Published on نوفمبر 24th, 2015 | by admin0
Home News National National Museveni ready for live debate with Besigye
The 2016 election could offer an end to the presidential debate jinx after President Museveni said he is ready to take on his challengers Dr Kizza Besigye (FDC) and Mr Amama Mbabazi (Independent) in a live televised debate.
Mr Museveni told journalists at the UPDF 4th Division headquarters in Gulu Town on Monday that he was ready for the debate. Dr Besigye last Friday dared the President to a live television debate to discuss national issues.
Addressing a rally at Buwembe Sub-county in Busia District, Dr Besigye said he needed to rebut accusations of being a liar for his promise to improve welfare of public servants.
“When I made these proposals, people in government said I am a liar. In other countries, candidates hold joint live debates. I want to sit with Mr Museveni and other candidates (at a televised public debate) so that we discuss what we intend to do,” Dr Besigye said.
Although he had asked for the same debate before, in this election Dr Besigye was the second candidate to call for a joint presidential candidates’ live debate after Independent candidate Prof Venansius Baryamureeba.
In mid-August, the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) floated the idea of organising a presidential candidates’ debate. Mr Joshua Kitakule, the IRCU secretary general, then said the debate would compel presidential candidates to commit to running a peaceful campaign and stick to issues affecting voters.
Mr Kitakule said ICRU had secured commitment from candidates, including President Museveni, to attend the debate at Kampala Serena International Conference Centre Kampala on January 15, 2016.
In 1996, a scheduled presidential debate at the Kampala International Conference Centre flopped after only one candidate, Mr Muhammed Kibirige Mayanja of Justice Forum, showed up, with the other two candidates Dr Paul Ssemogerere (Democratic Party) and Mr Museveni (Movement) each sending a representative from their campaign task forces.
The 18 million hoes
During the media briefing, President Museveni also defended his directive for the purchase of 18 million hoes for distribution to six million households in the next financial year.
“I have been hearing people saying that I am contradicting myself, when I talk of commercialised agriculture, then I talk of the hoe,” Mr Museveni said. “Hoes are for the rural people with small plots, the hoes will definitely help the local people to farm on small scale.”
Justifying the controversial erasing of term limits from the Constitution by NRM Members of Parliament, Mr Museveni said his long stay has enabled him solve many problems , including the LRA war.
“I do not know why the people of term limits want to exclude one of the players like Museveni who is most experienced, and bring in Besigye. How sure are you that he will do the work?” Mr Museveni asked.