Museveni says Ugandans don’t want him to retire

Tuesday December 09 2014

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has said the people do not want him to retire although he does not "need power".

The long-serving leader said this ahead of a highly anticipated ruling party conference next week.

President Museveni, aged 70, has been Uganda's leader since 1986.

He has already been chosen as the ruling National Resistance Movement's (NRM) candidate for presidential elections due in 2016.

There have, however, been increasing murmurs of discontent within some sections of the party.

While appearing on a radio talk show during the weekend, President Museveni was challenged by MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda to announce his retirement date.


"I don't think the Ugandans are as obsessed with my retirement, because whenever I go for elections, five million tell me not to go, but stay," President Museveni was quoted as saying by Ugandan newspapers.

More democratic

"I do not lack where to retire to, but I am also a member of a party and I do what it tells me.

"I don't need power. For what? I don't need power as a person," President Museveni said.

In September 2014, President Museveni sacked the country's prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, a former ally and an emerging potential challenger.

Mr Mbabazi, the NRM Secretary-General and currently on forced leave, has confirmed he will attend the party delegates’ conference due to begin on December 15 in Kampala.

This has added to speculation that his supporters may try to disrupt the event.

"I have my home, I have my house. I need nothing from anybody as long as there is peace in Uganda," President Museveni added.

The ageing leader also said he didn’t think there was "any country in the world that is more democratic than Uganda," adding that the uprisings witnessed in countries like Egypt and Libya could not happen in Uganda.

Libya's toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the longest-serving leader in both Africa and the Arab world until his ousting in 2011, had allowed "no competitive politics," President Museveni said.