What If Museveni Stepped Out For Six Months?

patient sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Who would take over from him? What exactly would he find on his return?

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The 1995 constitution answers in part, how the Vice President would take the mantle and spells out responsibilities for the other various institutions down the hierarchy and all that.

Article 109(4) is precise: “Whenever the president is for any reason unable to perform the function of the office, the Vice President shall perform those functions until the president is able to again perform those function.”

The constitution expects the VP to manage all national affairs including defence and in his absence, the Speaker of Parliament would take over.

The question, however, that might not be answered with much precision is whether all these remaining institutions as stipulated in the constitution would in reality manage to stir the nation ahead in the absence of the President.

Severally, opposition politicians, high ranking academicians, political analysts, and members of civil society have lamented the manner in which the President has dismembered than strengthened majority of national institutions in all the three arms of government.

“We can condemn as much as we can the previous dictatorial governments of Milton Obote and Idi Amin but they will forever be remembered for the way they strengthened their state institutions,” noted FDC’s John Kikonyogo.

“A minister then was a minister. He was fully in charge, unlike what we have in the country today.”

He added: “A minister in the 1970s could donate a lorry to a cooperative body. But in 2014, even handing a pack of text books to a primary school or few bicycles to a youth group must all wait for the President.”

The growing concern is that while Museveni has grown his cabinet size to 3rd biggest on earth, so has its powers and significance subsided.

Whilst Ministers have their roles well spelt out in the constitution, most of the institutions and agencies immediately under their dockets prefer reporting directly to the President.

And so it is nowadays not uncommon to find the President settling disputes of such low magnitude as taxi drivers’ fights, land wrangles, lecturers salaries, and market disputes.

Critics also frown greatly when the president appears in the news commissioning what would pass as “petty projects” at sub-county and parish levels, which should clearly be the role of leaders at lower levels.

Mr Kikonyogo bets after six months, Museveni would still find all these errands waiting for him!

However, like Baganda would say the flexibility of a chain, is what makes it strong. Otherwise, how else would you explain the uninterrupted 28 years?


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