Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s letter to President Yoweri Museveni has emerged accentuating his decision to contest in the coming presidential elections.
It the letter, Mbabazi appeals to the President to appreciate that his work of laying down the foundation for Uganda ‘s transition is finished and that he should now accept to hand the leadership to another person, well acquainted with the demands of the current generation.
Below is the letter in full:
I thank the National Resistance Movement (NRM) under your leadership for the opportunity given to me to serve our great nation. We have worked together from the formation of NRM and before that, from the earlier period of the liberation movement, on policy and implementation of the armed struggle and later on Government programmes.
I am reasonably satisfied that the fundamental objectives NRM initially set out to achieve have been realized. These are peace and security, a united country, improved economic security, positive economic growth, increased provision of education, the strengthening and/or building of institutions on which democratic governance can be anchored and the respect on the international community to name a few.
I am very proud of whatever part I have played in bringing about the aforementioned achievements.
While we have done many great things, we now need to look not at the quantity but the quality of the product. When we look at all our accomplishments, it is clear we still face many more challenges.
These are in brief: to transform the economy, to fight corruption, to tackle the scourge of unemployment and to create jobs for all, to provide universal and superior quality health care, to address the quality of education and the skills gap, and to strengthen and respect public institutions and the rule of law among others.
Uganda is at cross roads: stuck between old and new and very different economic development stages. Our future leaders need to understand this.
What the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) began and NRA achieved was a revolution. This was akin to building the foundation of one’s house. But now we must build upon our achievements, constricting the pillars and columns that will elevate our nation to new heights and form the basis upon which a stronger, more enduring and equitable social order can be laid. NRM must adapt and Uganda must progress. It is time to evolve.
This is what elections are about; the future; the path our great and proud nation will embark on. And yet, today’s leadership is afraid of the unknowable quality of the future.
It is apprehensive of the fast-shifting landscape upon which present Uganda unfolds. The leadership clings to the sails of a wearied boat that is familiar, not observing that it is no longer properly equipped to say the post-liberation course, or that too great a number of its crew are fortune-hunters and not genuine workmen.
A number of those in leadership reject various facets of the 21st century modernity that have become essential to efficiency and advancement in other parts of the world.
The inevitable reality is this; a new age is upon us and it demands three things. The first is the awareness of its existence and the accompanying implications therein. The second; the willingness to engage with it as a present reality and not some far-off time in the future.
The time is now for fairness; fairness in the salaries we offer teachers, doctors nurses and other medical workers; fairness in the salaries and allowances we offer policemen and soldiers – the men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect us; fairness for those in public service and all those Ugandans whose labor powers our economy.
The third and final demand of this new age is the competency to put in place the answers to the questions it will necessarily pose.
Whatever age we are in, however, the basic tenets of good governance remain the same. Good governance is based on the rule of law and not the whims of an individual.
Good governance is grounded on equity and inclusiveness and demands the participation of citizens in decision making.
Good governance means a separation of powers where there is autonomy between the Executive, the Legislature and Judicial branches of government.
Good governance occurs when one can expect accountability, transparency and finally effectiveness and efficiency.
The time has come for Uganda to go forward in pursuit of a radical system change based on the principles of good governance. We cannot tarry for this for this is the most critical endeavor of our time.
As in the past, Uganda and her people still need peace and security, but they now have additional concerns.
As they see how science and technology advancements continue to shape many parts of the world for the better in areas such as health, education, business and even governance, they are desirous of a leap into 21′ century modernity.
Today’s Ugandans are exposed to and better aware of the possibilities available to them now that the preservation of life and limb is no longer their only primary concern.
Mr. Chairman, as I earlier stated, much has been achieved. Given this fact, let as not risk undoing our past gains. The coming election is not simply about a change of leader, but about changing systems in Uganda for this generation and generations to come.
We simply must join those nations where a change of guard happens regularly and through the ballot. It is time for a peaceful transition: and so I hope that all Ugandans will use the opportunity next year to cast their vote for a healthier and more democratic Uganda: where the rule of law is observed and where the identity, dignity, solidarity and productivity of her people are returned to her.
As you know Mr. Chairman and as I indicated earlier, I have had, in the past, the honour and privilege to work with you and other colleagues in the party, the Government and the country and with so many young, passionate and engaged people.
The change Uganda must have requires someone with the requisite ideas, energy and drive: and the experience I have acquired has given me the wherewithal needed to successfully steer this change.
In light of this, I will be seeking to run for Party Chairman of the NRM and as the Flag-bearer for the National Resistance Movement for President of Uganda in the 2016 general election.
I remain loyal to my party the National Resistance Movement. Yet my greatest devotion and allegiance is fixed upon my country Uganda and its people.
Sincerely, Amama Mbabazi SC, MP.