Ugan­dans won’t let me re­tire: Mu­sev­eni

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

large chunks of So­ma­lia, they no longer have to pay for a shadow gov­ern­ment,” said a diplo­mat. “You can mount an in­sur­gency for re­ally not very much money.”

Deep­en­ing wor­ries for the au­thor­i­ties is a video posted on YouTube this week with an ad­dress by Ahmad Iman Ali, a Kenyan be­lieved to head al Hi­jra, the lo­cal branch of al Shabaab. He promised to tar­get “non-be­liev­ers” to avenge KAMPALA — Uganda’s veteran Pres­i­dent Yow­eri Mu­sev­eni has said peo­ple don’t want him to re­tire but that he doesn’t “need power”, ahead of a highly an­tic­i­pated rul­ing party con­fer­ence next week.

Mr Mu­sev­eni, aged 70 and Uganda’s leader since 1986, has al­ready been cho­sen as the rul­ing Na­tional Re­sis­tance Move­ment’s (NRM) can­di­date for pres­i­den­tial elec­tions due in 2016, but there have been in­creas­ing mur­murs of dis­con­tent within some sec­tions of the party.

While ap­pear­ing on a ra­dio talk show dur­ing the week­end, the leader was chal­lenged by MP Ibrahim Sse­mu­jju Nganda to an­nounce his re­tire­ment date.

“I don’t think the Ugan­dans are as ob­sessed with my re­tire­ment, be­cause when­ever I go for elec­tions, five mil­lion tell me not to go, but stay,” Mr Mu­sev­eni was quoted as say­ing by Ugan­dan news­pa­pers. Po­ten­tial chal­lenger “I do not lack where to re­tire to, but I am also a mem­ber of a party and I do what it tells me.”

In Septem­ber, Mr Mu­sev­eni sacked the coun­try’s prime min­is­ter, Amama Mbabazi, a for­mer ally who has emerged as a po­ten­tial chal­lenger.

Mr Mbabazi, the NRM sec­re­tary-gen­eral cur­rently on forced leave, has con­firmed he will at­tend the party del­e­gates con­fer­ence due to be­gin on 15 De­cem­ber in Kampala.

It adds to spec­u­la­tion that his sup­port­ers may try to dis­rupt the event.

“I don’t need power. For what? I don’t need power as a per­son,” Mr Mu­sev­eni said.

“I have my home, I have my house. I need noth­ing from any­body as long as there is peace in Uganda.”

The age­ing leader also said he didn’t think there was “any coun­try in the world that is more demo­cratic than Uganda,” claim­ing that the up­ris­ings in coun­tries like Egypt and Libya could not hap­pen in Uganda.

Libya’s top­pled dic­ta­tor Muam­mar Gaddafi, the long­est-serv­ing leader in both Africa and the Arab world un­til his oust­ing in 2011, had al­lowed “no com­pet­i­tive pol­i­tics,” Mr Mu­sev­eni said. — AFP

Ugan­dan Pres­i­dent Yow­eri Mu­sev­eni

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