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

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    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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    NATIONAL

    How Boyfriend, Pressure For Wedding Money Forced MP Nanyondo To Withdraw Her Signature From Censure Motion Against Mpuuga And Company…

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    Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has explained that the actions of Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo to withdraw in writing her signature from the censure motion against the four parliamentary commissioners over corruption allegations was showed that legislators don’t read.

    He revealed that the reason why he always overshadows fellow legislators on the floor of parliament and even during media talk shows is because they don’t read but just sign documents, especially when they are told that they will get allowances after signing.

    “How can a member of parliament withdraw her signature claiming that you were misled to sign, now how can you convince your voters that you are not misled to take decisions that affect them!” Ssemujju wondered.

    In her defense, Nanyondo said that the movers of the motion to impeach the commissioners used her signature from the opposition cabinet meeting and put it on the censure motion papers.

    Ssemujju noted that once a legislator appends their signature on a censure paper, he or she cannot withdraw it and Nanyondo is still taken as one of the legislators who signed the censure motion against the legislators.

    However, theGrapevine established that Nanyondo was forced by her boyfriend to withdraw the signature.

    Sources claim that Nyanyondo’s boyfriend, a one Kateregga who was a councilor for Bukomansimbi district, pleaded with Nanyondo to withdraw her signature because Mpuuga is one of their own and it will shame them to betray him.

    He alleges that Nyanyondo and her boyfriend are set to legalize their marriage in church before the end of this year and Mpuuga has already contributed Shs20m to help in the preparations of their wedding.

    Others who contributed include Annet Anita Among the speaker of parliament who contributed Shs10m.

    Sources divulged that Kateregga nowadays spendsmuch of his time in the United States of America because the couple plans on relocating to the US once this political term ends and after they legalize their marriage.

    Sources added that Nanyondo is not going to defend her position in the coming 2026 elections after realizing that the ground no longer favors her.

    Before joining politics, Nanyondo and Kateregga were running a printing business on Nasser Road in Kampala city.

    When Nanyondo contested for the first time as MP to replace her sister Suzan Namaganda, the former wife to former East African Assembly Uganda representative Fred Mukasa Mbidde, Kateregga was in charge of pinning her posters.

    theGrapevine made several phone calls to Nanyondo’s known phone numbers for a comment on the story but they all went unanswered.

    Nanyondo is among the poor performing legislators in Buganda.

    The four commissioners who in trouble are; Mathias Mpuuga the Member of Parliament for Nyendo-Mukungwe, Prossy Mbabazi Akampulira the Rubanda district legislator, Solomon Silwanyi the Bukooli Central legislator and Esther Afayochan of Zombo district woman legislator.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    NATIONAL

    Gen. Bigirwa Deletes NUP From Busoga & Dumps It In Magere; Gen. Museveni Jubilating….

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    The legendary chinua Achebe stated that; “never test the depth of a river with both feet”.

    This is what Bobi Wine did through selective and apoplectic persecution of Bigirwa Moses, the self proclaimed general who of recent denounced the Un reliable National Unity Platform (NUP) and its entire lurch leadership.

    The self styled general has created a very big endless smile on the legendary president and the NRM after completely drowning and eventually killing NUP, burying it at Bobi Wine’s Magere.

    After all, What colorable reason could be assigned to Bigirwa in a party that feels comfortable on settling as the leaders of opposition for monetory gains?

    Recently, the suspicious and rancor Bigirwa launched his pressure group called the Eastern Revolutionary platform (ERP) and installed himself as the supreme leader. This is a very big blow to the already embattled Robert Kyagulanyi’s NUP, whose support in Busoga has been deteriorating day after day.

    Busoga lost trust in NUP because of it’s disrespect to the kingdom. This is after Various NUP herd mentality people abused and ridiculed the cultural institution and the king on several occasions.

    The startled subjects almost wept when the top NUP leadership failed to de-associate it’s self from such individuals.

    Coupled by the alleged support of homosexuality, the vexed people in the Busoga territory can’t bear NUP anymore. The ethnography of Basoga can’t give chance to such un cultured leaders to thrive. They realized President Museveni is the only person who can preserve their culture.

