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    Politics Is Not Olympics Or Rugby: President M7 Supports Age Limit Removal




    President Yoweri Museveni says he supports the removal of age limits because leaders of under-developed and backward countries like Uganda need enough time to work on the many problems that these countries face.

    “The presence of age limits for any elective office goes against Article 1 of the 1995 Constitution, the bedrock of that supreme law, which says “Power belongs to the people”, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

    Since Ugandans are the custodians of the Constitution and their country, the President said, they should be given the ultimate duty of determining how and who should lead them through regular free and fair elections instead of being merely “legalistic”.

    “If someone votes, why can’t he be voted for?” President Museveni told Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee which had called on him Tuesday at State House, Entebbe, to seek his views on the proposed amendment of Article 102(b) of the Constitution.

    The committee is scrutinising the private members bill, presented to Parliament by Hon Raphael Magyezi, which seeks to scrap the 35 and 75-year lower and upper age limits for candidates seeking the presidency.

    Committee chairman, Hon Oboth Oboth (West Budama South), who led the team of legislators, said they had sought the President’s views as a former presidential candidate and leader of a political party.

    He revealed that President Museveni was the last witness to be interviewed by the committee which would then retreat to write its report that will be tabled in Parliament for debate.

    At the Tuesday interaction, the MPs asked President Museveni a host of questions surrounding the age limit debate and he comprehensively responded to each of them in a session lasting about two hours.

    Africa’s unique challenges

    President Museveni told the committee that Uganda and Africa still face a number of challenges among them being under-developed and backward, and therefore search for leadership in the continent must be tailored to her needs with focus on substance not form.

    “In a continent like Africa where we have had a leadership crisis and still faced with many challenges we need to be flexible, not merely legalistic and utilise all the potential from both the young and old. This is because it is more about our safety, survival and prosperity and not who leads us on that journey,” President Museveni said.

    Citing cases of the United States, China, Russia and Israel among others, President Museveni explained that many of these countries, in their push to develop and transform, had been guided by leaders who were of advanced age and led the countries for decades.

    “Israel has since 1948 been rotating leaders young and old. Today Israel is a super power yet in a largely hostile environment. The great leaders that transformed China, Deng Xiaoping and Deng Yingchao, were of advanced age,” said President Museveni. “The great United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchhill was leader up to the age of 81and offered some of the best leadership to his country.”

    President Museveni also cited the case of Tunisia, which in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, had seen 91-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi elected President to stabilise the political situation.

    He added: “I think the problem of Africans is concentrating on trivialities yet our issues should be about the African destiny and how to guarantee our future.”

    The President also noted that another problem was the “shallowness” of some political actors on the African scene, “who seem to say our interest is to improve curriculum vitae (CVs) of individuals. They want to say ‘eyaliko president’. We are not here to give jobs to people”.

    CRC, support for Private Member’s Bill

    On whether the government would constitute the Constitutional Review Commission to handle a wider raft of proposed amendments, President Museveni said he had instructed the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister to handle the matter.

    The President, however, explained that the NRM party had supported Hon Magyezi’s Bill because he had indicated that time was running out for amendments to do with elections following the Supreme Court’s directive that they must be done within two years after the 2016 ruling.

    Asked about what he thought of retirement requirements for civil servants (60 years) and others like judges (70 years) vis-à-vis politicians, the President said the two were radically different.

    “Civil servants and judges are about service. They are hired to provide a service. Politics, on the other hand is about representation. Do not mix service with representation. Service is technical,” said the President. “I hire you to be a doctor because you are technical. Politics however is representation. Drunkards will meet in a bar and elect their fellow drunkard to represent them. Representation is about speaking for people, negotiating, lobbying. It is a different form of service from the technical type.”

    The president talking to the committee members at State House Entebbe

    Opposition threats

    Commenting on the MPs’ concerns about hostility of the Opposition exhibited during the course of the debate, including violent behaviour, President Museveni said it was because the Opposition had nothing constructive to offer.

