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Home > Opinion > Iddi Amin’s son speaks on Uganda’s controversial presidential term limit saga

Iddi Amin’s son speaks on Uganda’s controversial presidential term limit saga

Hussein Idd Amin

First, I would like to thank God that no life was lost today and no Ugandan was seriously injured.

We all knew that there could be a high price to pay today for coming out and protesting against the proposed constitution amendment.

Several brave Ugandans took the risk and basically put their lives on the line on this issue. It is not an easy decision for anyone to make.

I therefore ask those ordered to patrol the streets and besiege parliament to ensure that it remains this way no matter what. Do not shoot or kill any Ugandans on this constitutional crisis which is obviously not over yet.

It is the politicians who have brought this country to the brink of public confrontation. They should own up for their bad policies that have incited the public, and then they should address the crisis politically to restore calm without you the armed men having to be involved.

It is actually as simple as that, and very possible.

Amendments to the Constitution are supposed to improve institutional governance and not render the document meaningless, right?

Given the multiple political impasses that this country has faced in its history, and continues to face to this day, I had wanted to suggest a middle ground to the current steaming debate with three critical constitutional amendments as follows:

1. Restoration of term limits as was previously enshrined in the 1995 constitution.
2. Removal of age limit: Making any Ugandan having attained the official majority age of 18 years old eligible for the presidency.
3. Any changes to the Constitution that affect eligibility and duration of presidential tenures must only take effect after the incumbent has completed his/her tenure under the rules that exist at the time of passing the new bill. This so as to prevent any sitting president changing the constitution for the sake of “clinging to power”.

I believe that these three amendments clearly worded and passed together as a finite package, will not only strengthen the Constitution, they will also ensure that Uganda is politically a better country going forward.

At this juncture, removing the age limit alone is tantamount to rendering the entire 1995 constitution a meaningless endeavour.

A constitution  that could therefore be thrown to the dustbins of Uganda’s post-independence history together with Milton Obote’s infamous “Pigeon hole constitution 1966”.

Technically, removing the presidential age limit from the Constitution is not a problem.

We all recently saw a world leader become president at 75 years of age in the US and nobody saw any problem with that as a principle.

What the people of Uganda are rightly concerned about is that some individuals are always found changing the constitution whenever they encounter therein a hurdle to their personal political ambitions.

A decent patriotic president would have come forward and addressed the citizenry boldly, decisively, and honestly concerning this repetitive conflict of interest behaviour, rather than appear cunning, evasive, silent, and therefore greedy on this subject matter.

Stable societies and growing economies do not thrive in moments of dubious uncertainty as seen today. So it is important to confront the question in a dignified way that puts to rest any public concerns.

That is what a “Fountain of Honor” should have done.

The Tanzanian leader for example is reported to have recently stood firm and summarily kicked out any suggestions to alter their country’s constitution so that he could rule beyond the current two terms provided for in their constitution.

As I said recently, there is no external security threats or serious internal political stability issues to use as an excuse in Uganda’s case today.

So the Ugandan people need honesty, robust logic and unambiguous guidance on this specific political conduct of clinging to power that is now the major remaining hurdle to building and developing national institutional governance.

Unfortunately for this country, it appears to be the head of the fish that is most wobbly, most unreliable, and most rotten on this matter.

On the other hand, most activists and opposing politicians are actually failing to clearly articulate the one problem here: The habit of changing the constitution to suit one individuals political ambitions.

Why are the changes made to suit an individual and not for the country and its institutions?

Why is it about Museveni?

This constitution is therefore fast loosing value and the people of Uganda have now stopped believing in its sanctity.

All what has happened to this document in the past 12 years cannot be considered constitutionalism. And lawmakers, civil society and political parties should have already had a strategy and solution for this problem.

As we all know, twelve years ago (2005) the constitution was first changed to remove term limits so that the same known individual could continue legitimizing his clinging to sleeping in State House.

To this day I have not heard anyone present any written constitutional remedies to this behavioral problem. And some of us who sought to address the issue in concrete terms in our constitutional amendment proposals in 2015 were summarily ignored by all political actors across the board.

