milton Obote.
The video shows people singing and banging a drum and the president sitting down and being handed a brown envelope from an aide. An old man walks up and kneels in front of the president and Mr Museveni hands him the brown envelope. Two more elderly people follow and he gives them brown envelopes also.
The commentary on the video doesn’t appear to criticise the situation, instead just commenting on exactly who the president will and won’t give brown envelopes to:
.@KagutaMuseveni says he won”™t give all the people in areas which helped him win bush war battles brown envelopes. He adds that these are exclusive only to very few elderly people he”™ll meet on his #M7Trek. #AfrikaKwetu pic.twitter.com/EPg0UedDHH
— Sir Arthur (@digitaldidan) January 7, 2020
But less than an hour later, Kizza Besigye, who is expected to stand against Mr Museveni in the presidential election in 2021, retweeted the video saying it was humiliating to veterans:
After 34 yrs of NRM/M7 Junta, this is what our people have been reduced to:
Kneeling before Ssabagabe(“King of Kings”) in a line to get a small handout in brown envelop!
— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) January 7, 2020
The video has continued to draw comment a day after it was originally tweeted. Another tweeter suggested the president was giving out the hand-outs to ensure people voted for him:
Museveni’s way to the 2021 elections in a snapshotðŸ‘‡.
Lord have mercy! pic.twitter.com/61nLcdejPs
— Hanging_with_my_gnomies (@hilary422) January 7, 2020
A human rights lawyer tweeted that this video exposed the level of poverty in Uganda:
Good Morning Uganda-a Ctry where ruler has come face to face with the POVERTY he has presided over in his 34 year rule on his #AfrikaKwetuTrek #M7Trek . Whereas president claims that he is directly intervening in helping his war collaborators, VERDICT is out on ENTRENCHED POVERTY pic.twitter.com/AU8H9DC17y
— Bireete Sarah (@SarahBireete) January 8, 2020
Mr Museveni did not tweet the video, instead his latest tweet thanks people who have joined him on the march:
To the Bazukulu who joined me on this #M7Trek, I am happy that you now know some history and have felt a bit of how much people really sacrificed for the collective gains of this country. I thank you. pic.twitter.com/U9mFjgw9Lz
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) January 8, 2020
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.
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