A group of doctors drawn from the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) over the weekend were seen kneeling before long-time President Yoweri Museveni while pleading with him to contest for a seventh term.
Led by their leader Samuel Odong Oledo the doctors who had attended a patriotism symposium in the capital, Kampala, knelt before the president, according to media footage of the event and begged him (Museveni) to contest in the next general elections due in 2026.
In his speech, Odongo praised the president for transforming the country’s health system and improving the welfare of medical workers.
“Your excellency, thank you. You have uplifted us (medical practitioners). We kneel before you after assessing that you are capable. We have assessed that you have the power. You have everything needed. Help us and contest again in 2026 and take us ahead as you secure our future. We want Uganda to reach where God expects it to be,” Dr Oledo said.
The 78-year-old leader has been in power since 1986 when he shot his way to State House through guerrilla warfare.
The gesture sparked controversy on social media, with many accusing the group of being subservient to politicians.
But in a tweet, the UMA distanced itself from the gesture, saying it did not “represent modus operandi of the association”.
It said: “Uganda Medical Association has always engaged with Museveni through formal, professional ways including appreciating him through our annual awards.”
“The act of kneeling by Dr Oledo and the team doesn’t represent Modus Operandi of the Association.”
Oledo’s deputy, Edith Nakku-Jolaba and the association’s secretary general, Herbert Luswata say he (Oledo) attended the meeting and made remarks in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the association.
Luswata said they earlier engaged Dr Oledo and asked him to issue a public apology in writing but he declined, something that reportedly left some members of the association more infuriated.
“The members are already calling for an extraordinary assembly so that they can cast a vote of no confidence. According to the constitution we have, NEC can initiate the meeting, however, the members can also write to me as secretary general asking for this extraordinary assembly. I have not seen any other official documents from our members, apart from phone calls and WhatsApp messages,” Dr Luswata stated.
ICYMI: Uganda Medical Association (@TheUMAofficial) members led by their President @dr_oledo on Saturday knelt before President @KagutaMuseveni and asked him to contest again in 2026#MonitorUpdates
📹 @ntvuganda pic.twitter.com/eEspY0V76s— Daily Monitor (@DailyMonitor) December 5, 2022