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Govt agrees to inject sh11b into National Dialogue

By David Lumu

Added 9th May 2019 02:58 PM

The funds will only support the process for one year

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Makerere University law lecturer Godber Tumushabe speaking during the symposium on the proposed National Dialogue organised at Makerere University. Photo by Sylvia Katushabe

The funds will only support the process for one year

As National Dialogue organisers convene on Friday to review and approve the roadmap, the government has agreed to inject sh11b into the process, which seeks to build a national consensus on a number of issues, including the governance system.

According to the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, after several engagements with various stakeholders in the government, President Yoweri Museveni, agreed that the National Dialogue process should be supported and funded.

“The government is fully on board with the national dialogue process. President Museveni did not want to appear or be used as a stumbling block to the dialogue process,” Opondo said during a stakeholders’ symposium on the proposed national dialogue at Makerere University.

The symposium was organised by the Makerere University School of Law under the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) and the Society for Justice and National Unity (SoJNU).

Godber Tumushabe from the National Dialogue secretariat said the sh11b will only support the process for one year. He appealed to Ugandans to support the process by contributing at least sh1,000 per person.

“If 10 million Ugandans contribute at least sh1,000, the National Dialogue can be sustained, even after the one year has ended because this is a continuous process. By funding the process directly, Ugandans will be able to own the process,” he said, emphasising that the alternative would be donor money, but it should not have conditions attached.

Describing the national dialogue as the “future of Uganda”, Dr Maggie Kigozi, one of the organisers of the dialogue process, said they are working with everybody to ensure that the process registers success.

In December last year, Museveni inaugurated the dialogue’s coordinating team, singling out patriotism, Pan-Africanism, socio-economic development and democracy as the core issues that the dialogue should focus on.

However, Tumushabe said that the views gathered from the public on what should be discussed during the dialogue, point to an eight-point agenda, including a consensus on service delivery, land ownership and distribution, governance system, among others.

Other elders such as Prof. Yash Tandon, the chairperson of SEATINI, called for unity among citizens if the dialogue process is to achieve the intended purpose.

“As a country we are segmented. We need to unite nationally. Museveni is not the problem but a product of the international system, which has designed a systematic control of our country by outsiders,” he said.

Makerere law Don, Prof. John-Jean Barya, said that for the dialogue to be meaningful to the people, there must be an enabling environment or else it would turn into an academic exercise.

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