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No CNN report on ‘pressure’ for Ugandan president Museveni to change name

“Uganda’s president changes names due to pressure,” reads a screenshot of what appears to be a breaking CNN news report, posted on Facebook on 9 October 2020.

The screen shows CNN anchor Jake Tapper. Smaller text at the bottom adds: “39 Days When Ugandans Are demanding for his academic documents.”

The image was posted with the comment: “We need M7's academic papers in the names of Yoweri Museveni Kaguta the one we've been voting not Tibuhabulwa. We ain't fools.”

The implication is that by changing his full name, president Museveni would avoid the consequences of inconsistencies in his qualifications.

But is the screenshot of a real CNN report?

Candidate’s names must match qualifications

Museveni recently changed his official name to include his childhood name, Tibuhaburwa.

The Ugandan president will now be known as Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni.

On 17 September, Uganda’s electoral commission announced that “any aspiring candidate” for the 2021 general election “who may have names that do not appear on their academic papers, are advised to formalise the change through the prescribed legal process”.

The University of Dar es Salaam website states that Museveni graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics in 1970. But the page does not show the president’s academic record, and gives his name only as Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

No such CNN report

It’s clear that the screenshot has been doctored, with the text added.

The sloppy writing and capitalisation – “Days When” – would not be used in a global broadcast by a major news network. And the text “Uganda’s president changes names due to pressure” is in a far bolder font than that used by CNN.

A Google reverse image search indicates that the screenshot was likely taken from Tapper’s newscast, The Lead. But we could find no evidence that the programme aired any “breaking news” on Museveni’s name change. CNN did not report that Museveni added his childhood name “due to pressure”. – Grace Gichuhi


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