Make base President’s age limit 55

Author: Alan Tacca. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • We half-idiots wonder by what method Gen Muhoozi will rise to presidency. 

After the term and upper age limits on the presidency were unscrupulously scrapped, with NRM bigwigs now squabbling whether inheriting state power is (or is not) a birthright, we ordinary Ugandans must be forgiven if we are baffled by the future.

Admittedly, we are not very smart, but we are not complete idiots. A patient instructor can make us understand. All we want is a picture of our subjection, our slavery tomorrow.

It is common conversation, that President Museveni has gradually removed very smart people from his government. The few survivors have to tame their instincts and appear to be daft. They must talk and act as if they need the President’s brain to make their brains work. 

The President has correctly characterised his current Cabinet as ‘fishermen’. It would therefore be unrealistic to expect enlightenment from these people.

However, there is one Tamale Mirundi, President Museveni’s advisor on the media. Mirundi has personally assured mankind that he is an extremely intelligent person; a dedicated scholarly genius who tirelessly reminds his broadcast audience of their intellectual inadequacy.
Like the ‘fishermen’ need Museveni’s brain, we need Mirundi’s.

So, tell us. This Muhoozi Project thing; is it something real that should concern us, or just a horrible phantom being exploited by fortune seekers?

On the face, in normal circumstances, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s candidacy would probably flop as flatly as Hon Amama Mbabazi’s did in 2016, albeit for different reasons.

Even with a bird’s brain, in the 21 st century, who would want members of the same family to continue ruling over the population after 40 or 45 years of horrendous corruption, inequality and thinly veiled barbarism?

We half-idiots wonder by what method Gen Muhoozi will rise to the presidency with the certainty Mirundi expresses.

Why; because, in the past, Mirundi has written predicting a bloody transition.
For years, Mirundi has extolled Gen Kahinda Otafiire as a very smart-headed fighter-politician. Indeed, Mirundi would divulge that when he did not see Otafiire supporting a controversial idea, he, Mirundi, backed off.

So esteemed was Otafiire. But now, suddenly, Gen Otafiire does not look all that smart to Mirundi. Reason: Otafiire’s recent remarks seem to discourage Muhoozi’s perceived ambition.

Although even we half-idiots know that President Museveni has ruthlessly blocked every serious contender targeting the Presidency, Mirundi has said that, instead of undermining Muhoozi, Otafiire should throw his own offspring in the ring. 

Wow! The ring where the President’s family people are reportedly feuding? 
Anyhow, if Muhoozi says he wants to contest because the NRM has lost direction, you would think of 2026 as his year.

Wrong. Mirundi has granted that Museveni retain his job in 2026, completely regardless of the President’s performance in the current term!

And he has opined that Muhoozi is still ‘young’ (or immature?) and needs grooming for 2031.
An intriguing position, considering that Muhoozi may learn more from his father how to run down a country! 

But if, at 52 in 2026 , Muhoozi will be too young, moreover after literally watching political and military power being exercised, the constitutional base age of 18 must be a dangerous joke.
Who knows what mischievous kingmakers will conjure up? A horde of infants aged 18 to 52 might be thrown at us, complete  with Pampers, all of them babbling: ‘Me…President.’

This mess can be avoided. Amending the Constitution to raise the Presidential base age limit from 18 to 55 would improve the maturity of contestants.

Fortunately, for the ruling family, Muhoozi would qualify in time for 2031, leaving the mouths of many younger pretenders open.

Alan Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.
[email protected]