President Lazarus Chakwera has congratulated US president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris on their inauguration on Wednesday but has been silent on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s re-election in last Thursday’s presidential polls that his closest challenger Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has vowed to contest in court.
Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” and summoning American resilience and unity to confront the deeply divided nation’s historic confluence of crises.
In a congratulatory message posted on his official Facebook account, Chakwera says: “We wish you and the American people success in your noble quest to make your country a more perfect union.”
At age 78, Biden is the oldest president inaugurated and the second Catholic president of the US – after John F Kennedy .
Biden took the oath at a U.S. Capitol that had been battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks earlier. Then, taking his place in the White House Oval Office.
Donald Trump – who has not formally conceded the presidency to Biden – snubbed the inauguration ceremony, in a departure from longstanding precedent.
But before leaving the White House, Trump wished the incoming “great success” and promised his supporters that he “would be back in some form”.
He said in a Fox News televised speech: “I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better.”
The new president has announced a raft of measures reversing Trump policies.
Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice-president ahead of Mr Biden.
She is the first woman – and the first black and Asian-American person – to serve in a role, a heartbeat from the presidency.
In his inauguration speech monitored on CNN, Biden said it was a day of “history and hope”.
He said his electoral victory was a “triumph for the cause of democracy”, considering that the will of the people has been “heard” and “heeded” amid heightened political divisions.
“My whole soul is in putting America back together again,” he added.
Highlighting a message of unity after the turbulent Trump years, he promised to be a president “for all Americans” – including those who voted against him.
Among those attending the ceremony were three of his predecessors: Barack Obama – under whom Biden served for eight years as vice-president – Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
Former Vice-President Mike Pence also attended. He skipped Trump’s farewell military salute event.
The inauguration ceremony included musical performances by Lady Gaga – who sang the national anthem – as well as Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
Earlier, Biden attended Mass at a cathedral in Washington – along with four Roman Catholic congressional leaders, both Democrats and Republicans.
Meanwhile, Chakwera has not acknowledged Museveni’s controversial re-election as Kenya’s State House which had also issued a message to the Ugandan leader quickly pulled down a tweet congratulating Museveni on his re-election.
Other leaders who have publically congratulated Museveni after being elected for a sixth term include Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed, and Evariste Ndayishimiye, the President of Burundi, who shared a congratulatory messages at the weekend.
On Sunday, the US State Department lampooned last week’s Uganda elections and implored government to “hold accountable members of the security forces responsible for violence and abuses” during the two months of campaigns.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :