A former national political commissar and high-ranking veteran of the bush war which brought President Museveni to power has warned that Uganda is headed for “disaster” if MPs amend the Constitution to accommodate President Museveni’s wishes to remain in power after 2021.
Col (rtd) Nuwe Amanya Mushega said MPs are important people who should reflect high values before individual partisan interests.
“When a leader becomes above the law, and whenever the fundamental law of the land affects him, it must be changed at all costs and hastily, you are headed for disaster. It becomes a question of just not when, but also how,” Mushega said.
He said it was important for MPs to remember that constitutions and other laws are made to govern society and control the greed of men for power and resources.
“Constitutions are made to stand the test of time and cannot be changed casually; worse still, to suit the interest of one person or a group. If I may ask, what is the hurry to specifically amend the age limit provision?” Mushega asked as he appeared before the legal committee now scrutinising the controversial age limit bill which seeks to lift Article 102(b) from the Constitution.
Mushega said when constitutions are amended to keep one individual or group in unchecked power, you are sowing seeds of disaster for future generations.
“Africa is replete with such strongmen, even where the leader has passed on and is accorded a state funeral like in the case of Ivory Coast, problems have occurred. The young men and women live in misery or pay with their blood to change the situation. Honourable members, think about the country and the children of tomorrow.
Mushega noted that this generation owes the country a peaceful transfer of power just as it has happened in Kenya and Tanzania.
“It has happened at the level of vice presidents, prime ministers, MPs and local leaders. Why not at the presidency?” Mushega said.
“Is it occupied by people from outer space? It is important to save the country by leaving this protective provision intact. Duty has beckoned you; it’s up to you to fulfill it. It’s very important to remove the state of fear and uncertainty from many leaders – temporal, spiritual and investors.
The former secretary general and minister of Education said it is high time room was created for many successors amongst whom the best will be chosen. He said while Uganda was enjoying peace, we need stability in the country, urging MPs to have the courage to overcome their fears of the “highly disguised private member’s bill...”
“One wise jurist long ago said ‘circumstantial evidence is capable of proving a point with accuracy of mathematics.’ Don’t fear, Ugandans today are much more bolder, less fearful compared to the situation in 2005,” he said.