Gen. Museveni Denies That He Fears Competition--Says He'd Defeat Both Opponents Besigye And Mbabazi In Debate

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Gen. Museveni -- said opposition presidential candidates Mbabazi and Besigye were both failures in NRM

[Africa: Uganda Elections 2016]

Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni, the Ugandan president held a news conference in Gulu, Ugandan People's Defense Force (UPDF) 4th Division after touring Acholi sub-region as he campaigns for the presidential election scheduled for Feb. 18, 2016. Okumu Langol Livingstone was there for The Black Star News.

Asked whether he would agree to the creation of a new Electoral Commission whose members are chosen by all parties including the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Go Forward, Democratic Party (DP) and Uganda People's Congress (UPC) opposition parties before the February 2016 presidential elections, Gen. Museveni said as party of the country's multi-party dispensation, the Uganda Electoral Commission had already appointed members of opposition parties -- from the Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress Party. “We have appointed members of opposition parties; there is no need to reappoint them again,” Gen. Museveni said.

When asked if he'd agree to debate the leading opposition presidential challengers former prime minister Amama Mbabazi and FDC candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye on TV and Radio so Ugandans can judge who's best; and concerning remarks by Shaka Ssali,  host of "Straight Talk Africa" on Voice of America, on November 11,  that some critics believe he fears competition, Gen. Museveni said he doesn't fear facing the opposition party leaders on Television for a political debate. "Why should I fear facing Dr. Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabzi, after all I walk with and I have my microphone -- my mouth, that I walk with everywhere."

He said, of Dr. Besigye and Amama Mbabazi, "let them organize it; we shall defeat them before Ugandans."

Responding to Mbabazi's announcement that he would cap presidential term limits at two, Gen. Museveni said it was Mbabazi himself who lifted presidential term limits: "Go and ask him.”"

Gen. Museveni said term limits was not good, and that if Israeli didn't have it why should Ugandans have it. He said he was working on projects that needed a a long time: education; promoting the spirit of Ugandan patriotism; and issues of East African Community.  Terms limits would be a "trap" for Uganda, he said.

Asked why Ugandans should believe him since he had said he would be in power for only 10 years, and since he had previously mentored both Mbabazi and Besigye why wouldn't he leave power for the two men, Gen. Museveni said the two men "have not done well." He said Dr. Besigye while in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party was political commissar in the Ugandan People Defense Force but that he failed "and ran away."

Similarly, Mbabazi was Secretary General of NRM and that he too "failed" and  ran away.

Asked why, even though 80% of the country's oil and gas discovery had been made in the northern part of Uganda and of all the seven commissioners appointed to handle the energy matters not one of them was from Acholi, Gen. Museveni said the appointees were chemists and that he needed Acholi chemists so he could appoint them.

(More To Come)


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