Politics

Gen Muntu: How We Resisted Museveni Plans to Change Constitution in 2003

Muntus
Gen Muntu meeting supporters in Lango

FDC President Gen Mugisha Muntu has opened up on the circumstances that preceded the lifting of presidential term limits in 2005.

The Ugandan Constitution had until then provided for a two five-year term for a sitting president after which the head-of-state would quit.

However, MPs would later amend the provision, paving way for President Museveni’s reelection and eventual stay in power.

It later emerged that MPs received Shs 5m each as an inducement to alter the Constitution.

Campaigning for the position of FDC party president late last week in Lango, Gen Muntu revealed details of the meeting that occurred at Kyankwanzi two years before the Constitutional amendment.

“In 2003, we were in Kyankwanzi. I remember we were in National Council and didn’t know that Museveni had coached people to remove term limits,” recalled Muntu.

Gen Muntu had served as army commander, a position he retained for a staggering nine years.

Muntu said Museveni asked whether members in attendance were in favour of the changes in the Constitution and over 100 members were saying “yes”

“When he was about to end his speech, I put up my hand persistently and he asked, “Muntu, what are you saying?’ I told him that you are about to shut but you have only listened to one side, and he asked, “you mean there is another side?’” said Muntu.

Only five people disagreed with Museveni on lifting term limits, according to Muntu.

These were Amanya Mushega who served as Education Minister, Miria Matembe, Eriya Kategaya, Hon Kiyingi and Mugisha Muntu.

“I told him (Museveni) not to touch the Constitution and advised him to leave a legacy,” said Muntu.

The former army chief and NRA guerilla went ahead to give examples of former African leaders, Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela who received international recognition after stepping out of power.

“They took a high moral ground,” Muntu challenged Museveni.

Muntu and his dissenting colleagues fell out of favour before being sacked from top government positions.

They would later mobilise other opposition figures to challenge Museveni’s hold onto power.

As government officials moot the idea of amending the Constitution, Muntu says more needs to be done to stop the move.

“Right now he is attempting to remove Age limits; the only remaining safety valve is our constitution,” said Muntu.

Government denies plans to amend the Constitution but some officials say the people want Museveni to stay around.

Polls

Meanwhile, Muntu continues to hold rallies and meetings with FDC supporters and leaders across the country in his quest to retain the top position in the party.

Muntu has been at the helm of the party for the last five years.

Critics say there is little to show for his leadership and that he is too soft to push Museveni out of power.

However, Muntu says his reign saw increased leadership base from 794 delegates in 2012 to 1,029 delegates.

Muntu says he renovated the party headquarters which have been staffed with a fully paid a secretariat.

The FDC leader further states that his leadership saw increased number of elected councilors at local and district level.

Official told ChimpReports that Muntu chaired, led and funded planning activities of the defiance campaign.

Other achievements include restoring unity in FDC and building an open and tolerant environment.

During the 2016 elections, FDC had agents at more than 78 percent of polling stations compared to fewer than 65 percent in 2006.

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