President Yoweri Museveni has asked opposition Members of Parliament to relax and wait for the constitution of Uganda to force him out of power.
“Yes, I will go,” Museveni told the heckling MPs while commenting on the 2017 national budget delivered by Finance minister, Matia Kasaija, at Serena conference centre in Kampala.
“But the one who decides when I will go is the Constitution and people of Uganda, not you,” Museveni quickly reminded the legislators who had started to get excited.
On Tuesday, Museveni acknowledged that he has been in power for too long but said this was why he had the experience to run the country well.
“Yes, I have been president for too long, which is not a bad idea,” Museveni said while addressing the nation at Serena hotel in Kampala.
“…that [staying in power too long] is why I have too much experience,” the president defended himself.
— NBS Television (@nbstv) June 8, 2017
Museveni’s comment came hours after opposition Members of Parliament had demanded that he presents an exit plan for his administration as he addresses the nation.
The MPs cited a plot by the ruling party to lift the presidential age limit above the constitution limits of 75 in order to stand again in 2021 elections.
Speaking in Mbarara town last month, Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam international, asked Museveni and NRM not to be tempted to use their numbers to change the constitution to deny Ugandans a peaceful transition of power.
By 2021, Museveni will be above the 75 constitutional age and is thus not expected to run for presidency.
Winnie maintained that Museveni’s time has come to an end and asked him to peacefully transfer power to another person, saying Uganda is the only country in East Africa that has not seen a peaceful transition of power.
When asked if he was planning to run for another term as president of Uganda, Museveni told Talk To Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall, “We will follow the constitution.”
Museveni to MPs: The one who decides when i will go is the constitution and the people of Uganda not you. #UGBudget17
— Parliament Watch (@pwatchug) June 8, 2017
Museveni who has ruled Uganda for 31 years, with five presidential terms in office, dismissed speculation that he will try to change that limit to extend his term.
“I cannot change the constitution because I do not have the power. Have you heard of something called democracy?” he asked Vall.
Similarly, Museveni denied he would go down in history as a dictator. “A dictator who is elected five times? That must be a wonderful dictator.”
Also last month, Geoffrey Macho, a ruling party NRM Member of Parliament for Busia municipality in Busia district, concluded that if President Museveni of today met his old former self of 1986, the two would fight a fierce combat until they both lie dead-vanquished.