Tuesday, July 10, 2007
GENUINE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION
Introduction: Our Raison d’etre, is Social Justice; we are encouraged to Build a Just Community characterized by practical compassion, in which there is fair distribution of wealth. A social welfare within a stable Political environment is crucial to suitable development and prosperity. This Social concern has always been a essential part of the Vision of all great Religions and Social Welfare institutions around the world. Our Scope:If we take the host of past leaders of this Country from Ben Kiwanuka, Mutesa II, Obote, Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule, Godfrey Binaisa, Paulo Mwanga, Tito Okello & Yoweri Museveni; then you galvanize their progeny Both sons & Daughters into a committee, we as recognized members of the 1st families do & will be able to wield the kind of influence governments only dream about, Both in the Country & the Diaspora at large. This is because we have the undying love & Affection of our regions in totality; this goodwill cannot be ignored and has the capacity to disrupt whole processes including political harmony in many circumstances, we saw this with the Kabaka Yeka movement, the 1966 crisis, the 1971 2nd Republic, the 1972 civil war, the 1979 liberation war, the 1980s election crisis, the anarchy of the early eighties, the guerilla insurrection in 1981 & the toppling of Obote for the second time by his high command. Believe you me the number of disillusioned souls amongst my community in West nile and the Northern .....is disheartening. As the youth, we should stand up and make an example to our community that despite the minimal education we have and all the odds stacked against us Muslims/ Kakwas, we must at least try and achieve some hope in life well within the boundaries of our beloved country Uganda. I would dearly love to be an example to my Muslim / Kakwa community that as a returnee from exile, we can achieve great things within our beloved motherland Uganda. Introduction of a Returnee:On 1st October 1990, at age 23 years old, I set foot back in the country of my birth Uganda for the first time after a decade-long hiatus in exile in Libya, Saudi Arabia and Great Britain, I have somehow managed to find a life with which to live out my cherished hopes and aspirations from quite unexpected circumstances within the realm of relative Urban peace, unity and modernization which has been the inspiring definition of M7’s regime in my beloved Motherland Uganda. I have been in Uganda since Oct- 1st 1990. All thanks and praises to Allah for his blessing Alhamdu Lillah, thanks and praises to the memory of Malik Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud whose words have kept my family in honorable refuge and sustenance in the Adode of Dar El Islam for the good of the family in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are forever grateful for the final honour of burying our dearly beloved father in the Holy Land. I do however appreciate the constrained political environment we find our Saudi guardians in at the moment, with Fundamentalist militant upheavals on going. It is understandable that these matters are paramount to our Saudi Guardians at the moment. Many Ugandans in the Diaspora left Uganda for both Political and Economic reasons. However ,Ugandans in the Diaspora rake into the Ugandan economy self centered remittances of upwards of 700 million $ US to 1 Billion $ US annually rightfully to their families at home; this is projected to peak at 1.5 billion $ US annually by 2011. It is there fore imperative to encourage the elected Legislators, Jurist and indeed the Executive to Strengthen the status of our citizens who chose to live abroad so as to assure the Ugandans in the Diaspora to continue to place Priority and concern towards their place of origin (Uganda). The Crucial issue of the over 1 million Ugandans in the Diaspora placing an Absentee Vote during Referendums or General Legislative and Executive elections must be expedited in Law and enacted in Parliament before the 2011 General Elections as an incentive so as to foster a definitive sense of Loyalty and Unity of purpose with their former Country of Origin. This issue is crucial to encourage Ugandans in the Diaspora to Re-invest readily available avenues of Credit Facilities in the Ugandan Economy, taking advantage of favorable external interest rate in the developed economies of the Americas, EU, and Asia. This was clearly demonstrated during the recent Stanbic Bank Share Capital floatation campaign. Hope in sight: I was heartened when H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni responded with a conciliatory note on all past leaders following the demise of The Late President Dr. Apollo Milton Obote