    Bigirwa read between the lines and opted not to assist an unjust administration by disobeying their unjust orders and decrees. To continue paying allegiance to NUP would mean partaking their evil. He chose the NRM’s noble cause of disobedience to evil to secure the future of our beautiful nation.

    Bigirwa has openly taken a bold decision and has castigated NUP’s top leadership for abandoning the struggle due to selfishness and parochial interests. He has demonstrated that it’s not right to think of oneself.

    He has emulated Gen. Museveni’s belief of sacrifice and service above self in a human spirit that will always survive and prevail.

    The alleged signs of parachoalism and chauvinism are barbaric and cannot drive our country anywhere apart from plunging us into turmoil yet we can no longer tolerate any dangers to the forward march of Uganda.

    President Museveni, NRM and Bigirwa wins. In Busoga, to resist radical evil means that you’re cultured. It’s a heroic character. It’s enduring a life that by all standards of the wider society is viewed as a success. The more Kyagulanyi runs to imperialists, the actors of the barbaric homosexuality to help him remove the tactical acumen from the most prestigious seat because of defending our culture, the more love and respect ugandans will accord gen. Museveni.

    Bigirwa has accepted that the dominant culture and NRM’s main pillars of social economic transformation, patriotism, democracy and Pan-Africanism is the way to go. There is no doubt he has opened the eyes of the remaining few people who have been blindly following the enemies of development.

    Compulsive liars are frightening and a great danger to society but the people of Busoga have rejected being compulsive believers. Believing would tantamount into liar’s enablers. NUP is finally buried in Magere and it will be extremely difficult to get any NUP elected leader from Busoga in the 2026 polls. NRM and president Museveni will be overwhelmingly voted.

     

    The writer, George Mubiru, is a researcher, political analyst and Ass. RCC Jinja City.

    Tel. 0754877595

    Email: georgemubiru93@gmail.com

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    NATIONAL

    Mayor Mulyanyama Takes His Fight Against Bobi Wine’s Brother Nyanzi For NUP Ticket To CBS Radio…

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    Makindye Division Mayor Ali Kasirye Mulyanyama

    Fight within National Unity Platform (NUP) for Kampala City Lord Mayor ticket has deepened as maverick Makindye Division Mayor Ali Kasirye Mulyanyama declared war on Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, the elder brother to Principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine).

    Both Nyanzi and Mulyanyama have declared interest to contest against the current Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago and they are clandestinely mobilizing for internal party support.

    theGrapevine haa established that Mulyanyama has entered a deal with Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s CBS radio to popularise his political ambitions for Lord Mayor seat and he has already started using the platform to fight Nyanzi.

    Last week, he accused Nyanzi of using reckless statements which placed their boss Bobi Wine and their party in bad light.

    Mulyanyama was responding to the statement made by Nyanzi on the misunderstanding between NUP leadership and Masaka region journalists who accused Bobi Wine security of insulting them.

    Nyanzi told CBS radio that the said journalists are making these malicious allegations because they are working for Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba’s group to fight Bobi Wine .

    Nyanzi and other NUP leaders particularly accuse CBS radio’s Masaka city news reporter Tomusange Kayinja of masterminding the drive of attacking and giving false news against Bobi Wine which Mulyanyama rubbished.

    Mulyanyama asserted that CBS is a radio with professional journalists and presenters and they should not be dragged in petty internal party fights.

    He disclosed that he cannot look on as Nyanzi and other people use their positions in the party to fight Kabaka’s radio which has always given many opposition politicians the platform that has helped them win elections against President Museveni’s NRM party.

    It should be noted that there is ongoing bad blood between the Mengo administration led by Premier Charles Peter Mayiga and NUP leadership.

    The bitter verbal exchanges have come from both sides.

    However, insiders at CBS radio told theGrapevine that Mulyanyama wanted to use CBS as his political mobilization weapon to weaken Lukwago.

    Sources said that he is desperate, frustrated and confused after learning that there are ongoing talks spearheaded by Mukono Municipality legislator Betty Nambooze Bakireke for Lukwago to join NUP and one of the conditions involves giving him the Lord Mayor ticket come 2026.

    Recently, Bobi Wine stopped Nyanzi from campaigning for the office of the Lord Mayor and even threatened to take disciplinary action against him.

    Nyanzi accused NUP Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya of compromising Bobi Wine to humiliate him because he is also interested in the position.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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