Those proposals are probably gathering dust somewhere at the Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs. That’s if he has not used them as toilet paper already.

Yet it is imperative that we contribute real meaningful solutions to this country’s countless real problems.

We all know what is going on under the current regime that is masquerading as Miss democracy beauty pageant with electoral lipstick, supreme court Brazilian weave, and fake multi-party butt implants which all come off in the dead of night to haunt Ugandan women who are being slaughtered with impunity in gruesome serial killings while the police force is focused on partisan political issues rather than protecting life and property of the Ugandan people.

The hidden regime despotism creeps out every night after midnight and now floods our streets with battalions of armed soldiers who are ready to shoot Ugandans who disagree with the head of the regime.

Our history tells us that in 1966, one politician similarly forced the promulgation of his infamous “pigeon-hole constitution” to declare himself president after overthrowing his predecessor President Edward Muteesa.

The first coup in Uganda was by Milton Obote.

Back then, the people’s representatives were similarly under duress as the military surrounded the legislature and helicopters hovered above the August House on Milton Obote’s express orders.

That was the beginning of the vicious and highly cunning cycle of violence and retribution known as Oboteism. With their fake Panafricanism and bogus democratic credentials that ended up in constant coups, his rigged elections, his genocides and mass murder, plus his tribalist buffoonery.

That history could currently be starting to repeat itself as we speak.

After the assault on the Rwenzori Kings palace last year similar to the Obote-ordered assault on Lubiri palace in 1966, here we are today with Parliament and the capital city literally under siege as in 1966, with the military and police colon’s patrolling the streets of Kampala.

Young soldiers carrying heavy battle machine guns whose ammunition is draped around them like a python ready to sink its fangs and teeth in the flesh of any discontented Ugandan who crosses their path.

How patriotic is such a person who always deploys regiments of troops to threaten and kill his own people, the same deployment seen last year during the rigged 2016 elections?

And if one is popular as claimed, would this cowardly deployment be necessary?

President Idi Amin whom these same people say was a mad dictator, never deployed the military like this against the Ugandan people.

Which mad dictator would go and chat with the people every day even without any bodyguards?

If the people hated him and his life presidency, would he return home alive every evening from the streets?

The Ugandan people actually loved him. He gave them back their country, empowered them economically, and made tremendous efforts against all odds to develop Uganda.

They knew he was patriotic and loved his country, so they accepted him the way he was and under the circumstances of the time.

For the record, the behaviour of mass military deployments against the people of Uganda was started by Milton Obote in 1966. It was then restarted after Amin with the “Yusuf Lule riots, and continues as normal procedure whenever these unpopular cowards who came from Tanzania in 1979 feel threatened.

Can they even stop for a roadside chapati alone today without getting mobbed to death by a disillusioned public?

Ugandans and their representatives are now being forcefully coerced and arm-twisted by these quack revolutionaries to remove the age limit from the constitution.

Where is the good governance that these so-called PHD holders are always talking about?
What about the freedom of conscience, the independence of all arms of government, and all the claims of institution building?

When a monkey comes to steal food from the kitchen, it comes thinking that the human-being inside the house is the one who is stupid, and it (the monkey coming from the bush) is the one who is sharp.

That is the same ideology that I see in these democracy-painted, suit-wearing, intellectual-posturing fake liberators.

In reality they have been surviving on just one thing for the past four decades: The gun.

In 1971, overthrowing such a treacherous tribalist regime was not only the right thing to do for the people of Uganda, it was the only thing left to do.

But the more important question that our learned politicians and political parties have yet to clearly answer is as follows: What next?

Is the struggle over or is this the time you have all been waiting for?

Are you again going to embark on speeches about first building grassroots party structures, or are you immediately taking on the task of actually creating the change required for this country, and ensuring 100% that it will be economically, politically, and institutionally a far better country than it is today?

May God bless Uganda and grant this nation an always brighter future.

Signed: Hussein Lumumba Amin
21 Aug 2017

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