Uganda: Prime Minister Sidesteps Claim He'd be Better leader than Gen. Museveni

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Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana-Rugunda (in red tie), being shown around Attiak Kingdom cultural site, on Sunday.

“Uganda is not in leadership crisis. Instead, it is making steady progress because all institutions like parliament, judiciary and the executive are working well. The country is moving on the right course”

“President Museveni is still able and capable of leading Uganda. There is no dispute about that. He is a reference point in neighboring Burundi and South Sudan conflicts”,

AMURU, Uganda--: The Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has dodged controversy by claiming Gen. Yoweri Museveni is still capable of leading the country when a member of Parliament suggested he would be a better president.

Rugunda went on to deny claims by a section of opposition politicians that there is a leadership crisis in Uganda, saying the country is moving on the right course.

“Uganda is not in leadership crisis. Instead, it is making steady progress because all institutions like parliament, judiciary and the executive are working well. The country is moving on the right course”, Dr. Rugunda claimed.

The Prime Minister made the remarks on Sunday, September 3, 2017 from Attiak sub-county in Amuru district in Northern Uganda during the celebration to mark six years since the enthronement of Rwot Richard Santo Apire of Attiak cultural kingdom. He was the chief guest during the celebration.

Rwot Apire was enthroned as the 21st King of Attiak cultural institution on September 3, 2011. This kingdom is one of the 54 recognized cultural institutions in Acholi sub-region; which operate under the leadership of Lawii Rwodi, Rwot David Onen-Acana II.

Dr. Rugunda says that Ugandans elected and endorsed the leadership of President Museveni for the next five years and there is no dispute about his ability and capability. Last year's election was disputed and many observer groups said it wasn't free, fair or credible. It is widely believed Dr. Kizza Besigye, who ran as the FDC flag-bearer was denied victory by rigging on behalf of Gen. Museveni.

“President Museveni is still able and capable of leading Uganda. There is no dispute about that. He is a reference point in neighboring Burundi and South Sudan conflicts”, Dr. Rugunda said.

He appealed to Ugandans to support the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni because he is a tested leader as evident by his track records. Yet the United Nations Security Council in April discussed a report by a panel of experts that implicates Uganda in fueling the war in South Sudan by supporting President Salva Kiir military.

Dr. Rugunda was forced to make the comments defending Gen. Museveni following earlier remarks by Kilak North Member of Parliament, Mr. Anthony Akol, who said that Dr. Rugunda was “fit to be the President of Uganda” instead of President Yoweri Museveni.

Dr. Rugunda hailed the people of Acholi for supporting and sustaining their cultural institutions.

“I salute Rwot Apire for organizing Attiak Kingdom in an impressive manner. This is a magnet to attract more people and friends to support Attiak. It demonstrates the value the people put in Acholi cultural institutions”, Dr. Rugunda said.

Acholi is the origin of many traditional institutions like Bunyoro, Toro and Buganda in Uganda.

Dr. Rugunda saluted the cultural, religious and political leaders of Acholi for supporting the peace process in Uganda which he claimed made it possible to expose "the fallacy" which was being peddled around that government was not interested in resolving the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion.

He challenged the people to consolidate and maintain the peace by utilizing the fertile land to grow crops, not only for consumption, but for export trade by adding value to what they produce.

“Let poverty be a thing of the past. You should use the fertile land and produce crops to attract value addition for export trade. The region should not produce only raw materials”, the Prime Minister said.

Traditional cultural institutions were abolished by former President Dr. Milton Obote in the 1967 Constitution but restored through Article 246 of the 1995 new Uganda Constitution.

Section 3(e) and (f) of Article 246 states that “a person shall not, while remaining a traditional leader, join or participate in partisan politics” and “shall not exercise any administrative, legislative and executive powers of Government or local government”.

According to Rwot Apire, Attiak cultural institution has developed a ten-year development master plan which focuses on education, health, environmental protection and agri-business, among others. The institution has support from an American Non-governmental organization-Alliance for Africa Assistance and Rotary Club of Gulu.

The Prime minister laid the foundation stone for the construction of Teresa Ayiko International Hospital and commissioned an office block of the kingdom.

Acholi Paramount King, Rwot David Onen-Acana II, appealed for funding for cultural institutions from government in order for them to resolve conflicts related to land.

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