A CALL FOR RESPONSIBLE CHOICES

Fellow Ugandans, we would like to congratulate you for turning up in huge numbers to exercise your constitutional right in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary election. The size of your turn up demonstrated your commitment to shaping the affairs of this country through the power of the ballot. This spirit is what will certainly get our motherland to the path of sustainable peace and development. Your personal reports and certainly those of the various election observers local, both regional and from afar, have clearly pointed out the teething problems we still face in managing free, fair, and credible elections. As your shepherds, we recognize that change will only come by candidly facing the reality of the existing challenges still evident in our young democracy.

It is for this reason that the urgent agenda before us right now is that of dialogue and engaging on the essential reforms that will help the Nation to recover the image of the Pearl of Africa in the way we manage our electoral processes. It is our considered opinion, that in this election, much the same as in every election, some are left wounded. It therefore becomes incumbent on those who have been elected in office, as well as those who were not, to accept the inevitable responsibilities of building bridges across the political divide. This is the time for magnanimity by those elected, and moderation by the unsuccessful.

As indicated in our pastoral letters, we believe that motherland Uganda needs all its skills spread across the entire political spectrum in order to enhance our capacity of competitiveness in the global economy. We therefore appeal to all sides to create the enabling environment for engagement in dialogue in the spirit of brotherhood and togetherness that was so clearly exhibited in that historic picture of all candidates holding hands at the presidential debates which we recently organized.

It is our conviction that the way forward for this country requires a willingness on both sides of the political divide to open up to each other for an honest and straight engagement in dialogue towards a peaceful and productive future for our country.

Finally, the Uganda we all want firmly rests on the choices that every Ugandan is willing to make in both speech and action in this post-election period. It is our hope, desire and prayer that those choices will be made with the broader interests of national solidarity above and beyond the narrow interests of party, political or personal loyalties.

Let all these be done FOR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY.

 

Canon Justice James Ogoola                          Joshua Kitakule

Chairperson                                                 Secretary General

The Elders Forum of Uganda                 Inter-Religious Council of Uganda