A legislator from the ruling party who was opposed to the amendment of the age limit has declared intentions to contest for the country’s presidency at the next elections.
Sam Lyomoki, who currently represents workers’ interests in the Ugandan parliament told Ugandan media he is ready to contest against his party’s chairman and that Ugandans would fund his campaign.‘‘I am ready to be president. I have represented workers for long. I know their plight. On the question of whether I will have the funds to traverse the country, of course I will. Ugandans will help me with finances,’‘ Sam Lyomoki told a local TV station.
The declaration comes shortly after it was confirmed that the president had signed the controversial Age Limit Constitutional Amendment Bill into law.
I am ready to be president. I have represented workers for long. I know their plight. On the question of whether I will have the funds to traverse the country, of course I will. Ugandans will help me with finances
Lyomoki claims to have support from legislators who were opposed to the amendment, including 27 from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
“We have agreed that this is the time for new Movement leaders to stand and offer credible leadership for the country,” he said.
The MP said that his new leadership will focus on fighting corruption in all public offices, which he said President Museveni has failed to do away with for over 30 years.
“We shall bring to end corruption tendencies in the country, and the individualisation of public offices only to benefit the sitting president,” Lyomoki noted.
Lyomoki however proposes immunity for President Museveni and other top government officials after he has taken over the highest office in the land.
“We shall retire all permanent secretaries, all ministers if we take over power. But for the president, vice, speaker and Chief Justice we shall give immunity,” Lyomoki said.
On whether he will contest as his party’s flag bearer or as an independent candidate, Lyomoki says he will first seek his party’s endorsement before embarking on an independent campaign if he is rigged out or barred from contesting for the party flag.
In 2016, legislators of the ruling NRM party gazetted the position of presidential flag bearer in the party solely for President Museveni. The ‘sole candidate’ project saw former prime minister and long serving party cadre Amama Mbabazi seek the presidential nomination as an independent candidate.
Lyomoki believes his announcement will not be welcomed in the party but says he is ready for the consequences.
While the ruling party has not yet officially responded to Lyomoki’s announcements, he is one of 27 ‘rebel MPs’ whom the party has indicated could be summoned for spreading falsehoods during the debate of the age limit amendment.
NTV UGANDA (@ntvuganda) December 28, 2017
There were mixed reactions to his announcement from Ugandans on social media.
Good to dream. A sign of democracy in the country which even some who have enjoyed it, still don't acknowledge (especially when they lose an election).— Wangwe Ronald (@WangweRonald2) January 5, 2018
Who is Dr. Sam Lyomoki
Dr. Sam Lyomoki is a medical doctor turned who has been an active unionist in Uganda for over 20 years.
The 50 year old legislator has represented the interests of workers in the Ugandan parliament for 21 years and still has 5 years on his current mandate.
Lyomoki is the president of the Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions in Uganda (COFTU) which coordinates the actvities of labour and trade u