A letter to fellow countrymen and women

A letter to fellow countrymen and women

By Joan Buttuke

“It's your role as a citizen to participate in policy making of your motherland. Find people of a clear track record and those that are reliable,” Hon. Kassiano Wadri.

Reflecting on the words of Hon. Kassiano Wadri’s speech in 2021 at the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) offices, I realize that there are several factors causing fellow Ugandans not to get involved in politics. However, the fact that politics affect almost every aspect of life, for example, our housing, roads, health and food security infrastructure, it has become luxurious not to be engaged. Uganda is where we are today because the majority choose to stay away from elective politics and those who engage elect politicians who have centred their actions on self as opposed to the country first. Therefore, it's crucial that we all engage in politics.

Hon. Kassiano Wadri's speech in 2021 at his unveiling press conference brings out several issues that one must consider before joining. He recommends the importance of research and joining those with a consistent and positive track record and shared values. For example, he mentioned that he has known General Mugisha Muntu, the 2021 presidential candidate and founding member of ANT, from the 70s and 80s to the year 2021. From his knowledge and several engagements with General Muntu, he observed that he has practised ethical leadership and remains consistent. In attendance at the press conference were Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the ANT National Coordinator, Hon. Alice Alaso, the ANT women's league coordinator Amb. Edith Ssempala and the ANT spokespersons, Hon.Sseryanzi Wilberforce and many other party members.  He commended General Muntu for his values and stated that he joined ANT because it reflected and aspired to the value-based politics and envisioned a country with strong institutions and following meritocracy. He also clarified that he wasn’t joining as an act to shun politics or of disappointment from other movements but rather as a choice made to work for a country and not out of personal selfish interest. He urged Ugandans to be active in Politics.

In a time where the cost of living is high, fuel prices are off the roof and the normal cooking oil prices have increased, it shows that every Ugandan can’t afford not to join politics. Joining politics doesn’t mean being at the forefront but one can also offer technical support or advice on the day-to-day administrative tasks. In addition, politics should not be left for only men, women too should be actively engaged. Research conducted on women participation in leadership says that women numbers occupying political offices is still very low. According to a UN Women Report, only 24% of national parliamentarians globally were elected as of 2018.

In Uganda, which has a population of 45 million people, you find that only 35% occupy political roles. It is still evident that numbers of women in politics are low.

I, therefore, call upon all Ugandans, both men and women who are passive about politics to get out of their comfort zone and join political parties of their choices and fully participate in matters that affect their country. Let it be the responsibility of me and you to identify like-minded people that stick to facts, people who are consistent and walk the talk. For that, I invite you to join, and welcome you to the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT).

Instead of sitting back and just watching your country taking the wrong route politically, Ugandans should find people and political parties that share their values and engage directly or indirectly in politics. Directly by offering yourselves as candidates for elective positions and supporting the operations of the party with either or both your time and money. Just like Hon. Kassiano Wadri did his research to join ANT, I urge all apolitical Ugandans to do their research and get involved in politics because in them there might be people who have values that can build and plant seeds for positive change in their communities and for a better Uganda.

 

About the Author

The writer is a social worker and a member of Alliance for National Transformation (ANT).

*This blog has been produced as part of the ANT writing workshop 2022.

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