Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What Is Behind Lifting the Term Limit?

If Museveni and his NRA up to now still claim that Uganda is not ready for multiparty politics, or that only Museveni can lead Uganda, then it may be time to review their approach of using force to topple the previous government. A peaceful and progressive society cannot be built on force alone. It evolves from mutual understanding and needs between the members who are truly free to make their choices as they wish. It is also participatory in nature, thereby, allowing people to adjust their behaviors and expectations to blend with the whole society.
The so-called 10-Point Program adopted by Museveni while he was still in the bush was simply a means to capture the imaginations and subsequent support of the masses in order to gain power over them. Once there, the need for these encumbrances dropped off.
Just look at the NRM second 10-Point Program. It says, ‘Second, because insecurity in Uganda had been largely the result of "state-inspired violence," it could be eliminated through local democracy, "a politicized army and police, and absence of corruption at the top." Yet, nineteen and now going on to twenty years since NRM captured power, state inspired violence is the order of the day in Northern Uganda, particularly in Acholi. And as for corruption at the top I can say very little unless the top is Obote. This is now where NRM ‘leftovers’ and ‘rejects’ make their fortune before joining the inner circle of Museveni’s government. Acholi is now their proving ground!

What is the implication of Mbabazi’s defense as reported by Badru D. Mulumba in the Monitor of Mar 15, 2005?

He said term limits provide a weakened presidency because focus shifts from policies and legislative programs to campaign pledges and plans for presidential candidates

So if this is the case, how is lifting the term limit so Museveni can serve one more term going to help the presidency? Just one more term, which is his last, would make him a lame duck president. And automatically this would bring us to the weakened presidency, which is supposed to be corrected by lifting term limit. It seems to me that the NRM is simply duping the people one term at a time. What they really want is 'No limit' for presidential term when their man is in power and 'change limit' when UPC or any other party is in power. Some have gone as far as saying 'lift term limit for Museveni but thereafter, maintain it in the constitution.'

Because of these kinds of inconsistencies, it is easy to see that the NRM are not interested in democratic process unless it favors them. The cry for the lifting of term limit is intended to shield and give more time to inner NRM circle to hold onto power and hope that Museveni stays longer to their advantage. So behind the lifting of the term limit are:

  1. The military commanders who owe their existence to Museveni.
  2. Businesses that have benefited from Museveni autocratic rule.
  3. People who have committed excesses under Museveni.
  4. The sycophants

This is why nothing is changing in Uganda since NRM/Museveni came to power by force of arms. In fact now that Museveni has completely consolidated his power base and the whole machinery is working to their liking, there is no need to please the people. Hence the 'Omnibus,'- remember 'Umbrella?'- has been rolled out to take care of those pesky problems of passing every law in parliament. The 'Omnibus' will take the NRM to their ultimate destination of perpetual rule.

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