Dr Olara Otunnu Message to all Ugandans

National Unity

Our country is in the throes of a grave national crisis. Uganda is today a highly divided and polarized country. It is rent apart by corruption and plunder; humiliating poverty among ordinary people; absolute culture of impunity; a deep moral crisis; genocide, horrific violence against helpless children, and the collapse of national institutions of development and governance; and the inability of the state to deliver social services to ordinary people. This general collapse includes the erosion of the provision of quality primary and secondary education; the incapacity to deliver quality healthcare, maintain good roads and rail systems; and the absence of the rule of law.

Clearly, Uganda today is a nation in ruins; a society in the state of total collapse; in short A FAILED STATE .What holds the country together today is brazen coercion.

The UPC Manifesto for the 2011 Elections is A PROGRAMME FOR THE REHABILITATION, RECONSTRUCTION AND MODERNIZATION OF A FAILED STATE.

In this effort for national renewal, our key preoccupation is with how to again place ordinary people in the centre of governance; to rehabilitate, reconstruct and modernize the country’s institutions of social and economic development and governance; to end Museveni’s 25 years of segregation and inequalities in health, education and distribution of national resources; to reunite our country from 25 years of fragmentation, polarisation, discrimination, vilification and persecution organized along ethnic and regional lines.

Indeed, there has been a general collapse of the rule of law, the destruction of national institutions, governance processes and the delivery of basic services. Hospitals, public education systems, agricultural services, roads and railways are all in shambles. Universal Primary Education (UPE), introduced without any advance planning, churns out functionally illiterate pupils without any literacy and numeracy skills. This does not trouble the NRM government at all, because they are more concerned with enrolment numbers than the quality produced.

Our healthcare services are simply scandalous. Except for the 22 rural hospitals built by UPC government, the structures of most other government hospitals and health centres have collapsed. All are ill-equipped and without drugs. Medical personnel are inadequate, underpaid and totally demoralized, leading to an unprecedented haemorrhage to greener pastures abroad.

Our people have been impoverished and deprived of their means of livelihood. The cooperatives, through which peasant farmers and other economic groups were able to engage in productive activities, were destroyed. The Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB), which extended cheap and reliable credit facilities to small traders, businessmen and women, was sold off for a song.

Corruption has permeated the entire fabric of public life. It is the norm for political leaders to freely allocate to themselves funds from the treasury. This sometimes takes the form of manipulating public procurement processes to benefit themselves, their friends, families and in-laws. The truth is that our country has been hi-jacked by a ‘mafia’ clique that has appropriated the state to serve their personal interests. This ‘mafia’ has used the state as an instrument for plunder, stealing and repression for the purpose of holding onto power.

For the past two decades, Ugandans witnessed well orchestrated schemes to deprive them, not only of their common heritages, national resources and entitlements to basic services from government, but also of their inalienable rights to freely change their government through free and fair elections organized by an independent and impartial elections commission.

Regarding the conduct of elections, our country is engaged in an historic struggle. At the heart of this struggle is our non-negotiable demand for genuinely free and fair elections in 2011.This translates into two minimum demands: an independent electoral commission; and a clean and verifiable register of voters.

UPC presents this manifesto as a new covenant with the people of Uganda. We ask for your vote and support so that together we can reverse the quarter century of moral, social, economic and institutional decadence. Ugandans deserve a new government that will inspire and fulfil their aspirations by delivering complete services efficiently and effectively without discrimination whatsoever.

We are citizens; we are the owners of this land; this is our country, but for the last 25 years, it was hi-jacked by a small politico-military clique that has personalised the state and reduced Ugandans to subjects (not citizens) in their own country. If this country belongs to all of us, then it is high time we behaved as its owners. We must not continue to be supplicants and subjects in our own land. We must take control and be in charge of our land, our kingdoms and chieftaincies, our resources and secure our future and that of our children.

WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY!

Olara A. Otunnu
President, Uganda Peoples Congress

 
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