Daily Monitor | NRM Must Identify Museveni Successor Now, says John Nagenda

Posted July 30, 2017 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Succession Politics ~ 3,241 views


By Isaac Mufumba — Kampala. The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party must identify someone to take over from President Museveni to avert a possible power struggle after him, the senior presidential adviser on the media, Mr John Nagenda, has said.

Mr Nagenda, in an interview with the Saturday Monitor at his Muyenga home in Kampala on Wednesday, said in the event that Mr Museveni were to die while in office or depart the political scene without naming a successor, it would create a power vacuum.
He said such a scenario would most likely plunge the country into turmoil and in so doing, reverse the gains that the country has made ever since the NRM shot its way to power in 1986.

“We have got to find somebody, the State has got to find somebody who will succeed Museveni because even if he hasn’t already succeeded (him), it will mean that many people would have heard it and maybe they will be ashamed to start killing or whatever it is,” Mr Nagenda said. The presidential adviser also dismissed fears that such an anointed successor’s life would be in danger. He said whoever the party or the President chooses would be protected.

Learn from history
History, he said, would be instructive in this matter, as it would tell that nations that have had strong leaders such as Mr Museveni always degenerate into anarchy and lawlessness when their leaders depart without resolving the issue of succession.
“Uganda has been in comparatively wonderful state because of what has happened with the Movement, would it not be a terrible thing to take the risk of going back to what things were? Because that is what usually happens if you have a very powerful leader and he is gone. Things go back to where they were,” he said.

“And to me, for all the good that has happened, which I approve of, to go back there, it would be quite irresponsible, he added.
He said while it is true that there are those who have good reasons for desiring to see Mr Museveni stay on, those who are pushing for the amendment of the Constitution are mostly corrupt people who have abused their positions to amass wealth. Mr Nagenda in 2005 opposed the lifting of the age limit, but later made a U-turn, saying he was wrong.

There has been raging debate in the past weeks over allegations that NRM party members are scheming to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution to have the age limit clause plucked out to allow President Museveni run for presidency for another term or indefinitely after his current tenure expires in 2021. The debate started after sections of the media recently claimed that the government had gazetted the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 in which a clause to remove the age limit on the presidency had been allegedly inserted.

Sections of the ruling NRM party supporters, led by Mr Museveni’s private secretary for political affairs, Mr David Mafabi, recently launched an initiative aimed at having the article amended. However, some activists and the Opposition have since started campaigns against lifting the age limit clause. The article bars anybody above the age of 75 from standing for the presidency, which would make Mr Museveni, now 73, ineligible to stand for the highest office in the land again in 2021. The amendment would, therefore, allow Mr Museveni to contest and continue in office if he chose to do so. Mr Museveni has, however, not expressed his support for the proposed amendment.

On July 19, during the launch of the Uganda Giants Club Conservation and Tourism Investment Forum, Mr Museveni, who was making his first public comments about the age limit debate, said while there is no official proposal to the effect, “it will be discussed” if the proposal is eventually originated. This was neither a confirmation nor denial of interest in the goings-on.
Nevertheless, Mr Nagenda, who described Mr Museveni as a person who likes being supported by rules, said he expects his boss to retire when his constitutional term expires in 2021. He also hopes that the President will soon draw a line under the debate.

“What I would hope for is that Museveni would tell them that, ‘I told you,’ which he has told us yes, that this is his last term. That he would stick to it (Constitution),” he says. Mr Nagenda said he has had candid discussions with the President about the matter of retirement and that although Mr Museveni has never unequivocally said he will retire, he at the same time did not say he would not be doing so.

On the possibility of Ms Janet Museveni succeeding her husband, Mr Nagenda, who lavished praise on her for having done a great job when she was State minister for Karamoja, said while he would not like her to be President, he would support the idea if it is the price that the country has to pay in order to have a smooth and orderly transition.

Would he support a Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba presidency? Mr Nagenda said he would find it “ridiculous”, but that he would not stand in the First Son’s way simply because he is Mr Museveni’ son. Mr Nagenda, however, rushed to add that he doubts Mr Museveni would try to have his son succeed him.

Full interview in tomorrow’s Sunday Monitor

What he told Sunday Monitor in 2014

Recently you wrote in your column defending the third term (amendment of the Constitution) which you had previously opposed. Why the sudden U-turn and what has changed?

No, but it has not been all of a sudden and when we last talked, it was two years ago or maybe even more. I have been thinking about it, the Americans say, if it ain’t broken, don’t mend it right and that is one thing. The second thing is, let me be very honest; the President is doing a fantastic job as we shall see when we go on, he is really doing a very good job and for example, we went to Somalia which I think is fantastic of an African country helping another and then we have recently gone into South Sudan….

The last thing we want to do is to get that country to be in terrible problems because those problems rebound on us. But two, we had to help the elected government of South Sudan against rebels. Now thinking of all the other people we have all around, who might have taken over from Museveni, I don’t see any of them having courage to go into these countries and partly funnily enough, ironically enough, the longer he has gone on, the stronger he has become and he is now definitely a leading person in Africa and I think in the Third World….

Actually, now we are really not controlled by term limits because they were removed with the approval of Parliament. However, my feeling now is that having given away on that one, which I have accepted quite honestly and I have kept quiet about it, then my conditionality is that as a country, we should know his successor, it maybe that he knows him in one way or another, it maybe some of the bigger people in Parliament or in government, Cabinet. But there should be a knowledge that all other things being equal, this person is being groomed to be a leader and that he /she should be acceptable to the party and hope also to the country…

Source — Daily Monitor

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment


    Avery one in Uganda should have a unique. Eye .known because ever since 1985 Uganda. Beautiful. Mother has peacefully..those some ways around. Thing had gone bad some in some sector and places.but all in all Ugandan citizens. Of our beautiful. Nation.should…continue think harder…..and wake up….because now anew day has come …forget the so called sleep.and repair
    for beauty. Of Uganda.tomorrow.and tomorrow…..May the almighty God bless our mother..and beautiful UGANDA.

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