    “The intolerance is because the opposition are ideologically bankrupt and have nothing to offer. They are desperate because the Movement has revamped the economy and generated revenue and we are able to deliver to the population. They now think that the only way to get rid of the Movement is to do away with particular players,” he noted.

    The President also dismissed claims that incumbency gives him an edge over his opponents, saying it instead placed a bigger burden on the candidate as the voters’ expectations are higher.

    “Incumbency in a way is a disadvantage. You get blamed all the time,” he said, adding that where incumbents have been unpopular like it was with Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia, Kamuzu Banda in Malawi and several other cases, they have lost elections.

    Fitness, health, term limits

    On media reports attributed to him about the performance of leaders above the age of 75, President Museveni said politics is about ideology and service and not sport where one needed to compete physically.

    “Politics is not Olympics or rugby where you need to compete physically. The presidency is a guiding role,” he said.

    On whether the country should remove age limit and reinstate term limits, the President said at this stage of development, limits were not the most important issue for Uganda because the country has more pressing concerns.

    “It took America more than a century and half while developing their economy and political class to put presidential term limits in their constitution. When they finally did so in 1947, everything they wanted had happened. They had developed, the colonies had integrated,” he said. “But here; what has happened? In Africa you behave like we are running countries and yet we are creating countries.”

    After taking the MPs through an elaborate history of the American War of Independence, formation of Modern Day America, collapse of Capitalism in 1929 through the Great Depression and the final introduction of presidential term limits in 1947, President Museveni warned Africans against aping everything from the West while ignoring their local conditions and realities.

    Seven-year term?

    On the proposal to increase the years of term of office from five to seven years the President said the leaders in Africa have much more to do and need adequate time to develop the continent and saw no harm in having longer terms.

    “For these countries with all these problems, two terms of five years is just a joke. Those who talk about this are just looking at improving their CVs. We might not discuss it now but there is merit at looking at the seven years. It would give some time to these young countries to develop. France has seven-year terms, I do not see what they have lost,” said the President.

    The President also dismissed the notion that the amendment was tailored to benefit him, pointing out that removal of the 35-year minimum for presidential candidates would instead give room to more young people who had been locked out to have a chance to run for the presidency.

    The MPs, through Hon Robinah Rwakoojo, the committee’s deputy chairperson, thanked President Museveni for according them audience, and indicated they would do a good job writing a report that captures all views picked from those they interfaced with.



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    OPINION: One Million March: Don’t Be Misled By Bobi Wine…



    Bobi Wine at one of his rallies. Inset is the writer George Mubiru

    After president Museveni and his government granting him a chance to traverse the country making political rallies (a chance he later misused by making reckless and irresponsible statements), National Unity platform’s  Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine immediately flew to Canada to meet his diaspora supporters and donors.

    Much as police later banned his rallies, being granted the right to do something doesn’t mean doing it wrongly. He misused his right because his hate speeches of tribalism could plunge this beautiful country into genocide.

    It should be remembered that he first went to the U.S with his family to premier a film on how Uganda is bleeding and on his return, he immediately announced his plan to make country wide tours.

    I believe all this was a calculated move to simulate the masses, go back to the imperialists and come back with the One million reception we are all hearing to distabilise the country with hopes of eventually overthrowing a legitimate government with the help of some western enemies of Uganda. Very unfortunate!!!!

    To a lay man who may not know the logic here, Bobi Wine has minted and bagged billions of money from his overseas donors. He is ridding on shoulders of innocent Ugandans hoodwinking them to make money and he has successfully achieved this.

    Bobi Wine’s mythology calls with ruthlessness symbolizes selfishness, opportunism, greed and calculating plunders through applying the most heartless measure of inciting the innocent people into danger for personal gains.

    If you’re one of those people being blind folded to be part of the illegal and unpopular One million march on October 5th 2023, ask yourself these questions below;

    1. Do you have an armoured vehicle like that of Bobi Wine?
    2. Does Bobi Wine share all that money he gets from his donors with you?
    3. If you don’t share the money with him, then who does and how do you benefit from the so called struggle?
    4. Which strength do you have to successfully fight one of the strongest military and police in Africa?
    5. Are you ready to die or be crippled forever?
    6. How well have you prepared and organized your family financially, socially, etc incase you die or get crippled?

