, KAMPALA, Uganda, Feb 21 – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday celebrated extending his three decades in power with a walk with his beloved cows, dismissing opposition claims of poll rigging and criticism by the international community.
Uganda’s veteran leader was declared the winner of the country’s presidential election with 60 percent of the vote on Saturday, far ahead of the 35 percent won by detained opposition chief Kizza Besigye, whose house was surrounded by police in riot gear as the results were announced.
“The opposition are not leaders, they are just demagogues, liars, just talking, talking,” the 71-year-old Museveni said Sunday in a speech broadcast from his home in western Uganda, his first comments since winning.
Besigye, who was arrested three times in the past week, and whose party headquarters were stormed on Friday by police firing tear gas, has slammed the results as a fraud and appealed to the international community not to recognise them.
In contrast with the images of Besigye’s besieged home, pictures released by the government showed a relaxed Museveni walking with his long-horn cattle and chatting with their herders, wielding a stick and wearing his familiar wide-brimmed hat.
“Besigye cannot be allowed to disturb our peace,” Museveni later told reporters, speaking from the garden of his rural home.