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Uganda President: 'I Love Trump'


Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, center in military uniform, greets relatives of prison wardens during a graduation ceremony in the capital Kampala, Jan. 18, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump's comments may have angered many African leaders, but not Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, who says he loves Trump's blunt honesty, and thinks the United States has a great president.

President Museveni got legislators from the East African Community laughing when he said he loved Trump.

Earlier this month, President Trump allegedly called Haiti and some countries in Africa an expletive, while discussing the subject of immigrants going to the United States. While some African countries such as Nigeria and South Africa reacted by summoning U.S. ambassadors to explain the insulting comment, Uganda's Museveni instead had praise for Trump.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House in Washington, Jan. 10, 2018.
FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House in Washington, Jan. 10, 2018.

"America has got one of the best presidents ever, Mr Trump. I love Trump. I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly," said Museveni. "I do not know whether he is misquoted or whatever, but when he speaks I like him, because he speaks frankly. The Africans need to solve their problems. They need to be strong, in the world you cannot survive if you are weak."

Museveni is not the only Trump fan in Uganda. Local radio presenter James Onen, who is known for his controversial comments, says many Africans believe their countries are the word Trump used, because many of the best and brightest flee the continent for better opportunities.

He thinks, however, that Museveni's comment was ironic. After all, he says, if African countries are bad places to live, is not that the fault of those in charge?

"So, it is almost an admission of his own failings," said Onen. "But, secondly I think President Museveni also is being strategic, he understands that by being in the good books of Trump, it might mean better things and less problems for him down the road."

Uganda's representative to the East African Legislative Assembly, Susan Nakawuki, agreed with Museveni's comments, but says the challenge with Africa is that it does not have opportunities such as Western countries.

"We should not leave outsiders to come and try to provide solutions to us. Because when you give them that opportunity they come with their stringent conditions," said Nakawuki. "So, all these people would come to us with all these favors and what not. They expect something in return, maybe in terms of investments. So, I entirely agree, Africa is full of very smart people, only that we do not have sometimes the opportunities that people in the first world do have."

Museveni may have praised Trump for his comment, but Uganda's Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga did not let the comment slide.

While meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac on Tuesday, she asked what Trump meant by his uncomplimentary remarks. Ambassador Malac described the comments as disturbing and upsetting.

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