TALKED ABOUT MUSEVENI RETIREMENT: Former minister Gabriel Opio (R)

A former minister who served in different ministries in President Yoweri Museveni’s government has advised the president to consider calling time on the presidency.

In an interview with a local newspaper, Gabriel Opio, who served as minister in various ministries including planning, education and gender, said Mr Museveni should now begin preparing someone to take up the task.

‘He should listen to the people, and if I were him this would be my right time to start preparing someone so that I can retire. But we need to come together. We can’t run this country when we are not united,’ Mr Opio said.

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He added: ‘At the beginning of his (Museveni) rule, almost everyone was there and he was accepted even by Buganda, Bunyoro and Tooro. However, at the moment we don’t get that feeling. People have started feeling that attitude of ‘it is theirs’ not ‘ours’. Of recent the issue of Museveni’s retirement has rebound to prominence, given that he is serving his last constitutional term. According to the 1995 Constitution, one is not eligible to run for presidency after clocking 75 years, and by 2021 Mr Museveni, who was born in 1944 and turns 72 in August this yeasr will have surpassed the presidential age limit.

Meanwhile, Mr Opio, who spoke about several issues during his time in government, also gave a brief detail on the thorny issue of the burning of the Buganda royal tombs, the Masiro, in March 2010. According to the former state minister, who at the time served at the gender ministry, the matter was investigated and a report handed over to the President.

‘The investigations were done and a report was submitted to the President… I don’t know why they have not released it to the public. If they haven’t, then it is unfortunate,’ Mr Opio, who currently chairs the Madhvani Scholarships Committee, added.