The outgoing US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac has warned that ultimately, governments that stay for long in power without a transitional plan, often end up badly.Speaking at her last press briefing on Thursday, Malac said the long stay in power and failure to have a peaceful transition will at one time lead to problems for the country.
President Museveni has been in power for 33 years. He took office in January 1986 after winning the war against two time president Milton Obote. He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016.
“If you look across history, governments and regimes that stay in power for a long time and do not plan for what comes next, often end badly,” she said.
According to Malac, a transition will finally come to Uganda, and this could be through the generation change which is awaiting Uganda looking at the young population. She says majority of Ugandans are youth and will surely lead the change and they should not be blocked from speaking about succession.
Malac also called for a free and fair election, saying all eyes around the world will watching what is happening in Uganda.
Speaking on Thursday, Malac however said because Uganda has never had a peaceful transition of power since independence people have a number of concerns over the same.
“I know it becomes difficult in countries like Uganda to talk about succession and transition and not sound political in the sense that you must be against or for a particular group but the issue is figuring out the other voices so they are heard and issues discussed,” she said.
The outgoing US Ambassador who has been in Uganda for four years, has been very vocal on issues of human rights and democracy
In April 2016 while speaking at the post-election symposium on Youth, Democracy and Governance at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Malac called on the Ugandan government not to sacrifice the rights of its citizens in the name of maintaining stability.
While speaking in July 2017 at America’s 241st Independence anniversary celebrations at the US Embassy in Kampala, Malac said that strong institutions, not one person or party, is the secret to longevity and stability of nations.