By Charles Kamya Ssentamu
The fights between President Museveni and Members of Parliament over UGx20 billion has been taking different shapes with the former expressing worries over legislators’ decision to allocate themselves the money.
However, UGx20 billion is nothing to split the Executive and the Legislature compared to other sagas that have clouded the two entities. Question is, if the amount is not the problem, then what is the problem?
When we recorded the first case of COVID-19, a high level meeting was convened at the State House in Nakasero to come up with strategies of running the country during the pandemic period and after. Top of the agenda was to assess if the 2021 elections would still be possible.
During the meeting, it emerged that it was too late to amend the constitution in favour of President Museveni and that the mighty law had only one window which was to for the President to relinquish power to the Speaker of Parliament in case there happens to be a postponement of elections. This did not rhythm well in the ears of Museveni…. The meeting ended prematurely with no decision and no agreement on the way forward.
Museveni, faced with the aging problem and the widening opposition, opted to a campaign to address his aging concern by trying to prove that he was still fit rule Uganda for another term. He went against his oncologist advice, took steroids and did pushups on TV. He didn’t stop there he put the opposition on a total lockdown and hijacked TV and Radio stations so that he can use the pandemic cover to informally campaign.
Back to the power struggle, Article 105 (1) stipulates that a person elected President under this Constitution shall hold office for a term of five years. This implies that Museveni’s term in office elapses in May next year without elections being held, it would pave way for a constitutional crisis.
The possible options available for the President in the event that there are no elections by the end of his current mandate would be the declaration of a state of emergency under Article 77(4) where Parliament would be engaged to vote on the matter and vote in favor of an extension for not more than six months at ago.
In the event that Parliament votes in favor of an extension then the President would be obliged to vacate Office and hand over to the Speaker of Parliament who becomes the President until when elections are held.
With President Museveni coming out to explicitly emphasize he is still fit to run the affairs of the Country in his recent interview with NBS’ Canary Mugume, one can’t see any likelihood of there being no elections next year since it would mean handing over power to the speaker which Museveni might not be ready for.
Campaigns will go on; people will converge and get infected. We shall all die of COVID-19 at the expense of one old man who has refused to leave power.