20 July 2012

Uganda: Muhwezi Cautions Pro-Museveni MPs

The MPs urging President Museveni to stand again in 2016 are in no position to choose a successor, former Health minister, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, has said.

Describing the action of the 180 MPs led by Eastern Youth MP, Peter Ogwang, as a breach of the Constitution, Muhwezi, a historical member of the ruling NRM and Rujumbura MP, said the group is usurping the powers of the party's top organs.

"There is no reason to talk about succession," Muhwezi said.

"The Constitution is very clear on how a president should be elected or replaced. As far as I'm concerned, the president has just spent one year; so, you cannot come out to say that he should stand again when the party top organs like the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) have not decided."

Ogwang and Dr Kenneth Omona (Kaberamaido), recently said they would launch a campaign tagged "Let President Museveni Stand in 2016".

Divulging the details of their project, Ogwang told journalists at Parliament that at least 180 MPs are behind the move to bring back Museveni in 2016. Ogwang said they are embarking on this crusade because NRM had not yet found a person who can replace Museveni. Muhwezi, however, told The Observer in an interview on Wednesday at Parliament that what Ogwang and the other lawmakers are doing is not right.

"The MP is not right. The time has not come. It doesn't require one person to come and drum the song that the president is standing again. It is a matter of the whole party; not a few individuals here and there. We shall discuss it when time comes," he said.


The Observer recently reported that the Sheema North MP, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, led the district youth leaders to launch the 2016 presidential bid for Museveni, who was commissioning Kihunda health centre III in Kagango sub-county, Sheema district. On that occasion, the youth leaders gave Museveni a spear and stool, tools that symbolise power in the Ankole culture and indeed other parts of Uganda.

In 2016, Museveni will have spent 30 years in power. This has prompted a private members' bill from a section of lawmakers led by Gerald Karuhanga (Western Youth). The bill seeks to restore term limits, which Karuhanga believes would entrench democracy in a country that has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power.

To actualize this move, Karuhanga wants to table a motion seeking Parliament to allow him present his bill for the proposed constitutional amendment. Term limits were scrapped in 2005.

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