When it comes to African presidents who have overstayed their time in power, Yoweri Museveni's name easily comes up. With how he has been vociferously pushing for the amendment of the age limits, this effortlessly becomes a befitting description.
And as usual, his moves elicit mixed sentiments, with some supporting his rule and with others utterly despising him. Now, former Agriculture minister Hope Mwesigye has said that Museveni's decision to sign into law the 'age limit bill' is an indication that he is likely going to end up like Libya's controversial leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The comments from the former minister came a day after Museveni had appended his signature to the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2017 which, among others, removes the presidential age limit caps of 35 and 75 years in the constitution. The Act also extends the term of parliament and local government councils from five to seven years among other provisions which touch on 10 different articles of the constitution.
Mwesigye insinuated that Museveni's move will spark the fury of many Ugandans. For Mwesigye, these flames of anger could easily culminate into unrest and bloodshed. Because Museveni has paraded his inflexibility to respect the peaceful transition of power, Mwesigye argues that he will just end up like Gaddafi.
"What has happened since they have amended the Constitution against the people’s wishes and will, it has been bad, the situation is fragile and I think it can only get worse. What I’m seeing which has even started now, is instability. People are not sure of what is happening, there is uncertainty and it can only get worse and it will culminate clearly into more violence and war. You can see as a result of what happened, the so much money they used in amending this Constitution, I feel frustrated.
He [Museveni] may end up like the Gaddafis of this world, the Mubaraks of this world. Let him not think that because people are quiet, Ugandans are happy. When it reaches the tip-off point Ugandans will react", Mwesigye said.
Gaddafi's rule came to an end in 2011 after a very violent and bloody revolution that ultimately led him to capitulate in his hometown of Sirte.