The forgotten voice
Publish Date: Jun 25, 2014
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By Jomeo K Richard

My fellow countrymen and women;

The youth being adults of age bracket between 18-35 years of age with population approximation of 80% of the national total population; to be informed implies the imparting of knowledge especially of facts or occurrences, or a crisis. Imperatively to give evident substance, character or distinction to; permeate with manifests effect

Denotatively, core being the most important vital age group as a matter of discussion, political transition theorists A Robinson, I quote stated that “non democratic societies are controlled by rich elite, the initially disenfranchised poor can contests power by threatening revolution, especially when the opportunity cost is low, for example during recessions, the threat to revolution may force the elite to democratize though democracy may not consolidate because it is redistributive and so gives the elite an incentive to amount a coup and highly unequal societies are less likely to consolidate democracy and may end up oscillating between regimes and suffer substantial fiscal volatility”.

In my view political transition in the profound sense is a governance question considering the stakeholders and processes involved of sort in terms of who has the power (political, economical, social control, and all such enormous powers),who makes decisions, how other players or sects makes their voice heard and how account is rendered

Political transition scholars identifies common rationale to engage youth in governance (zeldon et al,2003) first by being concerned with ensuring social justice and youth representation-a rights based approach though it does not address power imbalances very well, and that key conditions needs to be in place for youth to participate namely; cultural attitudes must encourage youth participation; political, legal and administrative structures to ensure rights to participation; and economic and social conditions that enable people to exercise their rights; more so, the rationale based in building civil society or balancing individual rights responsibilities to contribute to the common good; involving youth in adult created institutional structures and working together in more equitable power dynamics to influence decisions and outcomes

Impeccably by confidence in cutting courts according to our size,

There is a compelling need for Uganda to demonstrate a commitment to fostering a culture of peaceful political transition as a vehicle for national cohesion, reconciliation, consultation most all with and by the youth through the process as well as the outcome engagements.

Historically; post independence Uganda up until 1986 has been blighted with political instability epitomized by violence and violent takeover of political power. From the immediate post independence government to the despotic reign of Idi Amin (1971-1979) and Obote II rule (1980-1986) from where up to date there is a contestation between who amongst the Uganda army under the leadership of chief of armed forces Dr Apollo Milton Obote and the then rebel commander with his gorilla war fare, killed the civilian populace during the luweero killings. Political transition has been followed by a culture of revenge, hatred against the defeated by the victors leaving in their path abused, brutalized with unbelievable poverty-a country in which a feeling of alienation, brokenness and agony and marginalization became pervasive

However, since 1986, the NRM government has super intended over relatively a stable government of two countries in one (from 1986-2001) with the south having relative peace and the north in continuous agony and protracted poverty, pain and untold suffering under the stewardship of president Museveni. There has been a transition from movement political system (no-party system) to a multiparty political system in 2005 after undergoing a referendum. President Museveni has metamorphosed from a gorilla rebel commander to what his critics describe today as ” a patronage despot” emerging victor from an election systematically designed and entirely controlled and orchestrated by himself as the head of state, and commander in chief with both veto powers to appoint and dismiss the commission and his regime, winning four consecutive national elections, two multiparty and two under the Movement (no party) political system with no attempts whatsoever for resignation as at the time most expected for his departure, the country is lured into some campaigns of sole candidature of himself (the famous kyankwanzi resolution) championed by youthful Honorable Anite, and dramatic humiliation of youth kneeling down in idol worship mode to Mr. Museveni the individual

While Uganda is considered relatively peaceful compared to South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya that is currently faced by terrorism threats, the topic of political transition and national cohesion, reconciliation, consultative dialogue has become inserted into the mainstream political opinion dialogue most of all a recognition of youth as key stake holders in the realization of that impossibility in the face of some, fortunately on a positively note Nelson Mandela famously said “it seems impossible until it is done”. However, these debate though well intentioned; comprehensively it can be so well compromised with large shadow of influence by a prolonged presidency under an individual and without electoral reform on the current electoral commission in a new electoral management system, it’s an intention to backtrack the progress realized so far in momentum hence the need for youth to claim forth the arena to demonstrate that commitment of sustaining momentum for peaceful political transition now that it is prudent

I thank you

The writer is a youth activist


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