By Ian Katusiime
Presidential candidate Prof Venansius Baryamureeba has challenged fellow candidate President Museveni to a public political debate to ponder on issues that affect Ugandans and not just those related to age. This was in a response to Museveni’s comments about Baryamureeba being a “young boy” who failed to manage Makerere University when he was its Vice Chancellor for three years.
Baryamureeba went on to cite his achievements while at the university such as when Makerere attained its highest ever global ranking and transitioning into a collegiate system like other renowned universities around the world. Baryaureeba said that Museveni’s assertion affirmed his impression of him as someone who is of advanced age and has “no more capacity to keep tabs of what is going on and has no idea what is happening on the ground in Uganda”.
The former VC said Museveni has grown intolerant of anyone who threatens his hold onto power and it is the reason he launched an attack on his personality. According to Baryamureeba, it is the reason Museveni forgot that he bestowed onto him the Golden Jubilee Medal for his significant role in advancing higher education in Uganda. The medal is the highest award given to a non-head of state by the President of the Republic of Uganda.
Baryamureeba, one of the eight nominated presidential candidates wondered why Museveni thinks a 46 year old cannot manage a country. He went on to cite a number of world leaders who assumed office when they were around the same age such as US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Baryamureeba also said he was proud to be the youngest Presidential Candidate in the race.