16 November 2017

Uganda to Have Its Zimbabwe Moment Soon - Gen Biraaro

Photo: The Observer
General Benon Biraaro, left, at the Centre for Constitutional Governance offices.

Rtd Maj General Benon Biraaro, one of bush war generals who helped bring President Yoweri Museveni into power in 1986, has said Uganda will have a new president come 2021.

Weighing in on the age limit bill that seeks to remove the presidential age limit currently capped between 35 and 75 years, Gen Biraaro said he's seeing signs of a coup happening in Uganda soon because of extant dictatorial conditions.

According to Biraaro, Uganda is in a worse period now than in the 1980s when Museveni and his fighters went to the bush to fight Milton Obote's government.

Biraaro said lifting of the presidential age limit would create life presidency for Uganda, something that the framers and spirit of the 1995 Constitution wanted to guard against in the first place. Biraaro said those who want the age limit lifted want to make Uganda "ekigaari ky'abeega" (an old car used to train learners).

"I see a coup in Uganda happening, it is inevitable if the conditions remain as they are and they (conditions) are getting worse", Biraaro is quoted as saying from the Centre for Constitutional Governance offices in Kigoowa, Ntinda today.

"When time comes in Uganda for what happened in Zimbabwe to happen in Uganda, the army will wake up to this call just like the Zimbabwean army did, even if they are all his 'tribesmen', Biraaro reportedly said.

Biraaro was referring to yesterday's events in Zimbabwe when the army took control of the executive powers, confining President Robert Mugabe and the first family.

The army said criminals around Mugabe had cause a lot of social and economic suffering to people of Zimbabwe. Mugabe sacked his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

That action opened the way for Mugabe's wife, Grace, to become vice president, and then to possibly succeed him as head of the government. The ruling party accused Grace of ignoring the plight of the youth to advance her political ambitions instead.

According to Gen Biraaro, Museveni will not be president after 2021.

"Ugandans have always changed their presidents, Museveni will not be Uganda's life president, Ugandans will change him", he said.

To the skeptics who think that the army is too loyal to President Museveni to oust him from power, Biraaro said "By the way, Ugandans shouldn't write off UPDF ,they have the capacity to tell the president to leave power and go."

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