When President Museveni completes his term in 2021, he will have served our nation for 35 years as a head of state and almost 55 years as a freedom fighter.
He will have amassed immensurable governance experience, probably more than seven US presidents combined. Unlike millions of people who shiver at the thought of retirement, there are numerous safeguards and opportunities of what to do for this gifted son of Kaguta.
Articles 105 (3) (b), 106 and 107 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution envisaged this situation and provided safeguards when the president ceases to hold office. Currently as president, he is paid a salary, allowances and afforded numerous benefits including exemption from personal taxation.
The retirement benefits were operationalized by the 8th Parliament under the Emoluments and Benefits of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister Act 2010. The benefits specified thereof cannot be varied to his disadvantage.
They include an allowance which is 60 per cent of the current president’s salary and a fully furnished house provided by the state.
The Act further provides that he be given an allowance equivalent of Shs 20 million for the procurement of furniture and an additional Shs 10 million for replacement of furniture every five years.
Furthermore, a chauffeur-driven car for town running, attending state functions to which he or she is invited and one trip to his or her country home once a month is guaranteed. He or she is also provided with first-class travel if he or she is required to travel for official business.
Similarly, medical care for him/her and his or her immediate family is provided. President Museveni will receive four government-paid highly trained security guards and a permanent personal secretary to help him with his work, in addition to two domestic staff.
Also, an allowance of Shs 800,000 shall be provided each month to meet expenses on utilities such as electricity, telephone and water.
A retired Museveni can do the following. If he is tired of the public eye and everyday scrutiny, the most convenient way is reside at his country home at Rwakitura, Kiruhura district. There, he will look after his cows and businesses.
Mr Museveni can join Club de Madrid, one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. This is a prestigious organization of more than 95 for- mer presidents and prime ministers whose role is to offer guidance, support and counselling to nations on building of democratic institutions and resolution of political conflicts around the world.
Mind you, this is not a club of only Western democratic countries but Africans too. Former leaders such as Rupiah Banda of Zambia (2008- 2011), Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano (1986- 2005), Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali (1992-2002), John Kufuor of Ghana (2001-2009), Ketumire Masire of Botswana (1980-1998), Thabo Mbeki of South Africa (1999-2008) and Benjamin Mkapa (1995-2005) of Tanzania are members.
Other distinguished former African leaders are Festus Mogae of Botswana (1998-2008) and Olusegun Obasanjo, two-time president of Nigeria (1976-79, 1999-2007). Actually, there are high chances that President Museveni can be voted president of that body.
Using his prominence and the great name acquired during his long presidency, Museveni can promote Uganda further by actively participating as an invited speaker at a wide variety of national, regional and international events.
With his military experience and diplomacy, it would be nice seeing him as a mediator of various conflicts such as the Israel-Palestine conflict especially that he showed immense interest when Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Israeli prime minister, visited Uganda last July.
How I wish he uses his retirement as an opportunity to publish his memoirs, set up a Yoweri Museveni presidential library, promote the NRM party and contribute to our national archives.
The author is a political analyst and lawyer.