A truth and reconciliation and a national dialogue is needed urgently!

A country’s politics is like a river.It keeps flowing on, throwing off some waters and receiving fresh water. It has no break off point where dirt, old water is separated from the fresh and clean water. A river has it is own system where its water is cleaned along the way for us to use it.

Or politics is like a virgin forest with young trees replacing old ones on a self -sustaining basis. It will cease to be a treasurable virgin forest like our Mabira if we decided to cut all the exisiting adult trees at one go. That will not happen to a country’s body-politic even after revolutions. The effects would be disastrous. The alienated old guards who would be your targets for destruction would definitely fight back if only in self-defence and for self-preservation.

A political Party like FDC with a good policies and working internal democracy has a self-cleasing mechanism as it flows on like river Nile. We should focus on awakening Ugandans and building institutions and sysytems to deal with wrong doing individuals and avoid personalizing issues and debates.Targeting and fighting individuals will take us no where.

Even Museveni who has today usurped almost all powers of the State is not just an individual. He has ultravires systems he is using to do that and to terrorise, intimidate and dominate Ugandans. It is those systems we must fight if we want to get rid of him and build a more transparent and accountable governance.”

Yes, I was a supporter of NRM like most Ugandans were for the first ten years but I have never worked for it. As editor of Weekly Topic and later The Monitor,I never allowed a cover up for them.We were always called “The Enemy” by the President and his chronies. I left the headship of both papers because of pressures from the NRM government.

I am sure you are aware of how many battles we fought to keep the government in check. We suffered closures, advertising bans, arrests and regular harassments in courts because we always stood up to them. In the absence of an active political opposition, we in fact functioned as the unofficial opposition to NRM government.

But even if I had actually been one of the builders of NRM.So what, if I realised it was taking a wrong direction and jumped off the bus? It pains some of us to see some Ugandans holding extreme and non-changing positions when it comes to issues of reconciliation. The worst offenders are those I would call foundamentalists in NRM and UPC. They have committed similar crimes against Ugandans but are always pontificating and sounding holier than thou.The reconciliation we are calling for will mostly benefit them more.

NRA as well killed in Luwero as they have done for over 20 years to thousands in the north and East. Who does not know that? As a Uganda journalist for the past 30 years,I may know a bit more.But does it really matter saying it here? Long before Olara Otunnu said it, I wrote that what I had seen in Acholi was “slow genocide”. Nobody asked me why I said so. What we need is truth and national reconciliation. Otherwise the country will never heal.

Right from the 60s up to the 80 we were given the impression that northerners were the killers.Was it right? Since the 80’s it is now the Westerners who are the killers. Is it right? During the colonial days it was the Baganda who were portrayed as the killers.Was it right? That leaves us with only the Easterners as the clean people. But are they? If you say yes, it because they have not yet ruled Uganda.

The answer is in the truth and reconciliation and a national dialogue. We must discuss why we have been butchering each other for many years and even extending the mayhem to our neighbours.

Of course national reconciliation does not prohibit trials of individuals for their crimes committed outside politics. These include economic crimes by the corrupt.

To NRM members on this net, why has your party never said anything about our persistent calls for national reconciliation and a national dialogue conference? Would that be acceptance of failure or guilt?

Wafula Oguttu.
UAH member and a member of parliament.



One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. jb wod awili,

    Surely I strongly agree with Wafula. Ugandans need to reconcile first before the general election. Things had happened but let’s forget about it and face the enemy the NRM. iT’S true Museveni has finished the the Country in many ways that all Ugandas are aware. Truth and reconciliation is the only way to rescue our Country and the people together with the Government.

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