Ugandan President Museveni hosts Asantehene

BY: Kwame Asare Boadu
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II last Wednesday was the guest of President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II last Wednesday was the guest of President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last Wednesday,  received the Asantehene,  Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the State House, the elegant official residence of the President at Entebbe, 40km outside the capital Kampala.

The 74-year-old Ugandan strongman who has been in power for 32 years and is eligible to seek re-election in the next presidential elections in 2021 following a recent Ugandan Constitutional Court ruling that scrapped presidential age limit of 75, displayed a deep knowledge about Ghana especially its politics and said he was elated to receive the Asantehene who he described as "a great king."

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Otumfuo Osei Tutu was in Uganda as Special Guest at the 25th coronation anniversary of the Buganda King, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. 

He was accompanied to the State House by his host the Kabaka and Buganda and Prime Minister, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga. 

Also in attendance were a number of Chiefs from Asanteman including the Juabenhene and Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II.


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Mr Museveni who in Uganda carries the pride of restoring the Buganda Kingship in 1993 after it was abolished by President Milton Obote, was in South Africa attending an international summit and therefore could not participate in the 25th anniversary of the Kabaka last Tuesday in Kampala.

Preserving tradition and custom 

The Uganda leader touched on the role Kingdoms play in the preservation of culture and tradition of people and commended African traditional leaders for their role in that respect.

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“As governments are busy focusing on roads and other such infrastructure developments, cultural leaders play the important role of preserving customs and the identities of the people. I welcome the Ashanti King to Uganda and wish him a fruitful stay here,” he said. 

Democracy
He stated that so long as democracy held sway in Uganda, the people were entitled to what they legitimately wanted.
"That is why we amended the Constitution, Article 246. We fought for the people and if the people want something, we give it to them," he said in reference to the restoration of the Buganda Kingdom.
After the meeting with the Asantehene, Museveni posted on his twitter handle: "Ashanti King, Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, and Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi paid a courtesy call on me at State House Entebbe.  I congratulate Kabaka Mutebi on his 25th coronation anniversary where Asantehene was a special guest." 

Fond memories 
President Museveni recalled his visit to Ghana during Rawlings' administration and said it was a refreshing memory.
He said political leaders must not spill blood in the quest to win or maintain power. 

Otumfuo grateful 
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was grateful to Mr Museveni for restoring the Buganda Kingship and the cooperation he had built with the Kabaka, which he said was a vehicle for unity and development of Uganda.
He commended Mr Museveni for his relentless fight against HIV/AIDS  in Uganda.
Touching on the friendship between him and Kabaka Mutebi, the Asantehene said it was rooted in history as his grand uncle, King Prempeh I  and Kabaka Mutebi 's great grandfather, met in the Seychelles where they were exiled to by the British colonial administration. 
The Asantehene said Africa could turn round it's development challenges if corruption was checked. 
Otumfuo Osei Tutu extended an invitation to Mr Museveni to visit Ghana, to which he responded positively.