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Elders, clergy want truth and reconciliation commission

By Francis Emorut, Cecilia Okoth

Added 31st March 2018 04:11 PM

"Peace minus reconciliation, we are wasting time," Baptist Latim, a traditional leader from Acholi sub-region, said.

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"Peace minus reconciliation, we are wasting time," Baptist Latim, a traditional leader from Acholi sub-region, said.

PIC: The chairman of Elders Forum Justice James Ogoola (right) listens to Fr. Gaitano Batanyenda during the national dialogue champions meeting at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Kampala. (Credit: Francis Emorut)

TRUTH RECONCILIATION COMMISSION


KAMPALA - Since Uganda got its independence in 1962, different communities in the country have been wounded and, therefore, the elders’ forum has called for truth and reconciliation commission.

They said, once the truth telling commission is set up, Ugandans would be able to confess atrocities committed by some groups of people and repent, seek forgiveness and in the process, bring healing and reconciliation.

"Peace minus reconciliation, we are wasting time," Baptist Latim, a traditional leader from Acholi sub-region, said.

"National dialogue should be tailored to form truth and reconciliation commission," he stated.

Latim was backed by Dr Fr Pascal Kabura from Fort Portal, who said some Ugandans have been wounded by either civil war or land conflicts and, therefore, need healing through truth and reconciliation commission.

"A lot of truth has been buried. Could the truth and reconciliation commission be the magic bullet for the country?" Kabura, who is director of Uganda Martyrs University Fort Portal campus, wondered.

The elders made the remarks during the national dialogue champions meeting at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Kampala recently.

The national dialogue champions meeting was organised by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) in conjunction with The Elders Forum of Uganda (TEFU) with the aim of rallying the public for the national dialogue.

Outlining the framework paper for national dialogue, Godber Tumushabe, the executive director of Great Lakes for Strategic Studies, said the latter is premised on the theme: Consolidating Peace, Democracy and Development to Promote Equal Opportunity and Achieve Shared Prosperity.

Tumushabe, said the dialogue is intended to address pertinent issues such as building national values and reach consensus on political, quality service delivery, eliminating the cancer of corruption, an economy that works for everybody and national integration and harmony.

He said the national dialogue is inevitable after the Moshi conference and Nairobi peace talks collapsed.

Joyce Mpanga, 85, a former legislator, said time the country needed national dialogue and truth and reconciliation commission was yesterday.

Retired Kitgum Bishop Macleod Ochola said the country cannot afford to miss truth and reconciliation commission seeing the Police brutality.

The chairperson of the Elders Forum of Uganda, Justice Ogoola, said the national dialogue is not meant for settling political scores, but peaceful transition of power from one leader to another.

Bishop Zac Niringiye said there is need for transitional government for national unity.

However, former tourism minister Prof. Edward Rugumayo cautioned fellow elders, saying they needed to build critical mass to support the agenda.


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