President Museveni says Friday’s Presidential debate was not only childish but also not worth his time.
“These talking competitions [debates] are for school kids,” Museveni told press Sunday at his country home in Rwakitura.
The first ever presidential debate broadcast by NTV Uganda was attended by the other seven candidates in the race; Amama Mbabazi, Kizza Besigye, Abed Bwanika, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, Maureen Kyalya, Joseph Mabirizi and Maj Gen Benon Biraaro.
Held at Serena hotel in Kampala, the debate was watched by millions of Ugandans from all walks of life.
President Museveni boycotted the debate citing a busy campaign schedule.
Addressing media at his home today, Museveni said those things [debates] are characteristic of school kids and not presidential candidates.
Amid a thunderous laughter from members of the press, Museveni recalled those school days when he was at Ntale School in Mbarara.
“When we were in Ntale, we would go to Bwerenyangi [a girls only school in Bushenyi district] and Budo [Kings College] to take part in talking [debating] competitions,” Museveni narrated.
Museveni attended Kyamate Elementary School, Mbarara High School, and Ntare School together with Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, in the 90s.
The president said those were the days when he could take part in such childish “talking competitions” but has now outgrown that stage.
“I hadn’t understood that [old people engaging in talking competitions like school kids],” the president sounded surprised.
He said he was astounded that old people who are supposed to talk about the country’s future, were still embroiled in “childish talk”.
“Enh…,” the president paused in his characteristic manner, “…you find them there in talking competitions like school kids!”
“I have no time to spare for such. On that day that they called me for the debate, I had three rallies in Bushenyi,” he explained.
Museveni said he could not leave those thousands of people who graced his rallies to enter childish talking competitions.
Campaign trail in Ankole sub-region
Childish debates aside, the president said NRM has fought sectarianism because it is useless.
“When NRM taught unity, we gained strength which brought development and now we are going to work on wealth creation and skilling the youth.”
He also addressed the importance of discipline in the ruling party, NRM.
He said members who lost in the primaries and are still fighting which he described as indiscipline.
“They need to hold the party above themselves, as individuals.”
He also encouraged people to read the NRM manifesto to understand what his government wants to do.
“For example on Page 19, we address the subject of roads. In the last five years we have done 1,000km of tarmack and we are going to do 2,250kms in the next 5 years.”
He asked media to help in “this information role”.
“For example, go to Karuma dam and show its progress because it’s going to produce electricity that is four times that of Jinja.”
He asked the journalists to take pictures of Ayago, Karuma, Isimba dams rather than “useless pictures”.