Customs and traditions
Socializing in Uganda, both in professional
and purely social contexts, is on the one hand more calm
and relaxed and on the other more formal and
hierarchical than in most European countries.
Ugandans spend considerable time getting to know
people you meet, greet and listen to each other's small
talk. It can also mean that you let agreed times pass by
so as not to interfere with the relationship with the
person you are meeting. The tone is normally quiet and
strong feelings are rarely shown in public.
Overview of the capital city of Uganda, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
On the other hand, Ugandans are generally more formal
in other ways. Greeting phrases are exchanged more
carefully and more carefully than is typical in the
West. You are often careful to keep track of hierarchies
and give special attention to the chief executive in a
company - or in other contexts the oldest visitor.
This is also reflected in how workplaces are
organized - the culture is more reminiscent of American
hierarchy and top management than Scandinavian
co-determination. Many businesses have detailed sets of
rules for how things should be handled.
Although customs are changing rapidly and Uganda's
business community today has many features in common
with Westerners, there are still traces of an African
consensus culture, where one would like to negotiate a
solution that everyone can accept.
Traditional customs still remain in the countryside.
For example, in some groups it may mean that women are
very submissive and avoid all eye contact, while it does
not occur anywhere else. In cities, this type of
traditional behavior has largely disappeared.
When it comes to clothing, keep in mind that Ugandans
usually dress up in at least a shirt, tie and trousers
or blouse and skirt, often a suit or suit, for all types
of office work. Many Ugandans are working hard on
elegant and well-worn shoes. A visitor in t-shirt and
shorts looks different.
Typical Ugandan food is some kind of casserole with
vegetables or beans and to the southern typical mashed
cooking banana matoke. Otherwise, rice, cassava and "posho"
are eaten throughout the country, a kind of corn
porridge as a base food. Meat is relatively uncommon,
especially in the north, and goat more common than beef
As Uganda is well into Africa, the country is
dependent on connections to the coast through
neighboring Kenya and Tanzania. Both import and export
goods are mainly shipped via the port city of Mombasa in
Kenya. The goods are transported there by truck and to
some extent by rail. An alternative is the ferry line
across Lake Victoria from Jinja to Mwanza in Tanzania
and from there by rail to the coast.
Since the late 1980s, large aid-financed investments
have been made to improve communications. Nowadays, all
major cities are linked to functioning roads.
There is an international airport in Entebbe, four
miles from Kampala, with direct traffic to Europe and a
number of African cities. In addition, there are ten
The national airline Uganda Airlines has been closed
down, but after several unsuccessful attempts in 2007, a
new national company, called Air Uganda, was formed by
the Aga Khan Foundation. However, the traffic was shut
down in 2014 after the aviation authorities revoked its
license, citing security shortcomings.
In total, there is about 125 miles of railway, but
only a few lanes still have traffic. Long-term plans are
in place to build new rail lines from the coast of Kenya
to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan with the help
of Chinese money. The hope is that it will reduce
transport costs and pave the way for foreign investment.
More than 40 Rwandans are charged with terrorism
Some 40 Rwandans arrested in the Uganda-Tanzania border area are being
indicted for terrorism. The arrested have been resident in Uganda, where they
claim to be active as Christian ministers. However, Rwanda claims that they
belong to the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), an opposition
party formed in exile by people previously allied with Rwanda's President Paul
Kagame, and as the Rwandan regime labeled as a terrorist organization. Rwanda
should be pressured to bring charges against the suspects.
Constitutional change beds for re-election of Museveni
After a three-day and somewhat chaotic debate, Parliament adopts a
controversial constitutional amendment that will abolish the current age limit
of 75 years for presidents. The proposal is adopted by 315 votes to 62. The
amendment reintroduces a rule that says the president can only be re-elected
once. However, the new rule should not start to apply until after the next
presidential election in 2021. The changes open the opportunity for President
Museveni, now 73 years old, to be re-elected a number of times in the future.
The proposal also extends the mandate of MPs from five to seven years. This
means that the next parliamentary elections will be moved forward from the year
2021 to 2023. At the beginning of 2018, the constitutional change will come into
force after it was signed by the president.
Media executives are charged with treason
Eight editors and managers within the Red Pepper group (who publish
newspapers in English and several local languages) are arrested and charged with
"high treason" after publishing texts that Museveni was planning a coup against
his Rwandan colleague Paul Kagame. They run the risk of being sentenced to seven
years in prison. In December, they are released on bail. The trial is scheduled
for January 19, 2018.
Besigye is released to the castle, but is arrested again
Kizza Besigye and several other FDC politicians are released on bail after
being charged with, among other things, for causing violence. However, they only
have to be out of action for five hours before being arrested again, according
to data from FDC representatives.
Opposition politicians are arrested
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye is arrested along with two other high-ranking
FDC politicians. They are accused of causing the deaths of two protesters in
connection with government-critical protests, but also for battering, eliciting
violence and for organizing demonstrations, despite being banned.
Security forces scan offices and seize material from voluntary organizations
that have been involved in organizing the protests.
The US embassy in Uganda criticizes the security forces' harsh methods.
Later, information will come that all MPs have received a lump sum of the
equivalent of $ 8,000 to investigate what residents in their constituencies
think about the planned constitutional change. The opposition criticizes the
decision and calls it an attempt to bribe. Later, at least eight MPs announce
that they have repaid the money.
Two dead in connection with protests against constitutional change
Two people are killed when police fire tear gas and rubber bullets to
disperse protesters in Rukungiri who are protesting against plans to change the
constitution by removing the age limit for the country's president. The protests
have been going on for several days at various locations in the country.
The week before, for the first time during a party meeting, Museveni has
taken a position on the constitutional change.
