It is now recognized that to bring about justice or fairness in Uganda will require inclusiveness, full participation, solidarity and compassion. In other words it means involvement of all sections of society: religious and traditional leaders, political and civil society leaders, security forces, youth, students and women. Religious leaders in Uganda have a special responsibility to end injustice because they interact directly or through networks with the population and appreciate its suffering better than most observers and are therefore in a position to recommend appropriate and location specific short and long term action-oriented solutions. The Christmas sermons in 2011 were very powerful in this regard. You need to build on that solid foundation in 2012. To facilitate your work and remove some possible obstacles in relations between religion and politics let us review in a historical perspective the work of religious leaders and theologians to end injustice.
As readers and friends know by now, I am not in favor of removing NRM military dictatorship by force in the first instance. I have used the phrase “in the first instance” to mean that if non-violent methods fail or NRM uses excessive force to crush civil resistance then Ugandans have a right to use defensive force as a last resort. So contrary to critics, I am not ruling out military force and training should continue. But military force should not be used in the first instance. That is the difference: peaceful means should come first and military last if absolutely necessary. Further, the principle objective of regime change must remain the same. But removing NRM system does not mean that all known NRM supporters will be thrown into the ocean with stones around their necks so they drown. No: only those who have committed crimes against humanity will be dealt with according to national and international laws. Those innocent NRM supporters have nothing to fear. In fact they should join with us in the opposition to speed up NRM exit and form a transitional government of all Ugandans to prepare for free and fair multi-party elections.
Following publication (New Vision July 8, 2010) of a statement delivered by national coordinator of security services, General David Tinyefuza when he made a courtesy call to the district administration on his way from Masindi Artillery headquarters, there have been consultations because this is a very strong and scary statement. But before we come to the substance of this article Ugandans need to understand two things.
The first observation is that this was not a courtesy call. This was a threat. According to the World Book Dictionary courtesy means polite behavior, thoughtfulness for others. Therefore a courtesy call means a short, formal visit paid by one government official or dignitary to another as an act of courtesy or etiquette. Etiquette means the customary or formal rules for behavior in polite society. The message conveyed by General David Tinyefuza, on his courtesy call did not reflect courtesy or politeness at all.