CONTROVERSIAL: Former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke. He says Uganda is on its way to becoming a 'failed state'.

In the wake of the current clamour by some supporters of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) led by Kyankwanzi Woman MP Anne Maria Nankabirwa, seeking the amendment of the Constitution to remove the age limit clause, former Makindye East Member of Parliament Mike Mabikke has said that Uganda is on its way to becoming a ‘failed state’.

Appearing on the NBS TV talk show ‘Morning Breeze’, Mr Mabikke, a former spokesperson of the Go Forward presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, said ‘there is no country that has had the same president for 30 years and remained stable’.

“If a nation can move on without a certain leader, then it’s not a failed. Uganda is on its way to being a failed state.  It will be after Museveni that we’ll establish whether this country has a firm foundation or not,” Mabikke said.

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President Museveni greets NRM top brass at the recently-concluded retreat in Kyankwanzi.
President Museveni greets NRM top brass at the recently-concluded retreat in Kyankwanzi.

The 1995 Constitution sets the maximum age for any person seeking to be president of Uganda at 75 years, but yesterday, at the closure of a one-week retreat for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, Kyankwanzi Woman MP Nankabirwa handed over the age limit removal petition to NRM Chairman Yoweri and pundits say the clamour is aimed at paving way for the President who, according to the 1995 Constitution, is currently serving his last term, to contest for the presidency in 2021.

Born in 1944, Mr Museveni, who has been in power for 31 years since 1986, will be 76 years by the time of the next election cycle in 2021.

Further, Mr Mabikke said the current clamour is somehow akin to that of 2003, which led to the removal of term limits.

“Ugandans shouldn’t be forgetful. We saw how the removal of term limits started. Same trend. It is a carefully choreographed to seem like this is what people want. Mr Museveni is setting a stage for disaster,” the controversial former MP said.

To buttress his point Mr Mabikke gave an example of Libya under former president Muammar Gadhafi, who ruled the oil-rich country for 42 years before being ousted in a bloody war that left the country in shambles.

“Success without succession is failure. Libya under Gaddafi had the best housing structure. But all that crumbled,” he said adding that Mr Museveni was once against tampering with the age limit issue.

“Museveni once said he saw more sense in age limit than in term limit. This project is proving otherwise,” he said.

But Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama, while acknowledging Mr Museveni received the age limit removal petition, said his boss ‘made no comment’. He however, added that it is the people of Uganda to determine the leadership. “I see nothing criminal/illegal about people calling for an amendment. Law is not cast in stone,” Mr Wanyama added.

Meanwhile, Mabikke, when asked about his former boss Amama Mbabazi, said the Go Forward team was still ‘evaluating’ the situation following the-now contested 2016 elections.

“He (Mbabazi) is in the country. He is evaluating. Uganda is at crossroads so we need evaluation; our performance was great. We never believed in Kiggundu’s (Electoral Commission boss) results,” Mabikke said.