Bishop Kisembo, President Museveni clash over age limit

Bishop Kisembo, President Museveni clash over age limit
Bishop Reuben Kisembo (L) shakes hands with President Museveni

Bishop Reuben Kisembo has once again told President Yoweri Museveni to consider retiring for the good of the country, attracting a tough response from the country’s number one citizen.

Museveni was in Fort Portal on Saturday to preside over the commissioning of St Elizabeth Chapel at Kyebambe Girls’ School, one of the oldest missionary schools in the region.

It all started when the Ruwenzori Diocese bishop in his speech thanked Museveni for the achievements in the last 30 years he has been president. Bishop Kisembo cited peace, Universal Primary and Secondary Education and construction of roads.

The bishop then told Museveni to retire peacefully and give a chance to Ugandans to witness a peaceful transfer of power for the good of the country and for his own good.

As Kisembo spoke Museveni took notes in his handbook. Bishop Kisembo also told the president that it was unfortunate that parliament had amended the constitution and removed the presidential age limits.

“Mr president it is unfortunate that the age limits were removed. However, you should prepare for a peaceful transfer of power. Kindly, do not deny the people of Uganda such an opportunity,” Bishop Kisembo said amidst cheers from the congregation.

After his speech, Kisembo shook hands with the president. In his response, Museveni said that he does not need lectures on what to do for Uganda. Museveni said that religious leaders have for a long time been provoking him through their comments.

“The religious leaders have been provoking us and me in particular, it should stop. I don’t want people to lecture me about what to do for Uganda. A person who wants to lecture me must have the qualifications,” Museveni said.

Museveni also told the congregation that leaders should have a disciplined way of addressing issues, saying that it was wrong for Bishop Kisembo to talk about politics at a fundraising event.

“There is time for everything, I have come for a fundraising. There should be a disciplined way of interacting,” Museveni said.

Museveni contributed Shs 300 million for the completion of the chapel estimated to cost Shs 3 billion.

Bishop Kisembo has been among religious leaders who were openly critical of the move by parliament to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution which removed the lower and upper age caps for president and local council leaders.

Before the amendment through the Constitution Amendment Act 2017, which was passed on December 20, 2017 and assented to a week later, the law capped the age of the president at 35 and 75 years.