Former Premier, Amama Mbabazi, says he only wants to see power move from the current President, Yoweri Museveni, to another person.
“The change of leadership from our generation to the next generation is inevitable,” Mbabazi said while appearing on a local television, NBS Morning Breeze last Friday.
“I want to lead the transition,” he was loud and clear.
“Changing leadership is inevitable and am offering to lead that transition,” he repeated, adding, “because there is no one more experienced than me to handle this.”
Amama said he was only asking to be President and would like to build on the achievements of the NRM party contrary to his supporters who have asked him to run as independent citing undemocratic tendencies in the ruling party.
“If president Museveni is elected in 2016, then we would have missed an opportunity for peaceful transition and would have to plan again for the future.”
Amama clarified that he was not working in any way to undermine President Museveni and because he is still a member of the NRM party.
“I don’t want to give Museveni a bloody run, I want a smooth and clear run.”
He still believes in unity of this country saying that is why he supported Yoweri Museveni in the past.
“I will move on the democratic path in this struggle and those who believe in democracy will move with me.”
He said the measure of civilisation of any given society is equal to the application of the law in that society.
“Am conscious of the rule of law and the measure of application of the rule of law is determined by the level of civilization of a given group of people.”
Consultations and nomination fees
He quoted NRM party rules which state that any party member is free to consult and prepare election material, wondering why the NRM party would stop him from doing that.
He was referring to his recent arrest for trying to hold a consultative meeting in Mbale town.
“I was going to Mbale to consult those that believe in my views but the city was turned into a siege and people where roughed up.”
As for nomination rules, Mbabazi said he received copies from other members who have paid and he is yet to make comments on what he thinks is wrong.
Mbabazi refused to pick NRM nomination forms when he was asked by party Electoral Commission chairman, Tanga Odoi, to pay Shs20m for the positions of party chairman and presidential flag bearer.
“Why would you charge someone in the village who has been serving the party voluntarily?” he wondered.
“I think the fees for the nomination forms are too high and are not meant for the general population.”
“I went to the NRM headquarters to pick documents that would guide me on what is required to pick the nomination forms.”
Why Museveni has to retire
Amama explained what he meant by saying he will not stand against President Museveni in the forthcoming elections.
“President Museveni has been a good leader and inevitable change has to occur.”
“Even good leaders have to retire at some point and Museveni has been a good leader.”
He narrated joining the struggle when he was 22 years saying his principles have always remained the same.
He also said if President Museveni is the flag bearer of the NRM, then he will not stand against him.
He said the Kyankwazi resolution that made Museveni a sole candidate was merely an expression of views by the NRM members.
Amama insists the current political situation can be compared to teething of a child and will soon be long gone.
“There is no doubt that Museveni has support and the demonstrations are normal in such a scenario.”
“Am looking at putting up systems and structures that will survive my departure and help the nation.”
Why he is the right man for Museveni’s job
Mbabazi said he also deserved credit for the achievements the ruling party has made promising to do more.
“We have provided education but we need to pay attention to the quality of that education,” he cited an example.
He quoted statistics showing that out of 100 pupils that finish primary school, only 40 % are literate saying it was due to the poor education systems currently in place.
“We have put institutions in place but they are not working. We need to adopt policies that will attract heavy investments from both foreign and local investor in order to become a 21st century economy.”
He concurs with Museveni that Uganda was a failed state when they took over power in 1986 and they have had a lot of achievements since then.
“Time for my ideas has come and no one can stop it. You cannot arrest an idea.”
Saying he has been a strong supporter of President Museveni, Amama noted that he was trying to introduce a different kind of politics and create an atmosphere that allows views to be herd without demonstrating in the streets.
“This being the first time, we will settle down as time goes on,” Amama he stated.
He accepted collective responsibility for the failures of the NRM party.
He said there was a need to find a way of making the electoral commission do its job professionally and not be biased in its reforms.