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Museveni blames Pokot for past Olympics failure

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has sensationally accused the Pokot, a tribe in Northern Kenya, of slowing down the success of his country’s athletes on the international stage.

He spoke in Kampala on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, during an event where he rewarded athletes who starred at the just-concluded Olympics in Tokyo.

Uganda finished second, behind Kenya, on the Africa medal table with 2 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 bronze.

While lauding the athletes, Museveni suggested Ugandan athletes would have performed better in the past if not for ‘consistent raids’ by the Pokot.

“Someone was saying it was a miracle for Uganda to perform well at the Olympics,” said Museveni, as reported by Nile Post

“This was not a miracle. The sportsmen are coming out spontaneously by themselves but it is because there is peace. Where it is not a miracle is that all this potential is there and has always been there. Why had it not come out before? One of the things that were missing was peace. In the past, the people of Bukwo couldn’t showcase their talent because of being at the border with Kenya and were being raided by Pokot in Kenya and Karimojong,” he said.

The ex-guerrilla leader rewarded the winning athletes with houses and cars but also conceded his country’s budget cannot match the ‘billions’ Kenya was using to invest in her athletes.

“It is my small way to support without billions of Kenya. I am busy building the foundation,” he said.

It is the second time Museveni is publicly blaming the Pokot for curtailing his country’s growth.

In 2013, he accused the community of stealing his cows.

“On a lighter note, when I arrived here today, I was offered an MP from Pokot to escort me. These people from Pokot have been stealing my cows. So I have agreed with him, and also wish to ask President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure the Pokot stop stealing my cows,” said Museveni, during President Kenyatta’s inauguration in Nairobi.

Museveni’s latest comments come barely a week after Deputy President William Ruto was barred from travelling to Uganda in a move that raised a minor diplomatic storm.