    I appeal to Ugandans most especially the youths, to shun Bobi Wine, avoid danger and concentrate on their businesses. Most of these politicians are opportunists and money makers.

    We exist in an abundant world with enough for everyone but there are those hoarding the resources while telling you they are scarce and doing it knowingly to exploit you as their capital. Ugandans are meant to direct the anger and disgust at Kyagulanyi.

    Make use of the flourishing political stability and peace in the country to improve on your socio-economic status. Bobi Wine will not pay your bills, buy food, build a house etc. for you.

    We should not greedily take in any lie that flatters us and sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.

    The writer, George Mubiru, is a Jinja based researcher and NRM mobiliser

    Tel: 0754877595



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    Inside Story Behind One Million Match To Entebbe Airport As Security Moots Arrest Of Bobi Wine And University Lecturer Dr. Spire…



    NUP boss Bobi Wine (R) and Dr. Spire Ssentongo (L)

    National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters are organizing landmark grand celebrations to welcome their principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) who is expected back in the country on Thursday this week.

    Bobi Wine traveled abroad to hold high level talks with the international policy makers and Ugandans in the diaspora especially in the countries of Canada, United States of America and concluded with South Africa on Thursday.

    Bobi told Ugandans in the diaspora that they have a role to play in the fight to oust President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government and advised them to wake up and fight for what he termed as a good Uganda.

    Bobi Wine who was accompanied by his wife Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi also held music concerts and collected huge sums of money.

    He boasted that he used his recent political tours to deliver a strong message to the extent that it woke Ugandan intelligence up and they got to know that the political struggle is still on.

    He for the first time confirmed that he was possessed by his grandfather’s spirits ‘Mitembo’  when delivering his moving speech which shocked many in Luwero district and the country at large.

    He explained that when he was dressed with backcloth, given a spear and gin, everything changed including the words that came out of his mouth.

    It should be remembered that in Luwero, Bobi accused President Museveni and his son who also doubles as his Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba of practicing tribalism, nepotism and supporting land grabbing.

    Highly placed sources in NUP revealed that Bobi Wine knows very well that the State has to react very seriously to the statements he made in Luwero and it is highly likely that he will be charged in the courts of law.

    Sources added that an order was issued that on Thursday, all NUP leadership especially members of parliament, local councillors, division mayors have to participate in organising a one million march to welcome their party boss.

    They are supposed to look for transport and other requirements to facilitate their journey from Entebbe airstrip.

    Sources allege that the celebrations are going to be colourful and their movement is expected to be peaceful under their slogan ‘One Million march’ unless it is disorganised by police.

    When asked what they are celebrating, a NUP insider noted that they want to show love to Bobi Wine for the strong decision he made to lead the deadly struggle against President Museveni.

    He added that they are not going to use cars or motorcycles when they reach Kampala city because they will disrupt the traffic movement. Intead, they plan to walk.

    When contacted, Julius Katongole one of the Personal Assistants to Bobi Wine who also doubles as the Lubaga Division NUP youth leader denied the allegation that the one million match is organised by the party Secretariat.

    He insisted that the celebrations are organized by Bobi Wine supporters who want to show him some love for his decision to lead the political struggle against Museveni’s government.

    He explained that as supporters of Bobi Wine, they don’t expect any clash with security agencies especially police because they are not the first people to do so.

    He gave an example of the NRM supporters who welcomed Museveni from America in big numbers after firing his former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

    He also confirmed that they have landed on classified information that there is an ongoing move to slap criminal charges on Bobi Wine once he lands on Ugandan soil.

    Other security sources told theGrapevine that Bobi Wine will be charged together with Dr. Spire Ssentongo, a university lecturer and social media influencer.

