Outspoken Workers Member of Parliament Sam Lyomoki has said he will contest for presidency to replace President Yoweri Museveni who, at the time of the next elections in 2021, will have ruled Uganda for 36 years.
‘I am ready to be president. I have represented workers for long. I know their plight. On the question of whether I will have the funds to traverse the country, of course I will. Ugandans will help me with finances,’ Lyomoki, one of the longest serving MPs said while appearing on the local NBS TV station.
Mr. Lyomoki’s ‘threat’ comes in the wake of Parliament expunging the age limit clause, Article 102 (b), from the Constitution, a move many say is aimed at paving the way for ‘a Museveni life presidency’.
Mr. Lyomoki has himself proposed that Parliament and all Ugandans address the post-Museveni era, taking into consideration the possible immunities and emoluments to be enjoyed by Mr. Museveni, should the President leave office in 2021.
In one of the most controversial moves, Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi tabled a motion seeking the removal of the 75-year cap that was enshrined in the 1995 Constitution. The development was later to lead to fistfights between the opposition and ruling party members, prompting officers of the Special Forces Command (SFC), prompted by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) General Kale Kayihura, to storm the parliamentary chambers and forcefully evict opposition MPs, in the process injuring Angelina Osegge and Francis Butebi Zaaka.
In early December last year, Parliament passed the age limit removal bill and on December 27, Mr. Museveni, who is now aged 73, assented to the amendment which now allows him to contest for the presidency while aged over 75 years.
The ‘age limit amendment’ drew criticism from sections of the Ugandan community, with some religious leaders across the board like the Catholic Archbishop of Kampala Cyprian Kizito Lawnga and the Mufti Sheikh Ramathan Mubajje saying it does not bode well for the country that has witnessed turmoil for the better part of its 55-year Independence.
Who is Dr. Lyomoki?
A medical doctor and rights activist aged 51, Dr. Lyomoki has been Workers MP for about 17 years, and is the Secretary General of Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions (COFTU).
A ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party adherent, Dr. Lyomoki is known for being independent, often taking time off to criticize some decisions taken by his party, which he deems unpalatable.