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Opinion: Why National Dialogue?

By Ronad Angarukamu

Calls for the national dialogue being championed by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) has in the recent past taken a much more centre stage, aimed at resolving the country’s purportedly political “impasse”. Several groups especially Civil Society, Elders Forum, Academia etc have written and debated extensively on the need for a National dialogue with some arguing that this should be the only way forward emphasizing that elections are not a mechanism for the democratization of Uganda.

The Opposition’s Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) led by party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat said they submitted preconditions for the talks to IRCU to review before setting any date for the dialogue. Opposition further asked   IRCU to first consult President Museveni who they say is key in this dialogue and get his side of conditions and demands before consulting other political parties.

Equally, according to Government Spokesperson Mr. Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director Uganda Media Centre,   Government has been working towards creating a consensus with citizens.

To start with, people of Uganda are governed in accordance with the provisions of National constitution where All power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with this Constitution.  Meaning whereas the several stakeholders as listed above, including the political party leaders, go ahead with this national dialogue, this literally is depriving people who are constitutional empowered to choose their leaders through regular democratic elections.

The current regime is just merely three years in its democratically elected five year term. This is a grand agreement between the government in power and the people of Uganda. If there are any calls for transition at the presidency, there are well spelt out procedures.

By pivoting the whole spirit of national dialogue between the civil society groups, opposition parties and targeting it to one individual, President Museveni, who they describe as a major actor in all this process, that’s sheer betrayal to the majority of the people of Uganda  who well knows how to transit power from one leader to another happens. The architects of this narrative also need to understand that the people of Uganda are supreme and not the person of President Museveni who they refer to as major actor.

We need to critically understand the forces and interests behind this call for Regime change in the names of National dialogue before we fall for it.

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Like one senior citizen asked recently, what will define them once President Museveni ceases to be a factor?

The writer is a Researcher and Analyst

 

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