The Mbarara Resident District Commissioner, James Mwesigye, has asked Ugandans to allow President Yoweri Museveni time to prepare and transfer power peacefully and ensure continued political stability of the country.
Mwesigye, who was the chief guest at the launch of the Luo United Western Uganda Association at Generation Suites in Kamukuzi Division last week, said NRM wants to ensure there is power transition without any bloodshed.
He said countries that have changed governments through war cannot be peaceful if warlords have not rested.
Mr Mwesigye added that NRM is buying time to allow Mr Museveni retire all his bush war comrades so that the young generation can receive a government with no contestations from those who participated in the 1981-1986 liberation struggle.
“Why don’t you give Museveni another chance so that he can prepare the way for the youth, and he still has capacity to defend the opportunity you give him? Why would you start shouting ‘People Power’ yet Museveni is the one, with NRM, who brought back people power. Museveni is a very honest old man like the Luos, so allow him to first retire his generals,’’ Mwesigye said.
Local government leaders under their umbrella organization ‘Uganda Local Governments’ Association, NRM parliamentary Caucus and the Central Executive Committee have endorsed President Museveni to contest in 2021 as the party flag bearer.
Parliament in December 2017 removed the 75 age limit for presidential candidates, a legal barrier that would have stopped Mr Museveni, 74, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, from contesting in 2021.
“We are buying time as Ugandans to allow president Museveni retire his generals so I ask you to be patient so that this old man can retire his brothers such that we can avoid problems in future,’’ Mwesigye said.
However Kizza Besigye, 62, who was personal physician to Mr Museveni during the bush war that brought NRM to power has vowed to fight on saying the President instead took away people’s power.
The four time presidential candidate and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party founder on Saturday rallied opposition groups to work together to bring to an end Mr Museveni’s power.
“Mr Museveni may refuse that there is age limit but it is there. The bible says our years are seventy and if we are lucky 80, beyond that it is pain and suffering whether you like it or not…What I can tell you I will not go down unless I am down by all means. I will fight until, so that at least once we are gone we can relax wherever we are going if where we left our people, things are better,’ Dr Besigye while addressing student leaders from universities in Southwestern Uganda at Capricon Hotel in Bushenyi town.
He added that the struggle to remove President Museveni from power should not be championed by FDC, DP or UPC independently because they are all captives together with their followers.
“This thing is the struggle for power, is a struggle for our survival and either we get the power and survive or we do not get the power and perish and as I have said the struggle for power is not the struggle for leadership,” Besigye said.
He challenged the youth in universities to unite and oppose the regime without leaning to their political parties saying it will undermine the struggle.
At the meeting for Luo community in western Uganda, the Patron Mr Johnson Okili, who is the Manager Lake View Resort Hotel, pledged support to the government. He also called for unity and honesty amongst the Luo in Uganda.
“We decided to have an association because the Luo living in western Uganda have been having problems and we could not help ourselves and we also wanted not to lose out our identity and culture which is very rich. Discipline and honesty are our priorities and we promise to keep united because unity is the main pillar of development,” Mr Okili said.