Two months after he said he would retire when he clocks 75, President Museveni has said he will only quit if he identifies a person who is consistent, focused and with a vision to take the country forward.
The President also said he would soon appoint a second secretary general to do mobilisation for the party since the current Secretary General, who also doubles as the Prime Minister, Mr Amama Mbabazi, is serving two portfolios concurrently hence impacting on his performance.
Speaking during a meeting with officials of the NRM Buganda region task force that mobilised for his return in 2001, the President said he would have retired to his farm in Rwakitura long ago if he had identified a visionary leader.
“There are some people who say Museveni should quit. I would have left long time ago but when you asses them, you wonder which direction they would take the country to,” he said. Without mentioning names, the President said those that have so far expressed interest to take on from him have not proved their worth.
The Buganda region task force chairperson, Mr Abdu Nadduli, led the team that met President Museveni at Entebbe State Lounge to discuss a range of issues that included why the NRM party lost by-elections in Buganda .
“I don’t even look at someone’s religion or tribe but a good leader must focus on four key ideologies. He must be a nationalist, patriotic and pan African, one that promotes social economic transformation and is democratic,” the President said.
He blamed the divisions and infighting within the party on some members that lack focus.
Mr Nadduli blamed the losses on the infighting in the party and on some leaders who openly campaigned for the opposition.
President Museveni, 68, in May said he will retire at 75 years. But his declaration on Thursday, means he could run for the Presidency in 2016. He has been in power for the last 26 years amidst opposition from critics who say he should retire and give chance to others.
President Museveni said he would temporarily appoint someone to help with the party’s mobilisation work. “We want a secretary general with one job but because the secretary general is appointed by the national delegates’ conference, it requires a lot of money,” he said.
He said Mr Mbabazi would retain his title as Secretary General but would have someone to assist him. This leaves the deputy secretary general, Dorothy Hyuha’s post in suspense in-case another secretary general is appointed.
“We usually do mobilisation very late, for example, for the case of Butambala, the petition has been in court for a long time but the secretary general has been busy and if we had another secretary general, we would be mobilising already,” he said.
There have been calls within the party that Mr Mbabazi relinquishes one of his portfolios since he was not getting enough time to do mobilisation work at the secretariat.