Museveni: presidency is a burden, I get blamed all the time

Museveni meeting MPs who sit on the committee debating the age limit bill

On whether the government would constitute the Constitutional Review Commission to handle a wider raft of proposed amendments, President Museveni said he had instructed the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister to handle the matter.

The President, however, explained that the NRM Party had supported Hon. Raphael Magyezi’s Bill because he had indicated that time was running out for amendments to do with elections following the Supreme Court’s directive that they must be done within two years after the 2016 ruling.

Asked about what he thought of retirement requirements for Civil Servants (60 years) and others like Judges (70 years) vis-à-vis politicians, the President said the two were radically different.

“Civil Servants and Judges are about service. They are hired to provide a service. Politics, on the other hand is about representation. Do not mix service with representation. Service is technical,” said the President.

“I hire you to be a doctor because you are technical. Politics, however, is representation. Drunkards will meet in a bar and elect their fellow drunkard to represent them. Representation is about speaking for people, negotiating, lobbying. It is a different form of service from the technical type.”

Opposition threats

Commenting on the MPs’ concerns about hostility of the Opposition exhibited during the course of the debate, including violent behaviour, President Museveni said it was because the Opposition had nothing constructive to offer.

“The intolerance is because the Opposition are ideologically bankrupt and have nothing to offer. They are desperate because the Movement has revamped the economy and generated revenue and we are able to deliver to the population. They now think that the only way to get rid of the Movement is to do away with particular players,” he noted.

The President also dismissed claims that incumbency gives him an edge over his opponents, saying it instead placed a bigger burden on the candidate as the voters’ expectations are higher.

“Incumbency, in a way, is a disadvantage. You get blamed all the time,” he said, adding that where incumbents have been unpopular like it was with Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia, Kamuzu Banda in Malawi and several other cases, they have lost elections.