Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, who has on Wednesday officially declared his 2021 presidential bid and launched a platform dubbed “a renewed Uganda” and a slogan “kisoboka” literally meaning it is possible, said the presidency should not be for only one person but rather all Ugandans.
The former security Minister who will challenge his ex-boss President Museveni in the forthcoming elections said it is the right time to shape what he called a future and destiny of this country.
“A moment has come for us to organise ourselves into a collective force to shape the future and destiny of our nation. This job (presidency) should no longer be any person’s job, it is a job of every Ugandan. It should never be of anybody else except yourselves (Ugandans),” he said.
Tumukunde emphasized the need for a peaceful transition from President Museveni who has been in power since 1986.
“The need to address the issue of a peaceful transition cannot be over emphasized. We always talk about transition. For me and our group, we want to give it special status in our programmes and I want to advise every Ugandan to give sufficient attention to this,” Tumukunde said.
“A transition, not in the narrow interpretation of changing leadership from the incumbent to another person but a big agenda that will enable Ugandans migrate from traditional partisan discourse of positions to one of enhanced political inclusiveness. A transition from a nature based to a modern industrial knowledge based economy with equitable access to resources and opportunities,” he emphasized.
Without addressing the issue of governance, the former spy master said he and his team are convinced that nothing will change, adding that political parties have had limited opportunity to build the process of governance.
“They (political parties) remain weak, they lack institutional support and have deliberately been denied a role in the transition to effective democratic politics,” he said.
The restrictions, he said, are imposed on opposition parties in a bid to maintain monopoly of influence.
The Constitution in which he participated in making, he said, has been largely abused, amended unfairly adding that the original document no longer exists.
Tumukunde, in 2005, as an MP representing the army in Parliament, is on record for having opposed the legislation to amend the Constitution to lift the presidential term limits from two terms.
He and his colleague Col Fred Bogere who rejected to vote in favor of the amendment would later be thrown out of Parliament.
Tumukunde said that what he was doing was to keep the promise he and his bush war fighters made when they captured power over 30 years ago.
“What I was advocating for then was for us to keep the promise we made to Ugandans in 1986 when we took power because the journey to democratize this country seems to be a ship that is largely sinking.”
Tumukunde, who in March this year wrote to the Electoral Commission seeking permission to conduct presidential consultations and notified the Inspector General of Police as is required under presidential elections Act and Public Order Management Act (POMA), said the institutions work for State machinery.