By Okecho Dominic I A professional teacher I Social critic I Political analyst
Any honest effort to liberate Uganda from its present malaise will require an imperative to burry individual interests and bruises and offer oneself to the opportunity available to uphold the interests of the country above any other.
Tororo—29, January 2021: Dear editor, following Msgr. Charles Kasibante, the Kampala Archdiocese Vicar General’s plea that there be a reconciliation of the political actors in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections, there seems to be no greater opportunity than now to forge a national consensus out of our present political dilemma.
President Museveni welcomed the suggestion even if it appeared to rub him the wrong way, taking from his sarcastic reference that the Man of God was preaching to the choir. His generous insistence that reconciliation is the hallmark of the ‘NRM way of doing things’ could be interpreted to mean such suggestions are mere cliché.
This is a very latent starting point, albeit his dismissal of the proposal to have a mediator. That the security forces besieging Hon. Kyagulanyi’s residence was withdrawn shortly after the prelate’s request is a sign that the plea bears as a harbinger of greater expectations.
Better still, the President pointed out that the political actors critical for this effort have access to him. Again, this is a very positive gesture because having the two main contenders meet face to face in a mutual trust can go a long way to establish a national political accord that will save our country pointless strife.
For the start, this may appear impossible given the fact that similar initiatives in the past have failed. The example of failed attempts made for Rtd. Colonel Dr. Kizza Besigye to meet President Museveni in the past and forge a way forward for this country should be a reason for the same not to be sought. Many lessons have been learnt from that episode that has the latency to build more meaningful dialogue and final consensus.
Any honest effort to liberate Uganda from its present malaise will require an imperative to burry individual interests and bruises and offer oneself to the opportunity available to uphold the interests of the country above any other. Even when this could appear a move bordering on humiliation. After all, no greater good comes without sacrifice.
The fact that close to 50% of registered voters did not turn up to vote should be a very eloquent statement at this moment in our history, a time that we should be seeing more citizens actively participate in the governance of this Pearl of Africa. That the population has been disfranchised by the present political set up, is very clear.
This would show that a formidable number of citizens have abdicated their constitutional right, or more pithily, abandoned the Constitution. The speculation on the allegations of widespread irregularities compounds the whole political trajectory and is bound to breed a retrogressive poignant reality that will only plunge hitherto well-meaning efforts into a socio-political malaise.
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The victims of this will not only be the larger population but perhaps more destructive to the elevated political elite who will find themselves pushed to operate in a move that gratifies the human need to survive. Such a mode relegates even the stout at heart to degenerate to political bankruptcy.
Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert has the onus to call the President and fix an appointment with him. Drop all the resentment (which shows political maturity) and talk to the President like an equal but respectful citizen of this great nation.
Going to court may expose the glaring failings of the present regime, but the fact that this very regime has the mandate to protect and prosper this country poses a moral challenge that put in the same situation; Hon. Kyagulanyi could find it more challenging, given the fact that many of his followers are trapped in sentimental despair.
It is the deep desire for the human person to be accorded all possible avenues to realize their full potential with full respect for their rights, but we operate in a world full of lethal dictates.
I believe as a seasoned politician, President Museveni can explain the situation to Hon. Kyagulanyi and other Ugandans who have developed mistrust in him. Hon. Kyagulanyi can then be able to manage a well-organized and meaningful opposition in Parliament to the benefit of all while at the same time build a political profile that could draw more Ugandans who hitherto are suspicious of his efforts to his side.
What a better way to establish his credibility than the images of a battered and unrelenting figure we have been fed on of him in the media.
The author is a Professional Teacher, social critic, political analyst and writer and a born of Tororo.
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