The former Democratic Party president-general, John Ssebaana Kizito, has accused President Yoweri Museveni of holding the country hostage.
In an interview today, Ssebaana said it is wrong for Museveni to ask Ugandans to be beholden to him for leading a liberation war that toppled presidents Milton Obote and Tito Okello Lutwa. He says that constantly reminding people of how much the National Resistance Army fought and suffered doesn't benefit anyone but Museveni.
The Democratic Party stalwart says that although he didn't take up arms against Obote's government in 1980, remaining in Uganda and contributing to the democratic process was a strong fight of its own. He recalls that he and other DP members were constantly objects of scorn and attack by Milton Obote.
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Ssebaana Kizito, who contested in the 2006 presidential elections against Museveni, says if the President wants to remain relevant to the country, he should step down from office to play another role. He says other African leaders like Nelson Mandela have shown the way on how to leave office peacefully, but continue to meaningfully contribute to their countries.
Ssebaana also served as one of the first cabinet ministers in the government formed by Museveni when he came to power in 1986. He says working close to Museveni gave him respect for the president in regards to the attention he pays to his political life.
However, he says it also exposed him to how much the president is clinging to power. He wants Museveni to leave office soon in order to guarantee democratic growth in Uganda.
John Ssebaana Kizito has been part of Uganda's political landscape since before independence. In addition to his roles in Museveni's government, he was a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, the Member of Parliament for Kampala South Constituency, a member of the Constituent Assembly and Mayor of Kampala City.
Ssebaana is now retired from active politics. He manages his insurance and real estate businesses and plays only an advisory role to the current DP presidential candidate, Norbert Mao.
john ssebaana kizito