BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Great Lakes
Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Museveni plots to 'rule for life'
President Museveni
Museveni: Accused of manipulating the constitution to remain in power
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has been accused of trying to manipulate the country's constitutional review process to entrench himself.

Former Ugandan President Milton Obote, who was twice deposed by the army and who now lives in exile in Zambia, says that President Museveni's "infamous desire to be Czar of Uganda" is now clear.

Mr Obote opposes the lifting of the term limit on the presidency before a provision for competitive multi-party politics is put in place, similar to those in countries like Britain, India and South Africa.

Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya last week presented the cabinet's proposals to the constitutional review commission under which the ruling Movement sought to lift the two-term limit for a serving president.


If the proposals are approved in a national referendum it would mean that President Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, could vie for power in the 2006 elections.

Mr Obote said in a statement that President Museveni has reached a stage where he is incapable of differentiating between the demands of the people and his own interests.

Although observers say that Mr Obote himself enjoys little support inside Uganda, the party he led before he was overthrown, the Uganda People's Congress, enjoys widespread support in the northern regions such as Gulu and it could use Mr Obote's sentiments to whip up anti-Museveni sentiments.

A senior Ugandan government minister has already sharply criticised the ruling Movement's decision to seek the lifting of the two term limit for a serving president.

Local Government Minister Bidandi Ssali said he was very disappointed that delegates to a recent national conference were not given the opportunity to consider the issue in detail.

Radio power

A new opposition radio station linked to Mr Obote is also being used to drive Mr Obote's point more forcefully.
Queue of voters in 2001 election
Uganda has held elections but parties are restricted

In its first broadcast, Radio Rhino International-Africa carried a recorded message from Mr Obote in which he described President Museveni's government as a dictatorship that had committed widespread massacres and engaged in military interference in neighbouring countries.

The radio station, broadcasting in shortwave from Germany, earlier also claimed to be linked to Kizza Besigye, a losing candidate in the 2001 presidential election - but Mr Besigye denied he was connected in any way to Radio Rhino.

For the past 17 years, political parties in Uganda have been severely restricted under the political arrangement known as the Movement system.

Following years of war, the system was designed to be all-inclusive and prevent the population being split along religious and ethnic lines.

It is felt that the Movement system has stabilised the country, but there has been growing pressure for more democracy in the country.

Opposition hails Ugandan ruling
21 Mar 03  |  Africa
Surviving Uganda's rebellion
02 Dec 02  |  Africa
Uganda declares short truce
10 Mar 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Uganda
11 Jan 03  |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific