We have not healed from the toxic narrative and pain we have caused players since the 2021 election. We’re less than two years away from the next general election, and we haven’t fully recovered from the shadows of our past. Many are still missing, some have been imprisoned for choosing to support a particular candidate, and of course their trials appear to have been suspended despite different charges against them. Some Ugandans still demand to see their mothers, wives, sisters, brothers, fathers, husbands who disappeared during the elections. Elections are now a nightmare for them because they took them away! We pretend we’ve moved on, but we’re not, different people have underlying pain they’re dealing with, and unfortunately, politics today doesn’t stop and think about these issues, it’s interested in winning the next election.
With the 2026 election looming and the political temperature rising daily, we need to show the highest level of tolerance to avoid a situation that could lead to violence. In a mature political environment, every opinion and decision must be respected, no matter who made it. Not everyone has to follow a particular ideology, movement or party because there is freedom of choice. It’s unfortunate the level of intolerance and hatred shown by the various camps. It’s as if we all have to belong and support someone, or the equanimity is lost – a group of people effectively imposes their so-called leader on everyone, and no one with a different opinion can escape a barrage of attacks. What kind of society are we building? What kind of politics are we building? Our Constitution emphasizes the principle of pluralism – that everyone has the right to choose whom to belong to and whom to support, and in doing so must respect the choices of the people, including those who choose to stay away.
I have noticed increasing violations of the right to dissent and criticize. A certain group sees their choice as stronger and more divine than you – and you shouldn’t be questioned at all – with too much hatred in their hearts and actions for anyone who doesn’t agree. This is not the kind of politics Uganda should be harboring! We must do everything we can to promote diversity, to respect diverse opinions, and we must respect people’s choice of political stance or opinion. Tolerance is key to building national cohesion. All leaders, whether political, religious or otherwise, must ensure that freedom of expression, freedom of choice is promoted and that no one is punished for disagreeing. We must transcend tribal, linguistic, social differences and work towards a Uganda that is peaceful and respectful for all.
We must ensure that the political culture we build for future generations is one that promotes unity, peace and cohesion – it doesn’t matter where a person is from or what language they speak, it is the values and principles that they carry – that is That is, we want Uganda! We have a responsibility to ensure that Uganda is not divided solely because of selfish interests masquerading as politics.
Michael is available – Partner: Thomas and Michael Advocate| Director: Envirogreen Trust Ltd| Vice President, Young African Activists Network (YAAN) | Members: Pan-African Lawyers Union, Public International Law Association and World Youth Federation|
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