The Daily Monitor newspaper of 15th, May 2009 alleged that the President of Uganda and National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), His Excellency Yoweri K. Museveni while meeting with the NRM Parliamentary Caucus on 14th, May 2009 said that he does not see anybody who can succeed him not even within NRM.
Whereas the meeting of the Caucus was a private one and we normally do not respond to newspaper conjecture about what happened in the Caucus, the gravity of this particular allegation compels us to give a clear and unequivocal response.
These statements of The Daily Monitor are not only misleading but they are also false. While it is true that the President addressed the NRM Parliamentary Caucus and answered a question put to him by Hon. Okot Ogong, it is not true that he said that he sees no successor in NRM to him as President of Uganda.
After the President addressed the Caucus and gave the reasons behind the campaign to promote patriotism among Ugandans starting with Secondary Schools, Mr. Okot Ogong asked the President if this was not Mr. Museveni’s strategy to stay in power for another twenty or fifty years.
The President responded that the question of leadership was not a matter of taking turns to occupy the seat of the Presidency.
He told the Caucus meeting that what is important in the revolution is to identify work to be done and the willingness and ability of the member to carry on the tasks as assigned or to be executed. He said that he has always done that whenever there was a task to perform and continues to do so even today.
He further stated that the last time he commented on that matter was when Mr. Bidandi Ssali, then a Minister in Cabinet, raised a similar question a few years ago.
The President told the meeting that he had told Bidandi Ssali that if he, Bidandi, had failed to execute his duties when he was working under the supervision of the President, how could Museveni be confident that Bidandi would perform better in a higher responsibility?
The question of succession within NRM and the country is a long settled one. The NRM Constitution and the National constitution have laid down procedures on how one comes to the position of leadership unless “Daily Monitor” and its misinformers think that there shall be other unconstitutional means to get to the positions of leadership.
One of the major achievements of the NRM revolution was settlement of the question of how one attains the position of leadership in the country and this has been practiced by the people of Uganda who have elected their leaders in several elections both Local and National that have been held since NRM came to power in 1986.
There are however a few individuals who think the leadership in Uganda should hijack the hard gained democratic right of the people to elect their leaders and substituted by the “appointment” of successors. this democratic right of the people of Uganda to elect their leaders cannot be reversed by the same leadership that fought to put it in place.
By Princess Kabakumba, Minister for Information and National Guidance Holding the portfolio of Government Chief Whip, and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Caucus.