Top Ugandan doctor defends kneeling before president

The image of doctors kneeling before the president

The head of the Ugandan Medical Association, a grouping of Ugandan medics, has told the BBC that he has not resigned, despite reports that he had agreed to step aside.

Dr Samuel Odongo Oledo says he committed no crime in kneeling before President Yoweri Museveni to ask him to stand again for the presidency in 2026.

“I have nothing to apologise for,” he said.

Dr Oledo says he only agreed that the association’s ethics committee carry out investigations into his conduct. This process should take a week.

A video showing him with a group of mostly student doctors kneeling before President Museveni last week has been the subject of online conversations in Uganda for days.

“There is no crime in respecting the fountain of honour. We ought to thank the president for increasing the salaries of medics of all cadres. That is why I feel he should continue his work,” he told the BBC.

The surgeon says that he was a card-carrying member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party before he was elected president of the medical association, and all his colleagues have always been aware of his political affiliation.

But Dr Herbert Luswata, the association’s secretary general, insists that their group is non-partisan and that the president agreed to step aside.

Dr Luswata said that many of the doctors in the group who knelt before the president had not been informed of what they were going to participate in and were caught unawares.

Although President Museveni, who is currently serving his sixth term in office has not yet announced whether he will run in 2026, several groups have already endorsed him as their candidate of choice.


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