Kneeling down before Museveni divides doctors in Uganda

President Museveni, UMA President Samuel Oledo take a picture with medical practitioners in Kampala.

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has distanced itself from actions by some of its members after the association's president Samuel Oledo begged Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election in 2026.

On Saturday, December 3, during a state function in Kampala, Oledo led medics to kneel before President Museveni, asking him to run for a seventh term in Uganda's next elections.

"Your Excellency [President Museveni], thank you. You have uplifted us (medical practitioners). We kneel before you after assessing that you are capable. We have assessed that you have the power. You have everything needed. Help us, and contest again in 2026, and take us ahead as you secure our future. We want Uganda to reach where God expects it to be," said Oledo as quoted by Uganda's Daily Monitor.

UMA's Vice-President Edith Nakku and the association's Secretary-General Herbert Luswata have said Oledo's actions did not receive the blessings of the union, and that the UMA president's remarks were his personal views.

"Uganda Medical Association dissociates itself from any and all partisan political actions or acts, and it's constitutionally required to do so. UMA is committed to remain neutral and to serve all Ugandan doctors and persons from all the political dispensations in Uganda and globally," said a statement signed by Nakku and Luswata.

"The current UMA president attended the particular meeting in his personal capacity, but not as UMA [representative], and his communications at that meeting were not representing the official position(s) of UMA," added the UMA officials.

UMA President Oledo is now under pressure to step down over his Saturday remarks.

UMA's top leadership further claims that the association's members did not accompany Oledo to Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, "but he was accompanied by nurses and students".

UMA is a national body that brings together over 7, 000 Ugandan doctors to ensure their welfare and career needs are met by their employers.