Uganda: You Can't Just Come From the Ghetto to Be President - Kivejinja

The minister for East African Affairs and First Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivejinja has, in a veiled statement, told Kyadondo East member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi to stop imagining that becoming Uganda's next will just be a smooth ascendency.

Although he did not mention Kyagulanyi by name, the 83-year-old Kivejinja told reporters in Kampala that "you can't just come from the ghetto to be the president."

Kyagulanyi who takes pride in his ghetto heritage, has expressed interest in challenging President Yoweri Museveni for the presidency in the upcoming 2021 general elections. Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has been urging his supporters to get national IDs, saying Museveni can be defeated in an election despite a section of opposition politicians referring to previous court rulings in 2016 and 2011 that confirmed election rigging albeit 'not substantial' enough to change the final outcome.

Now, Kivejinja says to imagine that becoming the next president is as easy, is not only day-dreaming, but also oblivious of the challenges and hurdles that one has got to through to lead this country. He took the journalists through the history of the country from the colonial time to date to highlight the fact that the NRM (formerly NRA) coming to power was not a one-off rise.

"We have to put in a little of patience because the world is not ending tomorrow. If you want to be a president don't push it, it will come because the world is still around. Of course it has not been a smooth sailing as indeed challenges must have been faced. Don't imagine that you will just wake up from the ghetto and become a president. There must be hurdles." Kivejinja said.

Kivejinja was addressing the media at the President's Office in Nakasero where he was talking about the achievements of his ministry in delivering NRM 2016-2021 manifesto. He said that when they came from bush in 1986, they had a formula of how they would rule Uganda but a quarrel developed in 2001 which forced them to go for multi-party system.

"In 2001 there was a quarrel because we had a formula that the way we fought, is the way we shall officially keep the country together. But those who didn't even read the history had imagined that multi party was the basis of development, and because there were many people we gave in and turned ourselves into a party." Kivejinja said.

On his ministry's achievements, Kivejinja said government has managed to make some border crossings one-stop points where traders clear their goods and don't have to be stopped again until they reach their destinations, which has saved time for the traders.

Most of these projects were constructed with World Bank and Trade Mark East Africa support. Other things like the monetary union and the political federation, Kivejinja said partner governments were working on their actualization.

He also said the current diplomatic quarrel between Uganda and Rwanda was insignificant and cannot derail the East African Community (EAC) progress. Rwanda, in February this year closed its borders to Uganda and also blocked its citizens from crossing to Uganda. Rwanda accuses Uganda of harbouring dissents fighting President Paul Kagame's government.

"The problem of the Uganda-Rwanda border will end soon. I can assure you. No one wants war. None of us can afford a war." Kivejinja said.

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