There is no doubt that the year just coming to an end has been characterized by numerous challenges affecting us right from our households, transcending all the social layers and appearing at the topmost level of decision making.
The failures of the regime to deliver to Ugandans the promise of a better country has fallen through and has been manifested by several measurable indicators including but not limited to:
Incessant abuse of human rights of citizens especially those with differing political opinions by the very institutions that have a responsibility to protect them. This has become the main tools of suppression by the dictatorship;
Increasing number of unresolved murders including that of a top police officer, while criminal gangs proudly and publicly state how they have perfected their art, go Scott free.
Decline in quality of life for majority Ugandans which is extremely worrying, with many wallowing in poverty and deprived of their right to quality social services, and these being a preserve of the privileged few;
Prevalence of youth unemployment that has gone through the roof and yet even those who have a chance to serve the public are not paid the equivalent of their sweat;
Censorship of the fourth arm of the state, the media that has come under attack by a heavy government influenced Uganda Communication Commission. Indeed a number of media houses have been shut down for very flimsy reasons.
Today 31st December 2017, all media houses have been conscripted to broadcast what I bet is going to be more of the same rhetoric we have been given for more than 30 years of the 55 of post-colonial time;
Our army’s adventures into foreign territories without recourse to the procedures under the constitutional requirements before this can be allowed to happen, spells another disaster for us;
As we start the new year, we bring from 2017 a heavy responsibility occasioned by the unorthodox and selfish manner the executive and the 10th Parliament adulterated our Constitution. Removal of age limit and unilateral extension of the term of Parliament amidst allegations of unprecedented bribery of the legislators is not only criminal but also a recipe for anarchy in a county that had hitherto enjoyed a semblance of tranquility.
With the Constitution having been reduced to a mere piece of paper, a plaything, we should be more than certain that the amendment of Article 26 that will change the dynamics of land and property ownership in Uganda is certain to pass.
From now going forward, any negative outcome from the unpopular decisions taken by our members of Parliament must be politically counted on them.
The FDC is not going to sit back while in full view of an unfolding catastrophe. In this coming year, we will live to our promise of providing the necessary leadership in order to ensure that we take our country to the democratic path, return constitutionalism and rule of law, and empower you, the citizens to take charge of the country as is instructive in Article 1 of the Constitution.
I wish to remind you all that we are enjoined and commanded by the Constitution under Article 3 to defend that very Constitution that the 10th Parliament that will go into the annals of history as the worst and most scandalous Parliament ever, dared amend.
On behalf of the FDC leadership and members I would like to express my gratitude to the members of Parliament who put up a spirited fight in a bid to let sanity prevail in the House, you bravely provided leadership by example; the religious leaders who unequivocally called on Parliament and Mr. Museveni to exercise restraint in the handling of the amendment of Article 102 (b) and other provisions; our ever pro Ugandan cultural leaders who have stood with the citizens in opposing the amendments; all cooperating political parties that together with us have voiced their displeasure with the unpopular decision of Parliament and last but certainly not least the citizens whose rejection of the amendments has kept Parliament on tenterhooks.
We are shortly going to unveil the FDCs next course of action together with all pro-democracy groups to enable Ugandans to reclaim their country. I call on all Ugandans to realize that the responsibility of saving their country lies squarely on all of us and as we provide the leadership you must be part of this liberation struggle to free ourselves from the claws of the cruelest dictatorship we have ever experienced.
Let our new year’s resolution be total freedom of our beloved Pearl of Africa. I wish to declare 2018 a year of struggle to liberate our county.
Happy new 2018.
God bless the Pearl of Africa.
One Uganda, One People.
For God and my country.
Patrick Oboi Amuriat
President Forum for Democratic Change