    Without revealing the details of the file, sources claim that Bobi Wine and Ssentongo will face charges related to participating in the subversive activities against President Museveni’s government.

    He added that last month, a General Inquiry File was opened up at Central Police Station Kampala the headquarters of Kampala Metropolitan police and at Kibuli based Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters against Bobi Wine and Spire.

    These sources claim that after making a moving speech in Luwero district, where Bobi Wine accused President Museveni and his son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba and the NRA veterans of practising tribalism, nepotism and supporting land grabbing, Bobi Wine assigned Spire to fuel his message on social media.

    Katongole added that they suspect that Bobi Wine will be arrested immediately once he steps out of the plane.

    According to these sources, once arrested, Bobi Wine will be driven to Court or to his Magere home to avoid any processions.

    During his address to his supporters in America, Bobi Wine admitted that he used his recent countrywide political tours to provoke president Museveni into arresting him or doing something bad to him but he was advised by his advisers not to do so because it was going to give him bad publicity internationally.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    Gloves Off As Prime Minister Nabbanja Declares War On Minister Lumumba Over UN Trip…



    Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja (R) and minister Kasule Lumumba (L)

    Furious Prime Minister who also doubles as the Kakumiro district woman Member of Parliament Robinah Nabbanja Musafiiri has declared a war on Justine Kasule Lumumba the minister of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister over the recent trip to United States of America to attend the United Nations Assembly.

    Nabbanja revealed that she was surprised to see Lumumba attending the Assembly meeting because she was not given permission from her as the leader of government business who is responsible for giving ministers and government officials permission to travel abroad.

    She explained that she kept quiet while in US. However, when they immediately landed at Entebbe, she issued a directive not to refund any money to Lumumba and the people she travelled with because they traveled on their own.

    “She will not bring here her fighting practices she has exhibited where she came from. We don’t even have that slot of the minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister. I directed that she should not receive a refund for the money she used in that trip,” a furious Nabanja told CBS radio.

    She added that she was told that Lumumba was part of the delegation that went with Jessica Alupo the vice president whom Nabbanja said does not have authority to ask because she is her boss.

    She however explained that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gave her the green light to travel to the UN Assembly.

    Nabbanja noted that for her to travel to the US to attend the UN Assembly, she first received a special invitation from the UN and report to the president who allowed her to travel.

    She said that while in the US, she meet a number of investors on the sideline of the UN Assembly who picked interest to invest their money in Uganda.

    She added that she also met some of the top leaders of the World Bank who promised her that very soon, they are going to lift the ban they slapped on Uganda because of the Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the parliament and signed by President Museveni.

    Nabbanja denied allegations that she travelled with a huge delegation including his physical trainer.

    She divulged that she traveled with only five people and among them was his bodyguard, protocol officers and others.

    She threatened to take legal action against the Monitor Publication adding that some papers are used to fight her by publishing malicious stories which put her in bad light before right thinking members of socity.

    “They wrote that I stole Shs9bn which was allocated to teach youths how to drink coffee, yet the money was misused before I was even appointed a prime minister. Enough is enough, I’m going to act against them and you will hear the results,” a furious Nabbanja threatened.

    She explained that her predecessors used to travel abroad with huge delegations but they were never publicised as it was done to her.

    It is on this note that she alleged that her enemies are using the media to put her down but vowed to go down fighting.

    Hamson Obua the government Chief Whip in parliament revealed that during the NRM parliamentary caucus meeting at State House Entebbe, Nabbanja and Alupo were given the opportunity by the president to clear the air over the huge delegation they both traveled with to UN Assembly. They both denied the allegations.

    theGrapevine has established that there has been a silent war between Nabbanja and Lumumba with the Prime Minister accusing Lumumba of disrespecting her and backbiting her.

    Before being appointed a minister, Lumumba, who was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Secretary General had a bad working relationship with Dr. Tanga Odoi the party Electoral Commission chairperson.

    theGrapevine made efforts to get a comment from Lumumba over her boss’ allegations against her but her known phone numbers were not going through.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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