Doctors kneel, beg Museveni to extend visionary leadership, action outrages some

The action of a group of doctors kneeling before President Yoweri Museveni and thanking him for his visionary leadership has stirred up a hornet's nest.

On Saturday, during the Patriotism For Youth and Investment Symposium, at Kololo Independence Grounds, the doctors led by the president of Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr Samuel Odongo Oledo knelt down to thank Museveni for his ‘visionary leadership”.

During his speech, Oledo said Museveni had done a great job in transforming Uganda’s health system as well as improving the welfare of medical workers.

”We have upgraded regional referrals hospitals. General hospitals are being upgraded to the standard of regional referral hospitals. Our people can receive services in their specific areas,” Oledo said.

Oledo added, “Your Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, you have been the engine behind the improved welfare of health workers. Right now, the least paid health worker earns Shs.1.4 million from UGX 600,000,”

As a way of appreciating Museveni, Oledo, alongside dozens of doctors clad in their white attire, were seen kneeling before the President.

However, their kneeling has since triggered divided opinions on social media with a section of Ugandans condemning the act.

Below are some of the reactions from social media: 

A one Ugaman tweeted, “Ugandan Doctors begging Museveni to come back in 2026 while kneeling is such a shameful act by Doctors! This is a very dangerous thing where doctors are more involved in politics than the health agenda. I am sure even Kaguta Museveni wondered what these people were doing!! Shame!!“

https://twitter.com/ainbyoo/status/1599297269807054849?s=21

Activist Wafula Oguttu also tweeted, “What has happened to Uganda’s professionals? Why so subservient to politicians? The other day, it was journalists kneeling before the Speaker of Parliament. Now it is the doctors kneeling before Gen Museveni. Why all this humiliation?

Just for money?”

https://twitter.com/wafulaphilip5/status/1599285874767716352?s=21

A one Kyarimpa Exavior, however defended the kneeling, “Do you know how much doctors were earning before? Its museveni who has improved there welfare,” Exavior tweeted.

 

Deputy Lord Mayor, Doreen Nyanjura tweeted, “In the Sudan revolution, Doctors are at the forefront facing off with the military, treating those wounded in the struggle for democracy. Keeping a tally of the dead & telling the world of the toll. In Uganda, they are on their knees begging da despot to oppress us even further! Tomorrow, you will hear them laying down their tools for better working conditions. Oh uganda!”

 

Emmanuel Ainebyona, senior public relations officer, Ministry of Health tweeted, ”In my personal opinion, I think the current UMA president is a politician. His predecessor, Dr Richard Idro was the professional president. Ekwaro Obuku is also a politician but didn't drag the association into his political ambitions. I am not surprised.”

https://twitter.com/ainbyoo/status/1599297269807054849?s=21

 

”The same doctors and their heads who've always been complaining about less salary and poor working conditions in this country were praising Mr Museveni today in Kololo and asked him to return again in 2026. Okay, hopefully we won't see them carrying placards on streets anymore.”

Another one tweeted.

https://twitter.com/joshuabasiima/status/1599109789304299521?s=21

 

UMA defends kneeling gesture

Earlier, UMA defended the kneeling saying the gesture, in no way represented the modus operandi of the association.

”Uganda Medical Association has always engaged with the President Kaguta 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.” UMA said on Twitter.

Recently, President Museveni wondered at the traditional custom, in some cultures, of kneeling for an elder or powerful person. He said he would personally not engage in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxb0F2XO910

Future Privatisation minister Evelyn Anite famously in 2014 knelt at NALI to beg President Museveni to run in the 2016 general election. Museveni would go on to win that content, marking a significant fallout with longtime ally and former prime minister Amama Mbabazi.

 

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