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Ugandans Design Peace and Good Will To Each Other

Thursday, 20th December 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, Ugandan leaders across political, religious and age spectrums have endorsed the idea of a national dialogue as an avenue to peaceful resolution of political, religious and any other types of conflicts or disagreements. Launching the National Dialogue Committee on 18th of December at State House, President Museveni welcomed the opportunity the dialogue affords him and Ugandans of different viewpoints to listen to each other for the good of the country. The launch of the National Dialogue Committee is an outcome of the Inter - Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) Summit which happened a few days earlier in Kampala.

The idea for a national dialogue has long been floated by the country's Elders' Forum led by retired Justice James Ogola, a poet, a retired judge of the High Court of Uganda and a former Justice of the COMESA Court of Justice. In full support of the proposition was the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, which, together with Ogola, played a prominent role in actualising the IPOD 2018 Summit.

Announcing the outcome of a national dialogue as an outcome from IPOD, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, Chairperson of the Council of Presidents of the Inter-Religious  Council of Uganda, enumerated the eight points which are to form the key themes of the dialogue. These include consensus on national values and on national diversity as well as consensus on national politics. They also include constitutionalism and the rule of law; land justice and access to national resources and public service delivery, among others.

Participants from political parties at IPOD included the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), represented by its Chairperson President Yoweri Museveni. Other parties in opposition to the NRM were the Democratic Party (DP) led by its Chairperson, Nobert Mao; the Uganda Peoples' Congress (UPC), led by its Chairperson, Jimmy Akena; and the Jeema Justice Forum led by its Chairperson, Asumani Basaalirwa. Neither the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) nor its recent splinter group, New Formation attended the IPOD.

Representing the political party in power, President Museveni said Ugandans under his stewardship had distilled the four core values of patriotism, pan-Africanism, democracy and the urge for socio - economic transformation. He decried the portrayal of Uganda as being in "ashes"; declaring that the country was on a high economic growth trajectory. In his words, it certainly was in "no way in ashes".