Hate is blind in Uganda today. We must trust nothing and suspect everything for we can’t surpress a powerful question of hunger and leadership. We need to urgently re-align and streamline leadership.
Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery of the United States of America defined leadership as the Capacity and Will to rally Men and Women to a common purpose or the character which inspires confidence. Nicholae Machiavelli, a revolutionary South American once said “ when your enemy is making a mistake, don’t interrupt him or her”.
And on the homefront in his thesis titled Food Security as part of conflict solution in then war ravaged Uganda, RO16 Gen Caleb Akandwanaho (Salim Saleh) which he referred to recently during the burial of Paul Lokech as having become his working document for his involvement in development Agriculture, Gen Saleh defines Food Security as ensuring people have physical and economic access to the basic food they need to live and that this arises out of the fact that a hungry man is an angry man.
Poverty breeds hunger, hunger breeds anger and anger breeds violence and this is what Uganda must avoid by all means. The poor are not only those with lack of money but also people in a condition of shame, powerlessness, social, religious and political exclusion, landless, homeless, exploited and people of overdue rights.
For many of Uganda’s poor today, each day is filled with insecurities which the late Pope John Paul II described as structures of sin for they are structures of a society that creates inequalities. There is little room for the weak, the needy to argue their cases out be it in courts of law, village courts et cetera. The poor’s reality is a struggle through one day at a time, hope rarely appears on their horizon as poverty grinds them to a lessening of their humanity.
In Uganda, the majority now want to turn to the blind alley of violence and terrorism saying hate is blind. The armed forces in one African Country recently took over power highlighting four main reasons for the takeover Viz; Poverty, Corruption, Nepotism and abuse of office. Are we far from the above? Security is a perishable commodity yet some politicians seem to believe they are above the law and this attitude erodes the situation.
This is now a request to the government and the state, we urgently need a national stakeholders’ dialogue beyond the simplistic Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) comprising of religious leaders under their umbrella Inter Religious Council (IRC), All political parties including those not represented in Parliament, security agencies (police, army, prison services), the media, diplomats attached to foreign countries and those deployed in Uganda, the academia (student leaders).
There must however before the actual national stakeholders’ conference guiding pre-conditions, modernities and issues for the dialogue agreed on before the main one and here below are the considered conditions for a successful national dialogue;
Putting in place and ensuring that confidence building measures are harmoniously nurtured including but not limited to extremism (no big, no small party)
All concerned stakeholders should make positive statements about the process prior to the dialogue.
Government/State should desist from making statements that denigrate those in Opposition
The youthful and other people in unlawful detention or detention on political charges/grounds and or trumped up charges should be freed to encourage dialogue
The State apparatus must put an end to arbitrary arrests, intimidation and torture or even muThat the nature, character and outcome of the dialogue (talks) should be genuine and not mere rhetoric for public relations.
That the agenda of the National Stakeholders’ Dialogue must be agreed upon more than a month earlier in the preparatory talks (i.e talks before talks) for purposes of free flowing National Stakeholders’ Conference.
Nabendeh S.P Wamoto, [email protected]