Joseph Tumushabe, the chief executive officer and founder of Centre for Research and Development [Ceredev], a research firm based in Tanzania, says President Yoweri Museveni forced himself onto Ugandans when “his deception method” proved futile.
Tumushabe, a former Principal National Researcher at Single Mothers & Chid Support Agency [SMOCSA] a non-profit making, NGO registered in Uganda and Italy, has been lambasting the ruling NRM government for plotting to amend the constitution and scrap the age limit clause that bars Museveni from running in 2021 elections when he will be above 75 years.
“The plain truth is that Museveni forced himself into power over Ugandans,” Tumushabe said, explaining that Museveni used deception to win support.
“By Year 2000, his lies were getting unveiled. By 2005 when NRM split, he was thoroughly exposed. He has since relied on the use of brutality threats to hang on power,” the critic narrated.
Warning that Ugandans within and out of NRM are not fools, Tumushabe noted that no one trusts Museveni anymore, adding that “even NRM MPs can’t vote for his stay without a fat bribe”.
He said most Ugandans therefore want him to go so as to sort out the mess he created.
According to a December 2016 poll commissioned by the Uganda NGO Forum and conducted by Research World International, 74 per cent of Ugandans — mostly youth aged 25-34 years — do not want the president to run again.
According to the critic, the Museveni Succession Question like the Kenya Moi Succession; like the Ghana JJ Rawlings Succession Question is what is on the table.
He says the age limit debate is a side game and after Museveni goes, Uganda will return the 1995 Constitution in its entire form first.
“Then we can start debating soberly any improvements. With Museveni around we are all marking time and an Ouagadougou type uprising will or something more serious will not be ruled out.”
NRM youth want Museveni out
On the other hand, the NRM youth coordinator, Kato Isa, says from the time of colonialism until today, Ugandans have been fighting to liberate themselves.
“Liberation after liberation until 1986. Apparently, we have been peaceful largely because of the ‘Liberation Fatigue’. Every government that has come and gone in Uganda had one thing in common; ‘Use of Force’.”
Kato says the government of President Museveni who led a liberation struggle of 1986 promised Ugandans the return to constitutionalism and they believed in him.
“However, we are awakened to the bitter truth that the man is a dictator and he is ready to use the same constitution to extend his overstay in power.”
He says some leaders want abolition of the 1995 Constitution to let Museveni rule for all his life as he wishes yet when it was done by former President Idi Amin, Museveni took up himself to fight.
“Let’s abolish this Constitution and Museveni rules until he dies. Amend the constitution and reinstate term limits to allow the removal of Age Limit. Amend and remove the amendments article in order to let our constitution stand a test of time without fidgeting with it as it is today,” Kato suggested.
Kato reminded leaders that there is willing capacity to remove them and strip them naked on the streets like they did to their former leaders.
“We are however requesting you that you don’t push the People to that option which seems to be the only available way out of this quagmire. We don’t want to expose your nakedness for everyone to see.”
Government avoids tabling the age limit bill
On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, adopted a piecemeal tabling of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2017 strategy, picking out the land acquisition clause and avoiding the age limit clause.
Before the land amendment bill was tabled, MPs thought Rukutana had brought the highly contentious bill that seeks to amend Article 102(b). A
MPs demanded to know whether the bill he was tabling contained an amendment to remove the 75-year upper age limit for presidential candidates.
Rukutana is quoted saying the bill on age limit would also come to parliament later this year.