KAMPALA- As Ugandans join the rest of the world to celebrate Easter today, religious leaders have asked newly elected leaders to embrace the spirit of service with humility and treat everyone equally regardless of their social or political affiliations.
“In that way, they will be able to unite their constituents and mobilise them to join hands with the government in implementing the national development agenda and other government policies and programmes,” said the church leaders in a statement issued under Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC). UJCC is the umbrella body of the Catholic, Anglican and the Orthodox Christians in Uganda.
While delivering Easter message at their offices in Nsambya, Kampala, UJCC executive secretary, Rev Fr Dr Silvester Arinaitwe also called for prayers for the Supreme Court justices as they deliver judgment in the presidential election petition in which former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi is challenging the results that declared President Museveni winner of the February 18 elections.
“The Supreme Court is the last frontier of justice and we do hope that the justices of the Supreme Court will rise up to the occasion. Let us support them with prayer,” said the statement.
After hearing the petition, the judges are expected to deliver their verdict on Thursday, March 31.
Fr Arinaitwe decried election related violence, especially in Kasese District.
“…Election-related violence has claimed the lives of more than 22 people in Bundibugyo and Kasese districts. This is a worrying development. We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the attacks. In the same vein, we express solidarity with those who have been affected in one way or another by the violence,” he said.
Fr Arinaitwe also asked the police to end the incarceration of Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, arguing that all peace loving citizens have the obligation to question every form of human rights abuse and challenge all systems and structures that perpetuate human rights violations.
He asked the Uganda Human Rights Commission to invoke its legal mandate to take necessary action in order for the government to comply with the obligations to protect and promote human rights.
“We would like to reiterate our call for an all-inclusive national dialogue that will bring together government leaders, Opposition political leaders, representatives of civil society and other stakeholders,” said Fr Arinaitwe, adding that the call by church leaders seeks to advocate for love and peaceful co-existence and to seek to reconcile those who are at loggerheads.
“We can come together as brothers and sisters to discuss and build consensus on issues that have led to the polarisation we are witnessing in the country. We would like to appeal to all those in leadership positions to rally their constituents to embrace the message of reconciliation and to accept our call for dialogue,” he added.