The retired assistant bishop of Kampala, Zac Niringiye, has called for dialogue between government and religious leaders if Uganda is to guarantee peaceful political transition.
Speaking on ‘Religion, culture and public life’ at Uganda Christian University last week, Niringiye argued that since “nobody negotiates themselves out of power,” it was time to enter dialogue.
“If we continue giving priority to the bullet, we shall still end there. The ballot and the bullet have let us down the needed process is dialogue,” Niringiye said at a public lecture organised by the Social Sciences faculty.
He condemned religious leaders, who, instead of aocating for dialogue with the government, succumbed to President Museveni’s machinations through promises of amenities such as schools and vehicles.
Discussing Bishop Niringiye’s presentation, Dr Elijah Mushemeza, the vice-chairperson of the NRM electoral commission, called for mutual understanding between politics and religion.
Mushemeza described politics as “a fight” because it involves power, goods and services. He aised Niringiye to stop blaming bishops for getting whatever they got, reasoning that “everyone has a stomach”.
Mushemeza said both the bullet and the ballot were necessary for democracy, because security matters were always going to be paramount. On having a dialogue for transition of government, he said this only became necessary if there was chaos and the government realised it could no longer manage.
Rev Andrew David Omona, who also discussed Niringiye’s presentation, described most church members as cowards who don’t want to talk in the open.
Source : The Observer