A group of Ugandans has filed an online petition seeking a peaceful retirement of president, Yoweri Museveni.
The petitioners are led by a one Ms Jannette Mugisha.
She last month filed a petition asking former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, to stand as an independent candidate citing the mistreatment he suffered in the ruling party due to “lack of democracy”.
Also last month, Mugisha’s home was raided by police who “were searching for Mbabazi’s T-shirts and campaign materials”.
Last week, Mbabazi announced that he would not stand on the NRM ticket hence going independent.
With that background, Mugisha has now resolved to petition the country’s president to retire.
The chief petitioner says the “young and democratic leaders of the new age generation have lost faith, trust and confidence in the leadership style of president Museveni”.
“We are disturbed with his undemocratic tendencies that restricts free competition and encourages sole office bearers therefore undermining the doctrines of democracy.”
The petitioners accuse Museveni of ridiculing and holding the office of the president of Uganda in “contempt and disrepute and is no longer the fountain of honour as we know it in the constitution of Uganda”.
They hope to rally the youth to express solidarity with the initiative of petitioning Museveni to retire “without being subjected to the humiliation of being rejected by the force of 75% youthful demography of the country”.
They quote Article 1 (1) & (2) of the constitution of Uganda 1995, which says “power belongs to the people and shall be governed by their will and consent”.
The legal frame work:
They also cite Article 107 and holds Museveni responsible for “abuse of office, misconduct or misbehaviour and physical as well as mental incapacity”.
The petitioners accuse Museveni of “fusing the state with NRM-O, the caucus has turned into the defacto decision making body of parliament in effect overthrowing parliament”.
“Bribing the NRM legislators with Shs 100m each to promote the undemocratic and restrictive sole candidature project, unconstitutionally building an armed youth wing of the NRM-O hereby called crime preventers and militarizing the populace.”
They also accused him of subjecting presidential aspirants and their respective supporters to arrests, detention without trial, torture and kidnaps.
“The constitution of Uganda prohibits someone of 75 years to be a sitting president, if president Museveni wins an election this term by the time he clocks 75 he is automatically an illegitimate holder of the office.”
The other accusation hinges on “personalisation of all the state institutions and national resources “my army, my money, my oil”, failing to implement the citizens reforms that specifically demands the parliament revisits various draconian laws, restore term limits, creates a transitional mechanism of peaceful transfer of power and demand for an independent electoral commission and giving lip service to the fight against corruption”.
The petitioners demand that the “President announces or drops his intention for contesting for another term in the office and hand over the management of the political party NRM-O to the party organs”.
“We demand the restoration of the rule of law in this country and the respect for the constitution through the separation of powers. We demand an immediate restitution of presidential term limits in the constitution of Uganda by the current parliament.”
The Insider talked to the chief petitioner about the initiative:
Insider: Who is Jannette Mugisha?
JM: I’m a citizen of Uganda. I believe in loyalty to my country. I am not a politician neither do I want to become one. I am an activist for change.
I am a business owner, social entrepreneur, activist for social, economic and political change.
Insider: How many signatures are you targeting?
JM: The sky is the limit if every voter could sign.
Insider: After collecting the signatures, then what?
JM: It’s clearly presented in the petition. We are going to deliver it to Museveni first.
Insider: What if he doesn’t respond?
JM: If he persists, then we will have no choice but to take our cause to the appropriate authorities for further action. I have my secret weapon, can’t reveal that now, but one step at a time.
The full petition is here: http://chn.ge/1Dugg30