President Museveni has said he doesn’t have to show he is fit to continue serving as head-of-state.
“Stamina doesn’t have to be shown,” said Museveni, adding, “I am after educating you people.”
Museveni’s remarks come high on the heels of an intense debate over the objectives of the 195km trek from Galamba in Wakiso district to Birembo in Kibaale district.
Speaking to journalists on Friday in Birembo, Museveni said the trek was aimed at educating “young people to look at the history of those who came before you so that you learn from it and secure Africa.”
Critics say Museveni wanted to exhibit his fitness as a political strategy to counter claims he is aging and losing grip on power.
Others said at the age of 75, Museveni should be retiring and handing over power to the youthful generation.
But Museveni defended his decision to walk over 70 kms, saying, “When I move around I am able to check on our system to see if it’s working. I am able to check on our old cadres. That’s reconnecting and educating and checking.”
He also said the trek “exposes to you what’s happening. You are always on the internet. Me I don’t go on the Internet because it interferes with your thinking.”
Museveni also cited health reasons as justification for the trek.
“I have gyms in Entebbe and elsewhere. But you don’t do a lot of work. You’ll always find excuses of leaving. In gym you think it’s enough and go. My people were saying we drive during this last stretch. I said I can’t miss chance of walking to Birembo. I needed it for health reasons,” said Museveni.
Some of the trekkers included NRA historicals including Gen Elly Tumwiine, Steven Kashaka, former army chief Gen Katumba Wamala, Kashillingi among others.
ICT Minister Judith Nabakooba and her deputy Peter Ogwang, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija also graced the ceremony.
Works Minister Gen Katumba Wamala and Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda are taking part in the ceremonies aimed at honouring the NRA combatants.
President Museveni last Saturday flagged off the 195km trek through the seven districts of Wakiso, Nakaseke, Mityana, Kiboga, Kasandha, Mubende and Kakumiro.
Trekkers were residing at campsites as they traversed routes that the NRA fighters used during the liberation struggle.
Museveni also addressed small groups of people along the trek routes and investigated the effectiveness of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).
The trek ended yesterday. But Museveni will hold a rally in the area before trekkers return home.