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This is a crucial week in Ugandan politics

A decision by NRM MPs this week to endorse a report on removing presidential age limits for the sole benefit of Mr Yoweri Museveni has potential to worsen an already uncertain future.

And almost all these MPs know. Privately, they will tell you how bad this decision is.  And then you wonder why they are gearing up to vote for it! A couple of NRM MPs told me their motivation is cash. And Mr Museveni has become an expert in bribery.

Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee members have each [allegedly] been given Shs 300 million for signing the report endorsing the age limit bill. That is why they signed it past midnight.

Kiboga Woman MP Ruth Nankabirwa has become very crucial in this transaction. I understand non-committee members will each be advanced Shs 100 million before voting and Shs 100 million after voting for this bill. That is the deal which has motivated even a few NRM voices that initially opposed this constitutional amendment.

And Museveni is a lucky man. He is no longer blamed for bribing and compromising people. Instead, his victims take the blame.

The information above was to help you understand why things have moved so fast. I sit on the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and we had agreed never to submit a report before conducting public consultations. In fact, a programme had been drafted and we had been divided into groups.

The leadership of the committee had even put a condition that before writing the report, we must visit some countries to benchmark on the issue of age limits.

I am told Museveni fixers told him MPs are usually hungry for money towards Christmas. He quickly organized money and deployed Nankabirwa to strike. Nankabirwa convinced NRM MPs that the money they wanted to get through benchmarking trips will more than double if they quickly processed the report.

Right, that has happened. Let us now discuss the real implication of this bill for our future. In a report titled ‘They used to be rulers of their African or Arab countries: today they are dead, deposed or driven from their homeland’, Los Angeles Times summarized our problems.

The newspaper last week published a photograph of heads of state attending the second Afro-Arab joint summit in Sirte of Libya on October 10, 2010.

Those standing with their host, Muammar Gaddafi, on the front row were: Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia who ascended to power in 1987; Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen in power for three decades; Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in power since 1981; Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso in power since 1987; Robert Gabriel Mugabe in power since 1980; Gaddafi in power since 1969, and Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir in power since 1989.

This entire row, save for Bashir, has been wiped out in just seven years, with serious ramifications for their respective countries. You all know what happened to Gaddafi and Libya, Compaore and Burkina Faso, Abdullah Saleh and Yemen, Mugabe and Zimbabwe or Ben Ali and Tunisia.

Sudan and Bashir are also limping and he is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Removing a leader forcefully is as expensive as keeping a leader beyond his expiry date.  

With Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola finally bowing out, Mr Museveni is effectively the third-longest serving leader in Africa.

The African Union has 55 countries. Almost all leaders who came into power in the 1980s or before have either been forced out or have voluntarily retired.

It is only Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon’s Paul Biya that have refused to go. Sudan’s Bashir is in fourth position, having grabbed power in 1989. These are the remaining leaders of the 1980s.

With the exception of Eritrea (1991), Morocco (1999), Djibouti (1999) and Congo Brazzaville (1997), the rest of AU heads of state assumed power after 2000. Museveni, Bashir and Nguema are in a league of their own.

As the manoeuvres of changing the Constitution reached a climax last week, I remembered the words of Gen Henry Tumukunde in 2005 while appearing on CBS radio.

Tumukunde reminded us that when leaders grow, they surrender power to their spouses or girlfriends. He gave us the example of Kamuzu Banda of Malawi who, in old age, surrendered power to a girlfriend and his son in-law.

Tumukunde was right because that is exactly what happened in Zimbabwe in the last days of Mugabe. His wife Grace assumed power and was making decisions on behalf of the aging leader.

If Museveni gets his way and amends the Constitution and rigs the 2021 elections, he may be a leader even at 83. Will he surrender power to a spouse or girlfriend? Our work as the citizenry is now well cut out!


The author is Kira Municipality MP and opposition chief whip in parliament.


+8 #1 kelem 2017-12-14 09:01
The man will become history sooner than you think !!!

Watch this space and lets have the same discussion in 6 months from now, you will be surprised
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+6 #2 Lakwena 2017-12-14 12:18
If this money, Mr. M7 is dolling out to NRM MPs and those on L&PAC; is our sweat and blood, may the recipients' livers and kidneys rot and fall in their pot bellies.
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+6 #3 Twebaze Francis 2017-12-14 18:41
So to say our country is on sale? Men and women we sent to parliament have struck a deal to sell our country?

It implies we are being captured and kept at a very expensive ransom.

Thank you Mr. Semujju Nganda for being all that knowledgeable and keeping us informed of what is transpiring in our beloved country.
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+1 #4 Akot 2017-12-14 19:40
kelem, agreed!

The question now is:

"What will the situation be from the moment NRM MPs passe the bill"?

Because, when the bill is passed, Uganda will belong to museveni who won't need yet another fake election & why would Ugandans vote again, even for MPs after this?

From the moment the bill is passed, museveni won't need tribal leaders in posts any more for he will be in complete control of the entire zone & each tribal land will be part of the new Uganda he came to take over/own!
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+2 #5 Akot 2017-12-14 19:46
Lakwena, understood, yet,

It's poor Ugandans who should Unite & throw museveni out whose livers and kidneys will rot and fall in their pot bellies, while museveni & those he bought off will just enjoy the new Uganda!

Museveni is just steps away from fulfilling his long time dream of having a country of his own & it's Ugandans handing their country to him!

Museveni is committing no crime & no court any where in the world can go after him!

But Ugandans can stop his owning their country in UNITY & NOW, yet, as it is Ugandans have not understood what's going on!
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+5 #6 mungu 2017-12-15 18:53
37 years of systematic destruction of the country. what is left for us to lament over.

Museveni is now a fugitive in this country a position in which he was many years ago.

There is no more wealth left for him to plunder having squandered everything within 5 years of his rule.. Oil money will remain a mirage. so I do not begrudge the old man
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+2 #7 Remase 2017-12-15 19:46
Semujju, "A decision by NRM MPs this week to endorse a report on removing presidential age limits for the sole benefit of Mr Yoweri Museveni has potential to worsen an already uncertain future."

Semujju, let me ask you a strange question, do you believe that there is any chance to stop the lifting of the age limit from the constitution?

Let me remind you, when term limits were lifted, that is when the future begun to worsen. We are already in the worst and it won't get better with age. Hell no.

Each and everyday M7 stays in power adds to the worst. Am certain that you know why we have failed, and will continue to fail to get rid of M7.

That is because Mengo/Kabaka Mutebi are still supporting the maintenance of the status quo. I'm not asking them to support any political party and/or activist, no.

However, they keep hanging around M7 and his family every time, including Mayiga's political statement that Ugandans should accept the rigged elections. That is where the problems is!
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+2 #8 Sempira 2017-12-18 10:53
Kiboga Woman MP Ruth Nankabirwa, Ruth Nankabirwa, the love of money has turned you into a shame to the baganda women, just like someone who married that man who started all this.

I pity you, I pity you Ruth Nankabirwa
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+1 #9 samex 2017-12-20 08:59
thanks so much mr semujju but what happen ruth nakabirwa?

she so greedy, the love for money indeed has turn her into a rot.

oooh God help our country but we must fight
for our country.

Nankabirwa's of to day will be grace mugabe of zimbabwe without a home now,time will tell.
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