Museveni agrees to stand in 2021

NRM MPs attending a caucus retreat at Kyankwanzi National Leadership Institute (NALI) burst into deafening cheers as President Yoweri Museveni announced his acceptance to stand as the ruling party’s sole candidate in the 2021 presidential elections.

Museveni, in power since 1986, would have been ineligible to stand again in 2021 hadn’t the MPs deleted Article 102(b) that set the upper age cap for presidential contenders at 75.

The NRM chief is currently 74. He two years ago funded the amendment of the Constitution to remove the age limit clause which was the only legal hurdle against the extension of his more than three decades presidency.

Last month, the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the party’s top most decision making organ resolved during its retreat at Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park to have Museveni as the NRM sole candidate for the next presidential elections.

NRM Chairman Yoweri Museveni

The resolution was ratified on Sunday by NRM MPs at Kwankwanzi, the same venue where a similar resolution was passed in 2014 – then intended to lock out the former powerful secretary general and Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi.

Unlike the previous time when Museveni chose to remain silent about the resolution for almost a year, this afternoon, Museveni announced that he had accepted the nod by CEC and the caucus to lead the party and the country into 2021 and beyond.

“I am therefore humbled by your confidence in me, and since I am still very able, I’m sure that together, we shall in the coming years finally deliver an economy that can sustainably deliver jobs to our young people,”Museveni said.

NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba (L) takes on Tourism Minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu in a dance at Kyankwanzi

He said that the resolution offered him an opportunity to add more steps to NRM’s mission-driven journey to make the country sustainably invulnerable.

The caucus passed the resolution after Hellen Asamo (PWDs Eastern) moved the motion, arguing that Uganda needs President Museveni now more than ever before for his firm guidance and mentorship of the Party Membership.