Civil Society organisations in Uganda working under two ambarella bodies: The Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) and The Elders’ Forum of Uganda (TEFU) have announced dates for the National Dialogue. The launch of the national process aimed at ensuring citizenry participation in determining the country’s political, social and economic destiny is set for November 21, 2018 in Kampala.
The launch of the National Dialogue comes at a time Uganda has experienced significant levels of political violence, abuse of power and corruption, human rights violations and a sense of political uncertainty. The National Dialogue is a billed event to contribute, at least set the stage, for ‘healing’ the country.
At the launch in November, representatives from across the political, social and economic divide will adopt a process framework paper which will set the agenda and modalities for the dialogue. It is also expected that thematic Working Groups will be set up and authorise the planned nationwide citizens’ consultation.
“We hope that all citizens here and in diaspora will embrace this nonpartisan and inclusive process so that together we can build on the progress of the last 56 years of independence and shape the future of our country,” Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the chairperson of the IRCU said Wednesday September 26 at a press conference in Kampala.
The agenda has seven key issues which CSO players believe will ensure and sustain the country’s progress. These are:
National consensus on values,
National consensus on diversity,
A functional and inclusive economy
National consensus on access to land and natural resources.
National consensus on service delivery
Consensus on political commitment, constitutionalism
Retired Justice James Ogoola, the chairman of TEFU, said these issues form the basis for discussion. This, he hinted, will guarantee the country’s independence and prosperity. “In last 50 years (of Uganda’s independence), we have seen a lot of good done, but also seen a lot of pain, heartache, problems, rebellions, coups, violence, blood and war. We as a nation must not go through the next 50 years of the same. We must avoid that and have a different new Uganda for the next 50 years … We need some messianic force of salvation (where) the people are empowered under our constitution to sit together and design the destiny of that Uganda,” he said.
Analysists say it is hard, at the moment, to predict the outcomes of the process given the fact that similar previous arrangements have collapsed almost at inception but it is a right step forward for the country.