It is now official; President Yoweri Museveni will have no challenger for the NRM presidential flag as well as the chairman of the ruling party.
Museveni who has been in power for 34 years now was declared unopposed for the two positions by NRM electoral commission chief, Dr. Tanga Odoi after he was presented for nomination by Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, and seconded by the chairperson of the NRM youth league, Gaddafi Nasur, and 33-year-old Hellen Seku from Kira Municipality, Wakiso district.
He was in the company of his wife, Janet Kataaha, who is also the Minister of Education and Sports. His would-be challenger, former Makindye East MP, John Ssimbwa, was left grumbling accusing the party’s electoral commission of edging him out.
Odoi was quick to dismiss Ssimbwa’s claims hinting that the former lawmaker failed to meet the requirements set by the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).
“No one was barred from picking forms for any position. The conditionality was that you follow the guidelines as set by CEC,” Odoi said.
To challenge Museveni for the two positions, one had to part with Shs 20 million to get nominated.
Museveni first allayed fears that he had contracted Covid-19 explaining the cause of his hoarse voice as being a sore throat that he developed last week for speaking too long in a mask.
“I feared that I had contracted Coronavirus, I called doctors who came and took samples which came back and I was told that I am safe,” Museveni said.
He said that he had now resorted to local concoctions of honey, tangawizi and lemon to manage his condition.
“I am amazed at how some people mix up issues. Some people have been talking about business, money, jobs when the issue now in the world is life. We want to save lives; this is the biggest challenge. In some other countries, they have not cared about this and they have lost a lot of lives,” Museveni said.
Museveni blamed the first case of Covid-19 the country recorded on the deceased whom he said did not follow the message.
“She went to Kenya, came back, got sick and did not report; she stayed home for about five days and was later taken to a private clinic in Namisindwa district, and, when the situation got worse, she was taken to another private clinic in Mbale where she died,” Museveni said.
“We have been begging you that please don’t die…if you wanted to see death, you have now seen. We have been begging you not to die. These two [cases] are endozo; jaribu. if you don’t listen, we are going to have enough work of burying the dead,” he said.
Museveni said that despite the Covid-19 disruptions, the economy is still sound. He gave highlights of what is to form part of his re-election manifesto which includes among others, deepening modernization, strengthening regional integration, and wealth distribution.
Explaining wealth distribution as opposed to wealth creation, Museveni said that wealth is currently not well distributed which must be solved.