• Mon Nov 16 2020
  • Push-ups on campaign trail: Museveni shows his 'stamina'

NRM presidential flagbearer Yoweri Museveni says it is possible to be young, with much vigor, but confused - and old but clear-headed.
Joseph Kizza
Journalist @ New vision
NRM presidential flagbearer Yoweri Museveni says it is possible to be young, with much vigor, but confused - and old but clear-headed.


At the conclusion of his first week on the presidential campaign trail, NRM's flagbearer President Yoweri Museveni demonstrated his "stamina" on Sunday by doing a couple of push-ups in front of a group of youth supporters in Arua, and later underlining how it is possible to be "old but clear-headed".


Museveni, 75, is seeking another term at the helm of Uganda's leadership and this time around, he has mostly new faces challenging his quest for the top seat, with DP's Norbert Mao the only candidate he has faced in previous elections.

The newcomers are FDCs' Patrick Oboi Amuriat, NUP's Robert Kyagulanyi, ANT's Gen. Mugisha Muntu, and independent candidates Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Nancy Kalembe, John Katumba, Joseph Kabuleta, Willy Mayambala and Fred Mwesigye completing the 11-strong cast.

At 24, Katumba is the youngest presidential candidate in Uganda's history.

And as the candidates wrapped up their busy week-one campaign itineraries, the incumbent (Museveni) yet again underlined his credentials for the 2021 vote by providing a physical demonstration of his capabilities.

While meeting youth leaders from Lango sub-region at Muni University in Arua city,  the NRM leader, wearing a yellow shirt and dark pants plus his trademark hat, went down on the well-manicured green turf and did push-ups amid cheers and ululations from his watching audience.

In a 36-second video he posted on his official Twitter account on Monday, some of the youths in the audience are seen nodding in affirmation and others getting on their feet to cheer Museveni on during that moment amid chants of "NRM Oyee!"

Just like the President, all of them are seen with face masks on as Uganda and the world at large continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. On the campaign trail, Museveni has reiterated the need for Ugandans to continue observing the standard operating procedures, which include the wearing of masks.

'Stay fit, healthy and sharp in ideology'

At the end of his performance, many in the crowd are seen flashing the thumbs-up sign, part as a demonstration of their loyalty to the ruling party and part as an apparent gesture of approval for Museveni's ability to lead the nation for another term.

The President later tweeted on Monday: "My engagement with youth from the Lango sub-region took a more physical approach as I appealed to them to spend their youthful lives constructively; by staying fit, healthy, & sharp in ideology.  It is possible to be young, with much vigor,  but confused;  old but clear-headed."

The President has twice previously drawn local and international attention with his push-up videos during the lockdown that confined millions of Ugandans in their homes.

In April this year, he walked the talk after promising to show Ugandans how they can do workout indoors as opposed to doing so out in public spaces, which he had repeatedly warned would accelerate the spread of the coronavirus.

At the time, wearing sweat pants, Museveni did dozens of pushups inside his spacious office at State House, and soon after posting that video on his social media pages, his followers took instant interest, with many trying out yet another so-called 'Museveni challenge'.

He would do the same a couple of weeks later in clear emphasis of his workout indoors message.

This time around, on Sunday, his performance was more of a political statement: "The Bazzukulu asked that I show them 'stamina'," reads the caption to his video. And he did just that.

Meanwhile, the campaigns have entered a second week, with each of the candidates seeking to dig deeper for those crucial votes.

The Museveni campaign team is kicking off the week in Acholi sub-region.


Working out indoors: President Museveni walks the talk