Ugandans Defy Museveni's Life-Presidency Agenda As Fight Erupts in Parliament

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Ugandan Members of Parliament do like Muhammad Ali. Photo dailymonitor.co.ug

[Commentary]

Uganda's dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni is determined to destroy every institution in the country in his egomaniacal drive to become Life President by lifting the 75-years cap age limit for presidential candidates from the constitution.

Ugandans overwhelmingly oppose the measure. They demonstrated this last year by electing opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye president. Yet Gen. Museveni simply ignored the results and had his hand-picked Election Commission chair Badru Kiggundu declare him as the winner. His rubber stamp Supreme Court upheld the farce when it rejected a bid by one of the other candidates to annul the election on account of massive rigging and fraud.

Now determined to repeat last year's charade in 2021 Gen. Museveni wants to remove the last obstacle before him. Uganda's constitution bars anyone aged 75 and above from running for president. Museveni sees this as a minor obstacle and he's determined to once again rape the constitution by removing age limits even after he lied on national TV that he woudn't make a presidential bid after age 75.

This is the time for those countries that bankroll the corrupt and brutal dictator to make it known that they will close the check books that sustain his regime. The United States alone supports Gen. Museveni's government with $750 million each year.

Before 2005, Uganda's constitution had a two-term limit to the presidency. Gen. Museveni coerced and bribed enough members of Parliament to have term limits removed.

Both of Uganda's major East African neighbors, Kenya and Tanzania have presidential term limits. Kenya took a giant step towards independence of the judiciary when on September 1, its Supreme Court annulled elections that had been awarded to incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and ordered new elections.

Yet Uganda, under dictator Museveni, continues to take giant steps backwards.

Now Gen. Museveni wants to desecrate the constitution once again. Ugandans from all walks of life --in the rural areas, students, city workers, and even some members of Parliament from Museveni's own ruling National Resistance Movement party, and members of the armed forces-- are opposed to a life-long dictatorship.

That's why when some of Museveni's acolytes in Parliament today moved to debate a proposal that would lead to a constitutional amendment removing age limits all hell broke loose on the floor.

Parliament betrayed Ugandans in 2005 by removing term limits and allowing the dictator to extend his regime. This time Parliament should defy the dictator.

If they fail Ugandans, the matter could be resolved by the masses of Ugandans, and that could have unpredictable consequences.

It is much easier for Parliament to do the right thing.

 

 

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