Commentary

Unity in 2014 shall be the basis for successful and a peaceful country

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By Nandala Mafabi

Posted  Sunday, December 29   2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Yes, it has been difficult and challenging. But with our faith and our collective will as a people, we know we have the potential to turn things around and we shall turn them sooner than later. And so, we can all look forward beyond the Christmas season and beyond the pains that we hurt daily.

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Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Opposition and the voiceless, take my humble and best wishes for this Christmas. May the peace and love that the birth of Jesus Christ brings to us be the drive behind our hopes for a better society.

We are closing 2013 at the height of an unprecedented abuse of power and dictatorial tendencies being perpetuated by the NRM regime. I want to say it is no longer just something but everything being fundamentally wrong. As such, our attempts at dealing with these challenges will require us coming together to confront them as a solid unit. What had hitherto been a pretentious autocracy is now an outright and open military dictatorship without the minutest sense of shame, neither regard to human dignity especially divergent political views.

The issues surrounding the debacle in the Kampala Capital City Authority, for example, have everything to do with the cohesive appeal against the excesses of the State that Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Dr Kizza Besigye represent to the ordinary people. To the contrary, the abuse being meted on the two gentlemen only represents the depth by which the regime has put its feet to the ground determined to crash any challenge.

The implication here, therefore, is that the government is desperately trying to isolate leaders of the Opposition from the people and the only response to this must be our strong resolve to reassert our commitment to unite, stick together with our leaders and spring up to dismantle the regime. This way we may live to enjoy Christmas celebrations in the future without teargas or the fear of it.

In their quest to destroy everything, after successfully killing institutions, the State is now out with uncontrolled recklessness to kill individual efforts to stay the course of ethical professional practice. Government attempted to intimidate Dr Sylvester Onzivua, the forensic pathologist at Mulago because of his quest to establish what killed the Cerinah Nebanda, by humiliating him with arrests.

However, the scheme to kill assertive professional ethics is only getting worse. We had not seen a lawyer on duty being attacked and beaten into unconsciousness by security operatives, including the police, at the orders of leaders in government. Well, I can only report that Mr Kiwanuka Abdalah, the lawyer who was beaten for trying to serve a court order to Frank Tumwebaze, has improved quite significantly since that ordeal.

Disregard to the rule of law
The government attempts to undermine the courts and the wider Judiciary is not new. We also know that the Attorney General, Mr Peter Nyombi, is a celebrated ‘misinterpreter’ of the law. But it is also clear how the State and Nyombi have accelerated their animosities against the law and judicial practice.

When you have a prime minister who is a senior lawyer, the Attorney General himself, the Executive Director of the KCCA also a senior lawyer, and a minister gang up to out-rightly undermine the law and the courts, then there is a lot to worry about. Now we have senior government officials being the new Black Mamba gang. We are definitely living in difficult times.

May I take this opportunity to say to those who have been physically abused by buttering, tear-gased, or even killed, like one Ssegirinya Muhamad who was soaked with in teargas, that your pains will not be in vain.

Theft of public resources
President Museveni went to the bush and among the many reasons one being to fight corruption and in 2006 he announced a policy of zero-tolerance to corruption. However, to date most governance indicators show that corruption is now institutionalised and it is used officially to fuel NRM regime patronage in order to keep power at the expense of social service delivery.

It is for that very reason that the regime won’t tolerate Anti-corruption Activists.
Unfortunately, they seem not to realise that they are fighting a losing battle. Let me volunteer to them some wise sayings by Mahatma Gandhi “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”.

Youth unemployment now stands at over 83 per cent. This is not only a security risk, but also the cause of massive poverty the country wallows in. It is time we acted proactively to save the country from this time bomb. We must invest in employment creation ventures. Why are our children and grandchildren suffering unemployment amidst plenty?

Poor education and health care
Since the two are intrinsically linked and are important contributors to economic growth, government will be reminded that they are betraying citizens by not investing in education and health adequately.

Media clampdown
In the same vein, allow me salute and thank particularly all the field operators of the media industry. You have been fantastic; you are doing a great job even amidst the immense challenges that you face every day; you have kept showing up with bravery. I can only implore you to keep it up.

Unfortunately, the trajectory of the environment you operate in has significantly changed lately. The media field operators have continuously come face to face with the full force of dictatorship that is consuming our country.

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