Munyaradzi Huni recently in Kampala, Uganda
UGANDAN President Yoweri Museveni yesterday branded the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a “bunch of useless people who should not be taken seriously.” His sentiments echoes that of President Mugabe who last year attacked the ICC.
Speaking during his swearing — in ceremony yesterday at the Kololo Ceremonial Ground, where President Mugabe received a thunderous ovation after being introduced to the crowd, the Ugandan leader attacked the ICC that has been accused of being biased against African leaders.
President Museveni introduced the leader of Sudan Omar al-Bashir who last year had to hurriedly leave the African Union Summit in South Africa to avoid arrest over alleged war crimes charges pressed by the ICC.
When he left SA, President Mugabe, who was at the time the AU chairman, attacked the ICC saying: “This is not the headquarters of the ICC; we don’t want it in this region at all.”
Yesterday, President Museveni spoke in reference to the incident saying Africa should not take the ICC seriously.
“When they started, we used to take the ICC serious but not anymore. They are a bunch of useless people who should not be taken serious. We have no business with ICC and so we welcome our brother from Sudan President al-Bashir,” he said to wild cheers from the crowd that packed the ground.
Later, the crowd went into a frenzy as President Mugabe walked to take his seat in the VIP tent, with some Ugandans heard shouting: “This is the President of Africa!”
President Museveni went on to describe President Mugabe as “our Mzee” and the cheers grew even louder.
President Museveni won the February 18, 2016 elections by 60 percent while his main challenger Kizza Besigye garnered 35 percent.
Zimbabwe and Uganda enjoy cordial relations as President Museveni has come out openly supporting the country’s land reform programme and castigating Western governments for ostracising and demonising President Mugabe.
Uganda was granted independence by Britain in 1962. President Museveni came into power in 1986 through his National Resistance Movement.
When he took over power, Mr Museveni appointed a government from across ethnic lines, re-established the rule of law and set up a Human Rights Commission. Foreign investment and tourism were encouraged by this move and Uganda’s economy began to grow.
President Museveni won a presidential election in 1996 and again in 2001.
In 2006, full democracy returned with multi-party elections and Mr Museveni remained president by popular vote. In February 2011, he again won elections in that country.
Meanwhile, President Mugabe returned home yesterday and was welcomed at the Harare International Airport by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, several Government ministers and service chiefs.