Death threat to opposition politicians
The bill to abolish the age limit for the president is tabled in Parliament.
Almost no opposition politicians participate in the session, either because they
have been banned from being there or because they boycott it. It must now be
prepared by a parliamentary committee before any decisions can be made. At the
same time, reports that hand grenades have been thrown at the homes of two
opposition politicians. No human being is injured. Both politicians Robert
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (also known as singer Bobi Wine) and Allan Ssewanyana.
Kyagulanyi says he receives death threats daily because of his opposition to the
constitutional change. A government spokesman denies that the government has
anything to do with this. He suggests in the government-run newspaper The Vision
that death can be a way for the opposition to throw down the government.
Protests against constitutional change
Chaos is breaking out again in Parliament when it is debating the question of
the age limit for the president to be abolished. After six hours of debate, the
opposition prevents the Assembly from voting on the matter by singing the
national anthem. The situation leads to several members taking fists to each
other. Once again, President Rebecca Kadaga is forced to cancel the session.
Outside the parliament building, riot police clash with students who defy the
demonstration ban to mark their dissatisfaction. 19 people are arrested,
including opposition leader Kizza Besigye. The proposal to abolish the age limit
is not only criticized by the opposition, but also by religious leaders, a
number of organizations and other parts of the government party. The day after
(September 27), several opposition members are dragged out of Parliament by
civilian-clad security personnel. At least five of them may go to hospitals to
Opposition protests in Parliament delay controversial decision
Uganda's parliament would have voted today to remove the age limit for the
presidential post, but the session is updated before the motion is presented, as
opposition politicians act to delay the process by loud other matters. The
session is postponed to the following week. Outside Parliament there are
protests, despite the fact that the authorities have introduced a demonstration
ban. About ten people are arrested by police.
The NRM plans to cut the age limit for presidential candidates
NRM MPs are voting for the party to submit a bill to erase the age limit for
presidential candidates (it currently runs at age 75). The measure paves the way
for Museveni to be re-elected in the next presidential election in 2021.
There is some uncertainty about how old the president is, but many believe he
was born in 1944, which, by today's rules, would disqualify him as a candidate.
However, there is a certificate of baptism claiming that he was born in 1947.
Museveni is currently in its fifth term as president. Even within NRM, there
are forces that think he has already sat for too long on the presidential post,
but few say it openly. One of them doing so is Theodore Ssekikubo, who is urging
the president to go in honorable forms.
Nearly 6 million children are vaccinated against polio
Uganda launches a vaccination campaign against polio to prevent the disease
from spreading there from neighboring countries South Sudan and Congo-KInshasa.
Nearly 6 million children will be vaccinated.
One million refugees from South Sudan
The number of refugees from South Sudan now amounts to 1 million (see also
Population and languages). Women and children make up about 85 percent of those
who have moved.
56 arrested for illegal meetings
56 members of the opposition movement Democratic Change Forum (FDC) are
arrested by police for participating in illegal meetings. The arrests have taken
place since the political debate was heated after information that the
government wants to change the constitution so that President Museveni can stand
for re-election in 2021. Currently, a presidential candidate can be a maximum of
75 years. Museveni will be 77 years old at the next election.
Livestock deer against border villages
About 20 men in South Sudanese uniforms are accused of cattle raids against
two Ugandan villages, raising fears that the conflict in the neighboring country
risks spreading across the border. They must also have attacked two South
Sudanese refugees living in one of the villages. South Sudan's army denies any
Uganda has at the same time strengthened the security of refugee camps in the
area of concern for armed groups to enter there to kidnap refugees.
Music star wins filling choice
Music star Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known as Bobi Wine, or His
Excellency the ghetto president, wins a seat in Parliament in a campaign
election in Kampala. He is running as an independent candidate, winning the
election by 78 percent of the vote. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu says he wants to be a
voice for change in Uganda and is critical of President Museveni. His song
lyrics have always had a political cap (the single Freedom was banned by the
authorities as soon as it was released in the fall of 2017).
New support for refugee reception, but the money is not enough
Uganda promises $ 358 million in aid to receive refugees from South Sudan,
but the need for money to assist them is far greater. According to the UN
Refugee Agency, Uganda has received 974,000 refugees from neighboring countries.
The UN believes that another half a million South Sudanese will resort to Uganda
until the turn of the year 2017/2018 (see also Population and Languages).
Forces are taken home from the Central African Republic
The Ugandan military announces that the country will withdraw its forces from
the Central African Republic where, among other things, they have been hunting
the leader of the Ugandan rebel movement Lord's Liberation Army (LRA) Joseph
Kony. According to the government, Kony is no longer a threat to the government.
Critical researcher gripped
Scientist Stella Nyanzi is arrested after criticizing President Yoweri
Museveni's wife, Foreign Minister Janet Musaveni, on social media. Nyanzi had
criticized Museveni for breaking a promise to give schoolgirls free religious
Burundian refugees are urged to go home
Ugandan authorities announce that almost 46,000 Burundian refugees will be
sent home. This happens after the Burundi government launched a campaign to urge
Burundians in exile to return to their home country and say it is safe to
return. According to Ugandan Minister of Emergency Management Hillary Onek,
Burundians who refuse to return home will be provided with a three-month visa.
However, the Deputy Minister of Onek's Ministry says that no refugees should be
forced to leave the country against their will.
Presidenton gets advisory role
Museveni's son Muhoozi Kainerugaba is appointed Special Adviser to the
President for Special Military Operations. According to some analysts, this is
because Museveni wants to prepare him for even greater responsibility in the
future. At the same time, the commander who led the operation in Rwenzururu at
the end of 2016 is promoted to new army chief.