Kampala — President Yoweri Museveni has said young countries like those in Africa need longer terms to develop.
Talking about a proposal by Ugandan politicians to increase the years of term of office from five to seven years, Museveni said the leaders in Africa have much more to do and need adequate time to develop the continent and saw no harm in having longer terms.
Museveni made the remarks Tuesday while meeting Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee which had called on him at State House, Entebbe to seek his views on the proposed amendment of Article 102(b) of the Constitution.
"For these countries with all these problems, two terms of five years is just a joke. Those who talk about this are just looking at improving their CVs. We might not discuss it now but there is merit at looking at the seven years,"Museveni told the MPs.
"It would give some time to these young countries to develop. France has seven-year terms, I do not see what they have lost," said the President.
Museveni told the committee that Uganda and Africa still face a number of challenges among them being under-developed and backward, and therefore search for leadership in the continent must be tailored to her needs with focus on substance not form.
"In a continent like Africa where we have had a leadership crisis and still faced with many challenges we need to be flexible, not merely legalistic and utilise all the potential from both the young and old. This is because it is more about our safety, survival and prosperity and not who leads us on that journey," Museveni said.
The committee is scrutinising the private members bill, presented to Parliament by Raphael Magyezi, which seeks to scrap the 35 and 75-year lower and upper age limits for candidates seeking the presidency
Museveni dismissed the notion that the amendment was tailored to benefit him, pointing out that removal of the 35-year minimum for presidential candidates would instead give room to more young people who had been locked out to have a chance to run for the presidency.