A group of doctors in Uganda caused a stir over the weekend after kneeling before long-time President Yoweri Museveni and asking him to stand for a seventh term.

The 78-year-old leader has been in power since 1986. The next general elections are due in 2026.

Uganda proposed a 100 percent pay rise for medical and health workers in 2022 budget

The doctors representing the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) had attended a patriotism symposium in the capital, Kampala, when they were led by their leader to kneel before the president, according to media footage of the event.

In his speech, UMA boss Dr Samuel Odongo Oledo praised the president for transforming the country’s health system and improving the welfare of medical workers, the Nile Post news site reports.

He went ahead to ask President Museveni to vie again in 2026 as a presidential candidate, the NTV television station reports.

Social embed from twitter

The gesture sparked controversy on social media, with many accusing the group of being subservient to politicians.

But in a tweet, the UMA distanced itself from the gesture, saying it did not “represent modus operandi of the association”.

It said: “Uganda Medical Association has always engaged with the president through formal, professional ways including appreciating him through our annual awards.”

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Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles