President of the Forum for Democratic Change Maj. Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntu has put on hold his ongoing campaigns to retain the top position in the opposition.
Muntu says he wants to join forces with his colleagues in the opposition to fail the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution and remove the presidential age limit.
He said at a press conference in Luwero on Monday that he and his team will now be embarking on “lending a hand to democracy seeking colleagues to see how we to fail the attempts of Gen. Museveni to change the constitution.”
Muntu, who was flanked by FDC spokesperson Semunju Nganda and other party officials, termed the NRM efforts to change Article 102(b) of the constitution as “unfortunate.”
“Museveni and his people have forgotten history — 54 years of turmoil. They should look at our history. We don’t want to repeat what happened in 1966 when our constitution was abrogated,” said Muntu.
“Touching that constitution means an uncertain future.”
The FDC president says he and his people will now been working toward getting more members of parliament to oppose the amendment, in case the motion finds its way onto the floor.
“Amending the constitution needs two thirds of the house. That means we need only about 150 Mps which is possible; and we will put all our energies and that.
Commenting briefly on last Thursday’s scenes at parliament where police the army surrounded the Parliamentary building and deployed heavily around Kampala, Muntu warned that this was not effective and that it would only put the country on the verge of renewed turmoil.
He went on to condemn other actions of the security forces on Thursday which included shutting down FDC Headquarters, arresting the Kampala Lord Mayor, shooting at students and attacking civil society offices.
Muntu, a former commander of the national army advised officers in uniform to exercise restraint and follow their conscience when faced with orders that put the country’s peace at risk.
He asked serving officers “not to follow wrong orders”, but work toward safeguarding the country that they will enjoy even after they have retired.
“I was in uniform; I commanded the army from 1989 to 98. I retired from the army. I am now a civilian; I don’t have an escort,” Muntu said.
“Whatever they (army officers) do, they should think about the country and work toward a country in which they would want to operate in when they are no longer in uniform because they will not wear that uniform until the end of time.”
According to Muntu, most of the serving officers in UPDF are intelligent and are not supportive of any efforts by anybody to destabilize peace and the rule of law.
He said, “UPDF has some of the best trained military officers, mostly in education and has operated on many fields of war; even outside the country in South Sudan, Liberia, Somalia and CAR. They have been exposed. They know that the cause of the implosions in those countries is bad governance.
“I know for sure that the majority of the UPDF officers are intelligent; they know that what is hapenning is not good. I advise them to put the country first. They know that when they follow the wrong orders, there is a point at which a country enters a crisis.”