Museveni: Why Would Anyone Oppose Me?
Museveni, 76, became eligible for re-election after lawmakers, most of them members of his NRM party, abolished an upper age limit for presidential candidates.
Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is wondering why anyone in the country would think of opposing him and his government.
Speaking to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) youths from the eastern Bugisu sub-region, Museveni only conceded corruption as the only ground that anybody can challenge him, but even on this, he said, he was working towards fixing it.
“If it is corruption, yes, we are also totally against corruption, it can be worked on but now what are they opposing? There is no opposition in Uganda that I cannot defeat because they have no logic. When in Luwero fighting we could approach the UPCs [Uganda People’s Congress] and ask them what they were fighting for. I would engage them with our ideology and they would change immediately to support our cause,” he said.
Museveni, 75, became eligible for re-election after lawmakers, most of them members of his NRM party, abolished an upper age limit for presidential candidates.
He is facing a stiff challenge from 38-year-old musician-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine, who has a seemingly large following of the country’s young population. Wine, who grew up in Kampala’s informal settlement is an inspiration for many youths struggling with biting poverty and unemployment which analysts say stems from the rampant runaway corruption in Museveni’s government.
“When we talk about the youth these days, they talk about biology or age. That is very dangerous. We need the youth that is disciplined and ideological,” Museveni said.
On 18 November, police arrested Bobi Wine while addressing a political rally in eastern Uganda for allegedly flaunting Coronavirus guidelines. His seizure led to protests in the capital Kampala and other towns.
These demonstrations were met with serious violence by security forces – comprising not just police, but the army, local defense units and plain-clothed officers – who were filmed shooting in central Kampala. About 50 people were shot dead. Police called protesters criminal elements.
Museveni is seeking to extend his tenure to 40 years having already served 35 years as president.
Meanwhile the Ugandan police have opened investigations into their violent crackdown of protesters .
The inquiry will “identify mistakes that led to the collateral damage”, the spokesperson Fred Enanga reportedly said.
European Union envoys have already called for a “full and independent investigation” into police actions against protesters to “ensure justice for victims and to avoid impunity for the perpetrators who must be held accountable”.
Plain-clothed operatives were last week recorded by members of the public brandishing guns in the streets during demonstrations to protest the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine.
Security Minister Gen Elly Tumwiine on Friday told the media that police and other security forces have a right to shoot and kill if protesters “reach a certain level of violence”.
© East Africa Daily and News Agencies