What you need to know:
- Normally, I spend the New Year’s Eve and first days of the year beseeching the Almighty to intervene in my plans.
- It’s no different this year as I am dedicating a special novena on behalf of our beloved nation
We learn from the Bible that Samuel, as the last judge and the first of the prophets, took a suckling lamb and offered it up as a whole burnt offering to God.
At the time, Israel had fallen into apostasy, and God had allowed the Philistines to oppress the people. The religious affairs of the nation were getting worse and the economic situation was bad. Samuel cried out on Israel’s behalf and God answered him by rescuing the people of Israel from their troubles. Moses, Daniel, Noah and Ezra, among others, were great intercessors too. I am convinced that Uganda has reached a stage where divine intervention is our turning point.
Each end of year, people make resolutions and set targets of what they wish to achieve in the New Year, I assume. As we come to the tail end of 2022, I have been reflecting on the ending year and wishing some good things can happen to Uganda in 2023. Normally, I spend the New Year’s Eve and first days of the year beseeching the Almighty to intervene in my plans. It’s no different this year as I am dedicating a special novena on behalf of our beloved nation. I am hoping that through this supplication to God, the year can indeed be a happy and prosperous one for us.
First, I am praying that we may have more functional systems in 2023. I am one of those people who used to believe that all systems in Uganda were dead. Like many of us, I used to think that to get quality services from any institution, two things must be involved; you either have a gamba n’ogu (godfather) or have a heavy wallet to bribe your way out. But from public praises of Uganda Driver Licensing System, we all now agree that it’s possible to have more of such professional institutions and functional systems in the country, across all sectors.
With these in place, I am hoping that the human rights situation will in turn improve. That due process will be followed by law enforcement agencies in the way they arrest and prosecute suspects. That no one should live in fear of being whisked away by unknown people, only to return in pieces or never to be seen again, just because they exercised their freedom of expression and not freedom after expression.
How I will pray that the Uganda Human Rights Commission may regain its independence and exercise its mandate of protecting and promoting fundamental human rights and freedoms of Ugandans by demanding accountability from those responsible. That the Commission may not just remain as a barking dog and be selective on what issues to handle but rather boldly stand up and show up for victims of human rights violations and abuses without fear or favour.
In the New Year, I am praying that public trust may be restored in the August House. That the institution may move away from bickering among our Members of Parliament and the focus on personal interests to legislating on matters of public interest such as improving our healthcare systems, education, infrastructure, security and economy, among other pertinent issues.
I will pray that we all respect each other’s freedom of association. That legally supporting a different group that appeals to your interests, be it in government or opposition, should never be haram but rather should be embraced as a healthy act for our democratic nation. That the civil society organisations whose doors have remained shut over unclear reasons may be reopened. I am praying that we may all protect, promote, and respect the human rights, freedoms and dignity of the most vulnerable in our society; the children, women, elderly, persons with disabilities and the poor, among others. That those whose hearts are wicked may be changed and we witness the return of Ubuntu spirit in Uganda.
Like I earlier wrote in these pages, I will also pray that the Church may be our voice of reason when everyone else can no longer speak.
May it equally guide Ugandans, and condemn corruption and other human rights violations and abuses the way it comes out strongly on homosexuality and abortion.
Mr Johnson Mayamba is a human rights journalist. [email protected]