Uganda elections 2021: How ex-rebel Yoweri Museveni has stayed in power for 35 years

By Patience Atuhaire
BBC News, Kampala

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Ugandans under the age of 35 – and that is more than three-quarters of the population – have only known one president.

Yoweri Museveni, who came to power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, has defied the political laws of gravity which have felled other long-serving leaders in the region.

The 76-year-old's time at the top has been accompanied by a long period of peace and big developmental changes for which many are grateful. But he has managed to maintain his grip on power through a mixture of encouraging a personality cult, employing patronage, compromising independent institutions and sidelining opponents.

During the last election five years ago when he addressed the issue of him stepping down, he asked: "How can I go out of a banana plantation I have planted that has started bearing fruits?"

For this revolutionary the harvest is still not over.

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