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Uganda Decides | Nomination Speech For FDC Flag Bearer 2016 Presidential Elections – Mugisha Muntu | July 2, 2015

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Posted July 2, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in The Roadmap to 2016 ~ 2,206 views

     

muntu

Ladies and gentlemen, Ten years ago, we formed the Forum for Democratic Change, with the singular purpose of pulling this country back from the dark and disastrous path of dictatorship and a failed state. Our vision and mission was to transform our country into one where there was genuine freedom and democracy for all, with guaranteed security for all, with social and economic justice for all, with shared prosperity and opportunities, as One People, in One Uganda.

Transformation of Uganda remains the central driving force behind our party, and behind my desire to lead our country.  To transform Uganda, we must first remove the dictatorship. I repeat, to transform Uganda, the Museveni dictatorship must go, and must do so now. The citizens are tired. Abantu bakoowu! Wantu wamechoka! Ugandans are tired of being held hostage to a president who has betrayed everything that we fought for and everything many people gave their lives for. Ugandans are tired of being robbed and lied to, where the country’s assets are treated like private holdings, sold and exchanged behind closed doors, with no accounting to the actual owners – we the Ugandan citizens. Ugandans are tired of being terrorized by a government that has become so afraid that they unleash kiboko, bullets and tear gas on anyone who dares to challenge Museveni.

Ugandans are tired of a president who has corrupted our police forces, using them to sabotage our rights and freedoms, to create fear in the population and to subvert the laws that they are meant to protect and uphold. The police officer who shot one of our supporters yesterday, right here Najjanankumbi, did so with impunity because that is what has become normal under the Museveni regime. We are tired of this. Ugandans are tired of burying family members and friends who die of treatable diseases, simply because public hospitals are poorly staffed, poorly equipped and poorly supervised.

Ugandans are tired of hearing and reading about a select few who are facilitated to go abroad to get state of the art health care that any government which cares about the people should have availed to us here at home.  Ugandans are tired of seeing millions of unemployed youth, including graduates from our colleges and universities, while billions of shillings are spent on things that don’t matter. We are tired of a president whose idea of governing is to go around corrupting people, buying votes with public money in khaki envelopes. We are tired of the corruption, the theft of our money and resources. We are tired of being treated like subjects and not citizens. We demand and we shall reclaim our full rights of citizenship! We are tired of a president and a regime that enjoys chaos and keeps the country in a state of constant tension and confusion. Uganda must change direction! The time is now! And we are very determined to be in the vanguard of that change.

To remove the dictatorship, we must have a very strong party, to act as the catalyst and rallying point for all who desire change. Over the last ten years, I have traversed our country in an effort to mobilize support for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). I intensified these tours following my election as party president in November 2012. My exclusive focus has been on party building through establishing and invigorating party branches and leadership, from the grassroots to the national level. By God’s grace and with the extraordinary commitment and courage of party leaders and members all over the country, we have achieved significant advances in establishing critical organizational capabilities that we shall deploy to achieve victory. My choice to focus on party building was based on the belief that the FDC’s strength had to be founded on a sound and wellorganized presence in the grassroots, from Kitgum to Kamuli, from Kabale to Kaberamaido, from Terego to Tororo, all over Uganda and in the Diaspora.

Our party has very many talented people with exceptional leadership and managerial skills. Yet, however good an individual might be, he cannot substitute for institutions. The Mayor of Kalongo in Agago expressed it very well using a proverb that “However large a tree may be, it cannot be a forest.” And so I have consistently pursued the path of institution building and establishment of internal party management systems. This is a process we shall continue, investing in building the necessary organizational infrastructure that will enable us to mobilize the momentum to overwhelm the Museveni regime.

My tours around Uganda have offered me opportunities to listen and to learn from a cross-section of Ugandans about their achievements and challenges. They have told me their hopes and their ideas for getting our country back on track. My faith in the resilience of the Ugandan people has been reaffirmed by what I have heard and seen. The people’s courage has been repeatedly displayed by their willingness to join us at meetings in towns and villages, not afraid of the possible victimization that might be inflicted upon them by the ruling regime’s agents.

The message I have heard time after time has been that our great country has a serious leadership crisis. This leadership crisis is a major handicap that is central to the social, political and economic difficulties that threaten our security and stability. Whereas our country has made some progress over the last three decades, we remain well behind where we should be. In very many ways we are driving in reverse.

Fellow Ugandans, the failed leadership of President Museveni has shortchanged us. Nobody knows this better than the citizens that I have been privileged to listen to as I have toured this country. People are tired, and there is enormous hunger for urgent change, which bodes very well for the FDC and for Uganda. Parallel to party structure and institution building, we have invested time and effort to restore party cohesion, very well aware that cohesion and unity are the cornerstones of any organization.

