Former Ugandan vice-president Prof. Gilbert Bukenya has talked of the “sleepless nights” he had when he temporarily served as president.
By Dismus Buregyeya
MASAKA - Former Ugandan vice-president Prof. Gilbert Bukenya has talked of the “sleepless nights” he had when he temporarily served as president in the absence of his then-boss Yoweri Museveni.
“The nation needs an experienced personality; that office [presidency] is hot,” said Bukenya on Friday during a consultative meeting for his presidential bid in Masaka.
As deputy president back then, he took charge of the top job in the country for one week when President Museveni was abroad.
Now the ex-VP, who was succeeded by Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, wants to serve fully as president of Uganda come 2016 – but to get there, he will have to brush aside several other presidential contenders, including his former boss.
During his latest meeting, which took place at Bwala Social Centre in Masaka Municipality and attended by mainly youths, Bukenya, who is an independent, was critical of particularly the Democratic Party.
“DP has failed to win the presidency for a period of 60 years they have been in existence. They have the structures, but they lack the experience to achieve their ultimate goal, even when they have the backing of the Catholic Church.”
He said the opposition needs a united front to dislodge the NRM government and President Museveni.
“We need each other to contribute towards the common goal of taking over power from President Museveni and the yellow government,” he said the former NRM politician.
According to him, divide in the opposition will give Museveni outright victory in the forthcoming 2016 elections.
“I still believe in availing one joint opposition candidate to accomplish our mission,” he said, in reference to the opposition coalition The Democratic Alliance (TDA), whose efforts to establish a flagbearer hit a snag.
Bukenya was responding to the DP chairman for Kabonela sub-county in Bukoto Central Constituency, Frank Kyeyune who wondered why TDA had failed to agree one flagbearer.
The former VP said under TDA, they will set up a Presidential campaign team to back up the joint candidate. “The joint candidate cannot reach every corner in the campaigns. We shall have a presidential task force to traverse the nation.
He said he initially stopped his consultative tour to give the TDA forum ample time. “I have tried to talk to [FDC flagbearer Dr. Kizza] Besigye and [former PM] Amama Mbabazi to reach a common understanding.”
However, one of the participants from DP, Paul Ssekamanya told Bukenya that he should not have paved way for Mbabazi or Besigye.
“We should stop being cowards; why did you agree to operate under Mbabazi or Besigye when you also have the capacity and experience?”
Being president is not easy, says Bukenya