The very difficult year 2020 dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic that greatly suppressed the local, global economy and everyday aspects of life is finally behind us. In Uganda we have so far registered fewer deaths although cases of infections are rising and worrying.
In a general election year, those who are intimately involved in the campaigns for various offices but particularly for the presidential candidates know the toll it has taken on them. Eleven presidential candidates, some like Patrick Amuriat (FDC), Robert Kyagulanyi (NUP), Mugisha Muntu (ANT) and Henry Tumukunde appear to be on an angry ego trip, while Norbert Mao, John Katumba, Nancy Kalembe and Joseph Kabuleta are on a joy ride, yet others have just fizzled out.
That said however, it is crucial that while we keep the momentum to the finishing line, we should all maintain the dignity that democracy deserves. We extend appreciation to all who have supported the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during these campaigns amidst the Covid-19, and fake news by mendacious groups.
And while there has been and continues to be charades of extreme provocations by a tiny group of FDC and NUP elements, the NRM be dragged into a tit-for-tat civilian counter violence. NRM and Museveni have fought a hard, good, and issue focused campaigns and therefore deserve your, the Ugandan voter’s vote on January 14 to continue the good work it has been doing over the past three decades. We hope our competitors will graciously accept NRM’s victory as all indicators suggest, and permit the wider spread of the Mustard Seed.
NRM implores its members and the general public to turn up on polling day to cast their votes without any fears, and to remain peaceful afterwards. NRM government with broad support from majority of Ugandans has over the years built a strong foundation and formidable pillars of state to guarantee freedom, peace, and stability to all who live in Uganda.
Legal, peaceful and democratic avenues have been established and functional to handle and resolve any disputes that may emerge in the course of governance. Therefore no one, those few, who may be misguided, should be permitted to disturb the tranquility we are all enjoying.
Museveni has been very consistent, sincere, and steadfast in tackling the multi-pronged, thorny, local, national, regional and global issues, and providing the leadership Uganda so badly needed. Needless to point out, the NRM knows and isn’t afraid to publicly admit that there have been huge occasional failures, and let downs to the public on some fronts as often cited like corruption and sometimes low quality public service delivery. Some of these failures have indeed been systemic, while others are results of negligence and deliberate calculation by the shenanigans in the government bureaucracy. It is only NRM and Museveni that have had the courage and honesty to publicly admit failure, and deserve acknowledgment.
Without appearing to undermine other presidential candidates it is safe to say that some of them who were in government have vacillated on the big issues when they thought the times were rough. Others, as this campaign has ably demonstrated are too thin on credentials, naïve or even uninformed to have picked the nomination forms in the first place, and therefore don’t deserve much attention on polling day.
Remember, we are not only electing a president but the whole government including Five Hundred Twenty Three (523) Members of Parliament (MPs), One Hundred Forty Six (146) district local government chairpersons and thousands of sub-county leaders. It is therefore crucial and prudent that you, the voter take all these factors into consideration if you want to have a stable and functional government including the presidency.
While one or two presidential candidates have been boastful that they can win, it’s unlikely because they have not been able to table visible viable policy alternatives against that of NRM nor do they have the necessary political infrastructure to generate an election victory.
Only the NRM has fielded candidates in every MP and District Chairperson elective seat and already has twelve MPs and four district chairpersons respectively un-opposed. FDC, the main opposition party has 281 and 55 candidates for parliament and district chairpersons which are below the majority mark. Apart from being loud mostly with calculated lies in the media, FDC and Amuriat victory isn’t possible.
Amuriat and Kyagulanyi have been more visible as riotous and intransigence to the law than democratic engagement, and why they even want to be president of Uganda. But as the saying goes in politics, “frustration with and criticism of a government, leader and policies are legitimate, however they are not a plan.” The crude anger that Amuriat and Kyagulanyi have shown and demonstrated throughout this election campaign is not a plan that can lift Ugandans out of the many problems we still see ahead of us. And when the political dust finally settles, we hope all will re-evaluate their positions on broad policy issues so that together we can build an inclusive Uganda. The demagogues must be stopped.
The writer, is the Government Spokesperson and head of Uganda Media Centre
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