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Coronavirus: Museveni heads to isolation, appoints temporary successor

On June 8, 2023, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni announced that he was going on a forced leave after testing positive for coronavirus a day before.

He made the revelation before hundreds of congregants who attended an event where he gave his State of the Nation address at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala.

In his decision after contracting the virus, President Museveni appointed a temporary successor to lead the country as he went into isolation for treatment.

“Ugandans, especially the Bazzukulu (grandchildren). Greetings. Congratulations on the Heroes’ Day of tomorrow and Congratulations on Mwalimu Nyerere’s Prayer Day (the 1st of June) and on Martyrs Day (the 3rd of June). I congratulate the security forces for blocking all the terrorist activities and ensuring that the huge celebrations (like those of the 3rd of June), took place without incident in spite of the terrorists operating in Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, etc.

Also read: Drop Finance Bill and apologise to Kenyans, Raila tells Ruto

“After the very useful interactive retreat in Kyenkwanzi, I was already immersed in the activities in Kampala. However, on Tuesday, I started experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. I ignored the feeling and had my meetings in Entebbe as well as working on my voluminous State of the Nation Address. Yesterday morning, however, I noticed some mild flu-like symptoms in one of the nostrils (the right one). That is when I called my doctors to take samples and rule out Corona. They took three samples- one rapid and two PCRs. The rapid one was negative and so was one of the PCRs. However, one of the PCRs was positive. Taking precautionary measures, I traveled to Kololo, with a separate car from Maama’s car as the samples were taken back for reconfirmation.

“When I came back from Kololo, it was confirmed that I had Corona. I have, therefore, self-isolated at Nakasero and I have delegated my work for today and tomorrow (Heroes’ Day in Luwero) to Prime Minister, Robinah Nabanjja. As everybody knows, I have been very cautious with Corona. However, recently, I had to give up masks because they have been causing me allergic reactions in the eyes and also in the throat.

Also read: What next for President Museveni after testing positive for Covid-19?

“Do you remember when I lost my voice twice during the elections? That is part of the allergy. I have, therefore, got the second forced leave in the last 53 years, ever since 1971, when we started fighting Idi Amin. One other time, was when I had a problem of sinuses and I had to lie low for some days at Mweya. By God’s Grace all is well, and I am only experiencing mild symptoms. However, I always prefer to err on the side of caution and self-isolate for now. God bless all of you,” said President Museveni.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabanjja will take the reins of power instead of Vice President Jessica Alupo. According to the Ugandan constitution, when the President is incapacitated, his Vice President takes over command but in this instance, VP Alupo is currently in Zambia for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) meeting.

This afternoon, I arrived in Lusaka, Zambia, for the 22nd COMESA Heads of State Summit, where I am representing President Museveni. I was received by Eng. Elias Kabango-Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises. I thank the Government of Zambia for the very warm welcome,” said VP Alupo hours after President Museveni made public his test results.

Also read: Museveni, 78, tests positive for coronavirus, attends public event