The President of Uganda has been in power for thirty years. THIRTY. President Yoweri Museveni assumed officed (whatever that means) in January 1986, and with him gunning for another term in this month's election, Ugandans on Twitter started the hashtag #1986pictures to show snapshots of what life was like back then. This hastag is a clear, yet not overly provocative, way of saying it’s been too damn long since ole boy has been in office. In 1986 Princess Diana had just given birth, Regan was President, Mandela was still in jail, so many changes in our world's socio-political environment yet here we are in Africa with the same President's 30 years later.
In 1986 Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) took power after years of guerrilla fighting that eventually toppled Ugandan leader Idi Amin. He then gave a speech to a crowd of thousands of hopeful Ugandans outside of the parliament: he promised to rule for only four years, then hand over power to a civilian-led government. He said the people of Uganda and all Africa were entitled to democratic governance and he asked Ugandans not to put him in the category of those who are power hungry. WELP, African Twitter wanted to reminds the world that 30 years later, he was still in office .
And I personally hate having to deal with Twitter and hashtags, but I LOVE the ability for Africans all over the continent and the diaspora, to create these powerful movements based on their lived realities and what THEY want to see change. The internet is a beautiful thing. Now will this twitter campaign cleary addressing presidential term limits (or a lack thereof) resonate with the Museveni's, Mugabe's, and Biya's of the world? Uhh probably not, but it will strike a cord with the millions of young Africans connected to Twitter, and with leadership, twitter campaigns could spark revolutions right? We shall see who wins this years Ugandan election.