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How Uganda is admired by foreign nationals

By Admin

Added 5th February 2016 01:02 PM

The magnanimity of Ugandans has been exhibited by the hosting of refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Somalia and most recently, Kenya.

How Uganda is admired by foreign nationals

Rt. Rev. Dr. Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa is the chairman of the Inter Religious Council Peace and Stability Committee (Ankole, Kigezi, Kasese, Kabarole )

The magnanimity of Ugandans has been exhibited by the hosting of refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Somalia and most recently, Kenya.



By Rt. Rev. Dr. Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa

Uganda as a nation will be ushering in a new democratic dispensation following the highly billed Presidential and parliamentary elections come February 18, 2016. In recent past, Uganda was voted as top tourist destination by Lonely Planet and National Geographic Society.

The magnanimity of Ugandans has been exhibited by the hosting of refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Somalia and most recently, Kenya.

About a month ago, I was able to visit the city of Jos in northern Nigeria for about a week but I was so overcome with compassion for the great nation which is suffering at the hands of the Muslim fundamentalist Boko Haram.

From Abuja to Jos we passed by about 10 heavily barricaded military road blocks. While in Jos we were treated to stories of detonated bombs in Churches and market places and the constant threat of bombs in public places. Interestingly, there was a fuel crisis in a country that is a major oil producer in the world so much that on our return journey, we had to buy fuel from a corner shop!

From December 28 to 30, 2015, I was able to represent the Archbishop of Uganda in Nairobi at an East African inter religious Burundi peace meeting and while there I was pleasantly surprised by two foreigners who heaped praises on Uganda and downplayed the success stories of their countries.  

A senior cleric from Tanzania with whom I engaged in a conversation told me that Uganda, as a nation, was performing well in everything! When I asked, in what sector was Uganda performing better than Tanzania, the senior cleric said, ‘In everything." On another occasion we conversed with a Kenyan youth who had travelled on the plane with us. In my company, I had a senior Ugandan cleric and an academician.

The young man out of the blue said, ‘You Ugandans, your country is developing so fast.' Three of us quickly cut in and argued that Kenya with its high rise buildings, expansive airport, airline, road network etc was far ahead of us. Alas, the young man argued ferociously that he travels to Uganda every year and said that when you visit the Ugandan countryside you see better roads than in Kenya and that the Ugandan households are better off than Kenyan ones!

The biggest lesson to the trio was that it is very difficult for us Ugandans to appreciate the beauty and development of our country in same way as foreigners do. As we prepare for the presidential and parliamentary elections, may Ugandans commit themselves through the ballot box to ensure that the peace we enjoy does not dissipate in thin air. I pray that Ugandans will not be tempted to follow the path of our neighbouring countries by choosing the path of violence. Citizens should be given a right to vote their leaders without coercion or being disenfranchised.

My appeal goes to different political party leaders to ensure that they have robust party structures and agents across the country who will be at polling stations to safeguard against complaints of vote rigging.

The Electoral Commission should exercise professionalism as they use the Biometric Voter Registration and Electronic Results Transfer systems in exercising transparency in elections. While Martin Luther had a dream about a beautiful future America, I have a conviction that the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections will run smoothly and that Uganda, the pearl of Africa, an abode for refugees in the region and a popular destination for tourists will continue to be a peaceful country and a jewel in the crown of the East African region that is bedeviled by war and violence. Oh Uganda may God uphold thee we lay our future in thy hands.

The writer is the chairman of the Inter Religious Council Peace and Stability Committee (Ankole, Kigezi, Kasese, Kabarole ) before, during and after elections

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