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Museveni: It is not Good to Rule for a Short Time


Uganda’s three-decade president Yoweri Museveni has said that it is wrong for African leaders to spend a few years in power.

Museveni spoke during the Nelson Mandela Commemorative Lecture held at Makerere University on Thursday.

Organised by the department of political science in memory of the former anti-apartheid icon who spent at least 27 years in jail before becoming president of South Africa in 1994, the was held under the theme: “Nelson Mandela, the legend: lesson for the youth.”

On his ascension to power in 1986, Museveni said Africa’s problem was leaders who overstayed in power. He has now been in power for three-decades and is a close ally of leaders who have overstayed in power.

Just last week, Museveni visited one of Africa’s longest serving presidents in Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Obiang handed Museveni a gift of a gun – the same means by which Uganda’s leader came to power.

Museveni told the audience, including Mandela’s grand-daughter Zoleka Mandela, that Mandela retired early and had no time to deal with Africa’s integration issues, making him concentrate on South Africa only.

Mandela, the first all-race president of South Africa, retired in 1999, five years after the fall of apartheid and handed over power to Thabo Mbeki, his deputy.

“The liberation movement has to address the issue of economic integration as a strategic goal, otherwise how will you ensure the prosperity of the people? When Mzee Mandela came from jail, I talked to him about this, we talked but he did not have enough time.

Mzee Mandela did not have enough time because when he came from jail, he was in government for a short while. Some people think being in government for a short while is a good thing, I think it is a bad thing because you don’t have time – [only] 5 years. We did not conclude”, he said in his two-hour address.

He also called for a united Africa, criticising African leaders for not fronting the Africa integration agenda.

“The strategic goal number four of liberation movements was political integration…here African countries must be merged so that we become stronger. We, this generation are the enemies of ourselves,” he said.

“Me, one of the remnants of the freedom fighters who are still here, am telling you that strategic goals number four of the liberation movement was political integration. These countries must be merged such that they are stronger. I don’t hear anybody talking about this. We’re talking about things on earth, in heaven, in what…football clubs in Europe – who has scored more goals. I don’t hear anybody even whispering on the issue of political integration.”

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