The Bishop Rwenzori Diocese, Reuben Kisembo has defended his remarks to President Museveni that he should retire.
While at the commissioning of St. Elizabeth Chapel at Kyebambe Girls’ School on Saturday, Kisembo openly told the President to retire and not deny Ugandans an opportunity to witness a peaceful hand over of power.
Kisembo also said that although the constitution was amended, to remove the cap on the presidential age, it is not too late for the President to retire in 2021 when his current term of office ends.
Responding to Kisembo’s comments, President Museveni said that he does not want to be lectured on what to do for Uganda. He added that those who lecture him should have the qualifications.
The comments sparked mixed reactions. Some people commended him for being bold to tell the President in his face and equated his actions to those of the late Archbishop Janani Luwum, while others said it was a wrong forum and disrespectful to talk about the matter in the presence of the President.
However, Kisembo defended his remarks. Quoting 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Kisembo said that he was fulfilling his religious role of sharing God’s word in season and out of season.
“Was that statement disrespectful, abusive or confrontational? As for the forum and venue, I was fulfilling my religious role,” Kisembo said. He also denied belonging to any political party, promoting any body’s interests or planning to contest for any political office.
“I am just fulfilling my calling as a religious leader who has the mandate to talk about anything created by God whom I serve,” Kisembo said.
Kisembo and Bishop Robert Muhiirwa of Fort Portal Diocese have in the past spoken against the amendment of the presidential age limit.
Last year during his Christmas sermon, Bishop Kisembo requested Museveni not to sign the age limit bill that had already been passed by Parliament.
Alex Ruhunda, the Member of Parliament Fort Portal Municipality says that Kisembo should be commended and not criticized. He says that the fact that he openly told the President in his face is an indication that Kisembo believes in the rule of law and should be supported.