and hope this shows the way forwards for the whole nation of Uganda following the demise of the Father of the Nation. My presence at Obote’s Funeral in Akokoro City , as one of many of the children of the Late Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada was to show respect and convey my personal condolences to the bereaved family of the Late Dr. Apollo Milton Obote . The Proposed Truth & Reconciliation Conference when implemented will resolve the matter of seeking forgiveness from each other, we went to Akokoro to convey a personal condolence to the bereaved family of the Late Dr. Apollo Milton Obote . Vision:I envisage twin city symbiotic alliances between individual Ugandans in The Diaspora and their individual preference and focal interest i.e. district of origin vis-à-vis the acknowledged need for dual citizenship for Ugandans in the Diaspora where our leader sighted that just like clan heritage, citizenship formed by either heritage or spouse is indestructible. Both sides can work together to ensure the following needs are met at Sub county level. In every of the 78+ Districts of Uganda, funded wholly by the Ugandans living abroad who have duel citizenship & have access to both the stock markets in East Africa and the North American, EU & Asian stock markets or credit facility. Promote Uganda’s cultural heritage and values at their adopted second homes while enhancing Twin City development Programs through exchange programs in the following key sector:- ? Health ? Education? Commercial ? Culture The Goal: Co-ordinate Ugandan citizens in the Diaspora towards pro-people developmental actives in their region or district of Origin in Uganda and Northern Uganda in Particular. Re-ignite the cordial relationship between Uganda and the Islamic Conference countries and the Common Wealth Countries which Uganda is still a member. Converse for Funding from the GCC countries who operate Interest free loan arrangements in their banking system, we should utilize this soft loan facility, which charges Zero interest. Proposed Objectives:Alternative sources of Funding: It is imperative that during this advanced stage of western donor fatigue, with open domestic pressure focused on developed countries to focus there resource on domestic issues as advocated by their electorate, donor funding will steadily continue to dwindle ,declining to critical levels. Uganda has there fore got to explore new alternative means of funding the remaining 49% of our annual budget through different avenues. Thankfully through the favorable and encouraging recent Debt forgiveness rendered by the Paris Club, our debt now stands at a reasonable 1 Billion $ US in 2007. Asia and the Middle east hold the key to this alternative source of funding, even our Regional Trade Agreements in Africa member states hold the Key to this new avenue of funding. Proposed Activities:1. Traverse the target Ugandan Diaspora Groups: in the USA, EU, Asia and the Middle East, conversing for bilateral cooperation in the Key sectors of Health, Education, Commerce and Culture. Unite the Ugandan Diaspora under one single A-Political Vision of developing their place of origin at regional or district level. 2. Soliciting support for pro-people development project proposals : from each district in the country under the stewardship of the elected MPs both at District and the Woman representative who will co-ordinate the exercise and Explore and encourage Ugandan citizens to be able to vote under Absentee Ballots for Referendums and General Elections for Legislative and Executive Office. 3. Reinvigorate alternative sources of funding: especially in the Dormant Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Countries whose economic clout has of late been appreciate e.g. Indian Sub- Continent and China who are emerging Economic Super Powers. Tap into alternative avenues of funding or income generation apart from the established Donor nations. 4. Point by Point, Phase by Phase annual performance evaluation: and implementation of the UN Millennium development goals at District level under the stewardship of the elected MPs both at District and the Woman representative who will co-ordinate the exercise, with supplemented sources of funding from the Dormant Middle eastern and Far Eastern Countries whose economic clout has of late been appreciate e.g. Indian Sub Continent and China. Evaluate Project Proposals for each 78 district, District level liaison representatives will be headed by the elected District MPs and the assistant will be the Elected Woman MPs for the districts ,Cultural Heads and Sons and Daughters of each district to head delegations to meet their people in the Diaspora as mobilizers for development. Encourage Ugandan Citizens in the Diaspora to promote their unique Heritage in their adopted second homes through twin city Business venture, Websites, Cultural Dance & Drama Festival Exchange Programs from each District in Uganda. 