To reestablish cohesion in our party has required patience, fair play, transparency, tolerance and consistency in exhibiting unwavering commitment to democracy and reconciliation. We have not been deterred by the skepticism that we cannot collectively withstand the stresses and pressures that our party has faced. We have been steadfast and resolute in pursuit of our objectives.

Today, the FDC is a united party that is ready to play a major role in the urgent mission of offering better, more effective and just governance to our country. Our faith and commitment to broadening and strengthening the forces for positive change has been critical in the formation of The Democratic Alliance, through which we are determined to send Museveni and his tired regime into retirement.

Both our party and the alliance carry the word “democratic” in their names. To us it is not just a word. It is a principle to which we are so totally committed that it is at the center of everything we do. 10 That is why we have been very active partners in the fight for free and fair elections. We shall continue our active participation in this fight as FDC. Our resolve to pursue the struggle for electoral reforms to create a genuinely level political ground, will continue until its logical conclusion, even as we engage in the current electoral processes.

Democracy, real democracy, is one area that I will not compromise about. Our democracy, complete with passionate debates and vigorous competition for leadership positions, has been misconstrued by some to be a sign of a divided party. We understand the basis for that false belief. President Yoweri Museveni has deepened an anti-democratic culture of personalized rule that makes it difficult for many to understand that healthy competition is possible and necessary.

The Museveni regime’s negative response to the challenge by Mr. Amama Mbabazi, his former prime minister and longtime colleague, is the latest manifestation of this dangerous personalization of power. How do you terrorize Ugandans because your colleague in your party has chosen to exercise his constitutional rights? How do you deploy thousands of heavily armed police along Entebbe Highway just because you fear that Ugandans may line up to welcome your political opponent? What crime is there in citizens welcoming a person they like? Do they not line up to welcome you Mr. Museveni? Who makes you think, Mr. Museveni, that we fought a war so that you would be the only one who can enjoy the support and adoration of fellow citizens?

The FDC has and will continue to practice genuine democracy. We strongly believe that democracy must start within the party, for you cannot give to the country what you do not practice in the party. We have had vigorous contests for our party’s leadership. We are going to have a very vigorous competition for flag bearer. I am very happy that we are going to have a serious competition where the members of the National Delegates’ Conference will choose between different visions and different approaches.

Incidentally, this competition is not going to be about Muntu or Besigye. This competition must not be about emotional attachment to Muntu or Besigye. This competition is about a winning strategy. There are  women dying everyday due pregnancy related causes; a broken down health system; 83 percent youth unemployment; a compromised education system; a population that has been so subdued to a state of hopelessness, their spirits are broken.  The defeat of this regime, to be able to reverse this situation, is a critical matter that should not be left to emotional attachments to individuals. That is why I have worked with a great team to formulate a clear and achievable party policy agenda, the blueprint of our transformative national program.

Now that we have successfully launched this policy agenda, I can afford to focus on marketing my leadership capabilities to the party members and to the entire Ugandan population. If the people of this country get a leader with the character, the courage, the ability to listen and the determination to lead them towards a truly democratic and just society, we shall be unstoppable on our journey towards shared prosperity. Such a leader must be consistent in what he or she says and does. Inconsistency in the politics of our country has become a chronic disease that needs to be brought to an end.

Uganda needs a leader who says what he means and means what he says. That is why I am seeking nomination to be the FDC’s candidate for president of Uganda in 2016. I have no doubt that I can do it and, by God’s Grace, do it exceedingly well. I believe in the right of all Ugandans to enjoy unfettered freedom under the same laws. I believe in the dignity of humanity that transcends ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, economic means, political affiliation, age and any other grouping. I believe in the right of all Ugandans to enjoy high quality public education, and state of the art health care here at home. I believe in the right of all Ugandans to access taxpayer-funded services to enhance their economic productivity and contribution to our national economy.  I believe that the president and the government must be the servants of the people, and not the other way round.

I offer myself to be the nominee for the FDC and eventually to be president of this country because I have what it takes to bring about the change that our country needs and must have. The future beckons to us to be brave and resolute, united towards a common objective of real change – transformative change – in our country. I have led our party on a journey of institution building; of deepening our internal democracy; of building cohesion; of forging the Democratic Alliance; and of putting in writing a solid party agenda to guide us when we assume leadership of our country.

With your support, and by the grace of God, I am ready to lead Ugandans to a better future, as One People in One Uganda.

THANK YOU!


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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