Members of Parliament in United Kingdom have tasked their government to use the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of State and Governments Meeting (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace, to tell Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni to relax his power grip.
During plenary session, Paul Daniel Williams who is a member of parliament for Stockton South moved government to address the Uganda leader against continuing his stay in power.
“Will government use the CHOGM to give a message to President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni that after 32 years, he has become a barrier to his country’s development. Good governance includes leaving power,” Williams urged.
His question would later be addressed by the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt who said her office will interact with the president and raise the matter.
“My right honorable friend the foreign secretary and minister for Africa and other ministers will be having bilateral meetings all week with all heads of state and ministers where the heads of state are not attending,” Mordaunt replied.
Williams later took to social media to share a video of the plenary session and also reiterate his position.
“Today I urged the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt to use the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to tell Uganda’s President Museveni that it’s time to go. President Museveni has become a barrier to Uganda’s development,” Williams tweeted.
However, senior presidential press secretary Don Wanyama dismissed William’s claims in banter on social media asking the legislator to show some respect to Ugandans.
“This UK MP still possesses a colonial mentality where he thinks Western metropolis should determine what happens in Africa. Mr @PaulWilliamsMP show Ugandans some respect. We know what’s best for us. Have you stopped to ask how long the Queen has been on the throne?” Wanyama posed.
Williams in a reply noted that he was only trying to stand with the millions of Ugandans who want the same change.
“Still? I wasn’t even born when there were colonies. Nope – it’s just about good Governance and telling millions of Ugandans that the world is with them,” Willaims noted.
Wanyama reminded Williams that Museveni was dully elected by millions of Ugandans as a show of legitimacy and choice.
“You might want to know that @KagutaMuseveni was voted by millions of Ugandans. I guess from your perspective they don’t count. You have no right to stand on imaginary Mt Sinai and issue edicts to us. We might have failed on colonialism but we shall resist neo-colonialism,” he said.
President Museveni is already in the UK for the CHOGM, and has held a meeting with with Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge at the Buckingham Palace in London during which they discussed wildlife conservation and the role of the youth in development.
He will join other heads of State and Governments for a joint forums breakfast for Heads of Government before the formal opening at Buckingham Palace held under the theme, ‘Towards a Common Future’.
They will later head to the Lancaster House for Commonwealth Heads of Government Executive Sessions and later conclude the day with the Queen’s Dinner at Buckingham Palace.
The 2018 CHOGM is focusing on four main areas of interest including Prosperity: boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment, Security: increasing cooperation across security challenges including global terrorism, organized crime and cyber attacks, Fairness: promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and good governance across the Commonwealth and Sustainability: building the resilience of small and vulnerable states to deal with the effects of climate change and other global crises.