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President of Uganda - the Fountain of Honour

It is important to learn and know about the President of Uganda as you go along with learning about the functions of the state to fully understand how Uganda operates. Interestingly this will give you an apposite glimpse into Ugandan politics.

Uganda is a republic and the President is the Head of State; which is the equivalent of a Prime Minister in the parliamentary system of government.

He/ She is the head of government and at the same time the Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces and the Fountain of honour. He/ She is in charge of the executive arm of government.

Who is the current President of Uganda?

The current Head of State is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He has been in power since 1986 when he took power through a military coup after the famous Ugandan bush war (1981 - 1986). With a new constitution in place in 1995, he won the first election in 1996 and he has since won the subsequent ones in 2001, 2006 and the very recent in 2011.

image placeholder Y K Museveni, President of Uganda (1986 - to date). Photo by US Army Africa

How does one become Head of State?

The Head of State gets elected every five years by universal adult suffrage through a secret ballot. All persons of 18 years and above are eligible to vote and do vote for the Head of State.

It is important to note that Uganda is now under the Multi-party system and therefore for one to stand as Head of State, he/ she must be nominated/ seconded through his/ her party and supported by at least 100 voters in each of at least two-thirds of all districts in Uganda.

Otherwise he/ she stand as an independent candidate but who will also be required to show evidence of support by at least 100 voters in each of at least two-thirds of all districts in Uganda. .

Upon meeting all requirements, the Electoral Commission will then declare him/ her a candidate.

After the votes are cast and counted, he/ she will only be declared elected as Head of State if the number of votes cast in his/ her favour is more than 50% of the valid votes cast at the election.

In the event that no one obtains the more than 50% as required to be declared elected, a second election is organised within 30 days in which the two candidates who obtained the highest number of votes are the only candidates.

Following the second election, the candidate with the highest number of valid votes cast in his/ her favour is declared elected.

Please also note that; otherwise, in the event that only one candidate is nominated after the close of nominations, the Electoral Commission shall declare that person elected unopposed.

The person elected Head of State assumes office within 24 hours after the expiration of the term of the predecessor; which is precisely within 24 hours after being declared elected.

He/ She holds office for a term of 5 years and he/ she may be elected for one or more terms in future.

What are the Functions of the Head of State?

Among others, the executive authority of Uganda is vested in him/her which he/she performs while following the constitution of Uganda and the laws of Uganda.

The Head of State is also tasked with abiding by, upholding and preserving the constitution and the laws of Uganda but also to promote the welfare of the Ugandan citizens together with protecting the territorial integrity of Uganda.

He/She also nominates the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Ministers and their deputies, which names are vetted and approved by parliament for appointment.

Carefully studying and knowing about the government of Uganda and the responsibilities of the Head of State puts you ahead of the game in what Uganda is all about. Pick up you facts well and Uganda is yours to enjoy.

Fun facts;

image placeholder Idi Amin, President (1971 - 1979)

Did you know that?

....Uganda Celebrates 50 years of independence this year - 2012 (1962 - 2012)

....Since Independence - 9th October 1962, Uganda has had 9 heads of State including: Idi Amin (1971 - 1979)among others. The current President (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni) is the longest serving (1986 - to date).

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