Elimination of presidential age limit from our Constitution has lately become a hot topic!
Why? Who, and/or why was it enshrined in our Constitution? Who is seeking its removal from the Constitution? Furthermore, why is it a hot topic? If eliminated, who stands to benefit?
To answer those questions, one has to look at Uganda’s leadership history since independence 55 years ago. Uganda has seen a one-man rule for 31 years.
That is way more than half of the 55 years. Idi Amin led Uganda for nine years of the remaining 24, which leaves us with 15. Milton Obote ruled from 1966 to 1971 and later form 1980 to 1985, which makes it 11 years of the remaining 15.
The remaining four years were shared among Gen Tito Okello Lutwa, Paulo Muwanga, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, Prof Yusuf Lule and Edward Mutesa II.
The 31 years of Museveni and family are bulging each passing day with no end in sight, especially if the presidential age limit is eliminated. Prof Lule was the most loved president and his rule appeared to be the most promising. However, he lasted for only 68 days.
Without an order, people willingly cut prices of all commodities, most notably beef and sugar, during Lule’s 68 days in power. It is believed that Lule was the leader Uganda needed.
Unfortunately, Museveni and his cronies used Lule as disguise to bring back Obote. Lule was replaced with Binaisa and it is Museveni who ordered soldiers that dispersed and killed some Makerere students demonstrating at Wandegeya, singing: “Ffe twagala Lule oba tufa tufe.”
Binaisa would later be removed and replaced with Muwanga until the 1980 elections. During the campaigns, Museveni told us: “If the elections are rigged, nze ngenda mu nsiko (I am going to the bush)!” It has never been proven that Obote rigged the 1980 presidential elections. However, Museveni knew that there would be rigging because Obote was the desired winner based on their hatched plan.
Grace Semakula Musoke wrote a book, Amazina ga Nakwale which I believe is the medicine and/or cure of Uganda’s predicament of life-presidency.
Musoke is one of the finest journalists Uganda has ever had and in a newspaper called Ngabo, he used a once-great traditional dancer, Nakwale, who never wanted to leave the stage, to demonstrate the rot of our ruthless dictators then, Binaisa, Muwanga and Obote.
Ngabo sold like a hot cake because of stories such as Nakwale; to know who our current Nakwale is, you need to read the book Amazina ga Nakwale.
What autocrats have in common with Nakwale is that once they ascend to power, they don’t want to let go, which is why the presidential age limit is now being contemplated to be lifted from the Constitution. Gen David Sejusa [Tinyefuza], while still the intelligence boss, revealed that there was a plot to eliminate those against the project of Muhoozi ‘Museveni’ to replace Kaguta Museveni.
The truth is, it is not Ugandans who are asking for the elimination of the age limit from the Constitution, and it is not in our best interest as Nakwale wants us to believe. It is him and his family that benefit.
In an interview, NTV’s Patrick Kamala asked Museveni whether the age limit should be eliminated and he said “to be effective, one has to be below 75” to be president. Then who is asking to lift the presidential age limit from the Constitution if it is not Nakwale?
Besides being violent, the Sabalwanyi is one of the most skilled deceitful conmen I have ever known. He took us to the Luweero bush war on the premise that Obote rigged the 1980 elections.
He convinced us that he was going to bring the needed and desired fundamental change. In his speech after he captured power in 1986, he told us that Africa’s problem is its leaders who don’t want to retire. He has done exactly that: courts have highlighted that he or his agents engage in electoral malpractice (call it rigging elections) and, two, he doesn’t want to retire.
Museveni eliminated the term limits from the Constitution when his had expired! Now, at 31 years in power and still counting, Nakwale avers that we should eliminate the presidential age limit from the Constitution because he is approaching 75 and he can’t stand in the next elections!
To be continued with the second part.
The writer is a former reporter of Ngabo and The Star newspapers.