Queen Elizabeth II was the monarch of Uganda for five years before the East African country gained independence from the British Empire in 1962.
But that has not prevented a warm relationship between the 91-year-old monarch and Uganda, according to the country’s leader, President Yoweri Museveni.
But perhaps that relationship isn’t quite as warm as the African strongman thinks.
After an event to celebrate the British monarch’s official birthday, Museveni said that she was a “friend with mutual benefits.”
It seems the 72-year-old Ugandan leader does not know the modern meaning of the phrase “friends with benefits,” which refers to a relationship in which friends engage in casual sex with each other. Friends With Benefits is the title of a 2011 romantic comedy starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake that explores the theme.
Museveni tweeted the comment on Friday as part of an account of his attendance at the celebration, prior to the official date on Saturday. (The queen’s date of birth is April 21, but the British monarch has a state birthday, usually in the second weekend of June, as part of a tradition dating back to Edward VII, who was born in November and feared the weather would be too bad to celebrate his actual birthday.)
“I have always followed the Queen. When I was young my mother showed me a picture of a young lady and said, ‘This is the Queen of England,’” tweeted Museveni in a string of messages sending best wishes to Elizabeth II and Britain.
He added that the Commonwealth had helped mediate tensions between Uganda and Kenya in the past and that Uganda’s bilateral relationship with England was “very good.” Museveni also offered his condolences to the British people after the recent extremist attacks and the fire at a London apartment block in which at least 30 people died.
Museveni came to power in 1986 and has won five elections since, though opposition parties have disputed the results. Around the time of the 2016 election, Museveni’s main opponent, Kizza Besigye, was arrested multiple times, while EU observers accused the governing party of creating an “intimidating atmosphere.”
The Ugandan leader has something of a way with words. In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Museveni described himself as a “wonderful dictator” when asked about how his legacy would be viewed by future Ugandan generations.