Leaders have called for good governance free from corruption and bribery during elections to ensure a stable and developed country especially now as Uganda prepares for the 2016 elections, “Leadership is the art and science of acquisition of power and the well distribution of natural resources. What we practice today in leadership will affect the young generation who are 75% of our population. Leaders should therefore desist from corruption practices so as to protect the young generation and grounding them to become better citizens of tomorrow.” Said Professor Edward Rugumayo while speaking at a one day debate held in Fort Portal on 28th March 2014. Professor Edward Rugumayo is a former Speaker of the Uganda Parliament and former Tourism minister.
|Participants during the debate|
The debate which was organized by Kabarole Research and Resource Center (KRC) in partnership with other civil society organizations including ToroDev attracted over 1,000 participants mostly from the districts of the Rwenzori Region. The theme for the debate was, “Uganda and Multiparty politics; Exploring the opportunities for trans-formative change”. The meeting was held at Kagote Hall, Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole District. Main speakers included leading journalists, political activists, political leaders and opinion leaders among others.
Mr. Andrew Mwenda, the CEO Independent Magazine blamed Ugandan leaders for focusing on rigging elections than providing the much needed service delivery, “Leaders use influential people to win votes. If President Museveni appointed a minister from Tooro, then all Batooro would vote for him. Using such tactics to win people’s votes is cheaper than creating better roads, health centers, among others.”
Mwenda also appealed to the opposition to change strategy and focus more in uplifting the livelihoods of the people to enable the development of democracy in Uganda, “The opposition in Uganda is very opportunistic over power and this is the reason why they have lost the support of the people. The opposition should construct their position through presenting people’s interests for them to be more relevant.” Said Mwenda.
The minister for local Government Hon. Adolf Mwesige praised the NRM government for introducing the multi party system in Uganda to ensure democracy, “NRM is not only a party but a liberator of Uganda. During the pre-colonial era, there was no democracy in kingdoms. But under the NRM system, a referendum was held and multi party system of governance was introduced which has enabled peace and stability in Uganda today.”
However, an MP from the opposition Hon. Mwanga Kivumbi challenged the ruling NRM government to strengthen democracy by strengthening the multi-party democracy through allowing free space to every Ugandan especially the opposition to exercise their political rights. “There are still weaknesses in multi-party democracy in Uganda where we find only one state party called the NRM party. Other parties are only there for legal, symbolism and donor benefits to the NRM party.” Said Mwanga Kivumbi.