5. Genuine Conflict Resolution: Social-Political over view of causes of conflict in Uganda, the great lakes region and Southern Sudan has to be discussed frankly in order to find a solution to this long standing predicament we are in. This seemingly intractable scenario persists from issues of Identity, Greed and unfortunate lust for Political Power. 6. Rectify Social infrastructural inequalities: which to some seems to be deliberate in order to gain political clout or blockages in access to resources ends up harming an individual State or Political Establishment in Power when their legitimacy is put to Question by both the vested Donor Interest and the affected Political section of society, e.g. The prevailing Dichotomous situation between The haves in the south of Uganda Region and the seemingly intractable twenty year old Have Not in North of Uganda Region who have been left under developed through no fault of their own , thus creating dependency in West Nile, Northern Uganda and the Karamoja Region. However the most contentious scenario that prevails is where conflict has been perpetrated as a means to access land, water or mineral resources, which often sparks off conflict. Certain means have been used in this endeavor; the most common tool is the proverbial Ethno-Religious approach, where by any member of an ethnic group or Religious Sect which experiences a sense of Collective Deprivation or has been lead to cower under a perceived collective Guilt and responsibility for past misdeeds are in a (Judio - Xtian) manner faced with the dire aspect of collective punishment of perpetual suffering. This leads to a siege mentality by both sides who naturally adopts a fortress mentality “Them against Us” as a means of mobilizing or conversing support. Others in state Political Power cynically perpetuate under what I term a collision of the Greedy e.g. The Congo conflict where key factions became cross boarder Political entrepreneurs who callously calculated that it is possible to converse support by highlight peoples social-Political differences to justify Historical or present low level or High intensity conflict in Sub-Saharan African Region. Which has lead to the prevailing grievance felt by particular sections of society in Uganda, The great lakes Region and Southern Sudan. District Level Project Proposals:The combined effort of these Ugandans in the Diaspora can help independently fund the following sectors, based on the individual contributors place of origin, they in effect will be able to own a percentage of any project per region. 500 bed Hospitals per county. Primary Health care dispensaries 20 per sub-county. UPE, 5 Primary Schools per County. USE 5 Secondary Schools per County. 5 Apprentice’s workshops Vocational Schools per District. 1 Polytechnic tertiary education per District. 5 Ware Houses per sub-county. 5 Grain Silos per sub-county. Water Reservoirs 5 tanks per sub-county. Agro-Industry 1000 Hectares per District. Horticulture 1000 Hectares per District. Every District in the Country will allocate 2000 hectares of land on which the above Agro Industrial / Horticulture Projects will be started on, Projects will be facilitated in all the Districts in Uganda. Target Plans per District or Region of Uganda: ? Towards meeting the millennium goals Energy ( Alternative power generation) Solar ? Sanitation ( Sewage waste Disposal systems) Bio Gas plants at District level ? Health Insurance for all (Hospitals/ Health care Centres) ? Commerce ( Agro Business Horticulture) Enclosed Tented all weather habitats ? Education ( UPS, USE, Polytechnics, Vocational Training Centres for Professional Certificates) ? Housing ( Housing Estates for Low, Medium and High in come earners) per sub-county ? Farming ( Large scale Ranching/Industrial Farming) per region with Food security storage Facilities e.g. Warehouses and Grain Silos. Conclusion:To Brothers & Sisters in the Diaspora the above sets an agenda for which we can come together and contribute for uniform development across the whole of Uganda and in every Sector of Human endeavor. The above also gives a candid view of me the writer, I would however like to focus on my main reason for putting pen to paper, clearly considering the large amount of revenue the Government receives from Ugandans in the Diaspora, the Ugandan government is very well aware of the enormous power these Ugandan Citizens holds over the future development of the country. I here by lend my capacity as a mobilizer to the People of Uganda in the spirit of reconciliation & ask my fellow sons of past leaders to join us in this noble & Humanitarian venture.