Hours after Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was forced out after 37 years in power, Uganda’s president, another former guerrilla in office for more than three decades, was tweeting about pay rises for civil servants and bright prospects for his army tank crews.
Supporters of long-serving African leaders dismiss parallels with Zimbabwe, where Mugabe’s former deputy – sacked during a power struggle with Mugabe’s wife – is about to take power with military and public backing.
But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s tweets, which come amid rising anger at the 73-year-old’s attempts to prolong his rule, suggest he is one of several African leaders looking south and wondering about their own stability.
“Now that the economic situation in Uganda is improving, the government will be able to look into raising of salaries of soldiers, public servants, health workers and teachers and also deal with institutional housing,” Museveni tweeted on Wednesday.
It was unclear what improvement he meant. Uganda’s faltering economy is growing too slowly to absorb a booming population of 37 million. The number of citizens spending less than a dollar a day has surged to 27 percent, the statistics office reported in September, up from 20 percent five years ago.