MUSEVENI 7-YEAR-TERM: Details of how his team plans to get it
Kampala, Uganda | HAGGAI MATSIKO | Just days after the Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale completed hearing of a case challenging amendments passed last year to remove the 75-year constitutional age limit to allow President Yoweri Museveni to contest again for presidency at the next polls, it appears the ruling party is getting set for another battle in parliament. This time, President Yoweri Museveni wants the presidential term extended from five years to seven.
Museveni appears to be in a lurch after last year’s amendments which removed the presidential term limits to allow him to run even after exceeding 75 years also extended the term of legislators and local government leaders to seven years. The amendments, however, did not extent the presidential term from the current five to seven years.
That means that if the amendment, which has been challenged in court stands, elections of local government leaders and MPs would have to take place in 2023. But the presidential election would be in 2021.
It appears Museveni wants his term also extended to seven years such that both parliamentary and presidential elections are held at the same time as has been the case.
Parliament’s legal committee recommended that the presidential term of office is also extended from five to seven years, following a December 5 meeting with Museveni. President Museveni told them and his ruling party that a 5-year term is too short.
“After an election,” a source who attended the meeting quoted Museveni to have said, “you spend about one year settling in and before you know it; another electioneering period sets in.”
Some ruling party officials have been advising Museveni to change the presidential term through a national referendum organised by the Electoral Commission based on a parliamentary resolution.
But expert consensus now appears to be that changing the terms requires a fresh law tabled and passed by parliament.
New law needed?
City lawyer Ellison Karuhanga, who has represented the ruling party in, among others, the 2016 presidential election petition, told The Independent that extending the presidential term limit from five to seven years requires a new law.
“Government has to introduce a new bill,” Karuhanga said.
“When you are dealing with people who want to cling onto power, “such plans do not surprise you, you just have to wait for what they come up with and you deal with it,” said Semujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip.
Nganda said a resolution by parliament is not sufficient to extend Museveni’s term from five to seven years and that is why Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana proposed a referendum law to cabinet.
Rukutana, in February tabled before cabinet a proposal for a new law required for the referendum to take place. The ruling party caucus had tasked Rukutana him to lead a team of legislators to study the planned referendum.
Once critical of leaders who overstay in power, today he leads the club in the continent Africa showing his true greed for power, hypocrisy, double standards, political deception, manipulation and arrogance.
A new breed of African dictators who have lost the clear line between multiparty politics and monarchy. He talks of ideological bankruptcy in African politics yet he has failed to implement his own NRM party mission and vision in his 32 years in power including their own initial 10 point program.
What does he need the time for? Systematic Corruption?, nepotism?, tribalism? Including his failure to deliver political and social service leadership? are those not enough indicators of his failed leadership? We already know his legacy of failed ideological political experiments.
Abraham Lincoln once said that nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
After the euphoric declaration of 26th January 1986; I wonder whether any of the 1st family members are still proud of the level of dishonesty, deception, manipulation and power clinging, of the head of this family.
In other words, to associate with Mr. Museveni’s dishonesty is embarrassing and dehumanizing. Like the Egyptian Pharaoh; and to use his own son in-law, Rwabogo’s imagery, the man is shamelessly and by hook or crook, fossilizing himself in State House.