At his maiden political rally as a presidential hopeful, Amama Mbabazi told a mammoth crowd yesterday at Mbale Cricket Grounds that he is ready to “go forward” in search of a “better government” and services for Ugandans. Below is a slightly abridged version of his speech.
Uganda has achieved a great deal which the world actually; did not expect Uganda to achieve. We managed to have peace and stability. We were able to improve our economic growth. We gave our children greater access to education so that we garner the respect and cooperation of the world.
These are all important things and we should neither forget nor take for granted how difficult our post-independence past. But these are also the very things that we are now in danger of losing.
Our economy is in shambles. The youths have no jobs. And our currency is losing value at an alarming rate. Our education system becomes less useful by the day. Young children go to school only to play or to write in dust. Older children graduate from university with little skills to show for it and therefore deemed by the market to be ‘unemployable’
And day by day we live with reasonable peace and stability when in reality the fundamental things that make a nation stable and democratic one; freedom, justice, the rule of law are being eroded. In Uganda today it is a crime to hold certain opinions and to have certain political preferences. This is the current stage of our nation and that state is unacceptable.
Am going to challenge everyone of us to correct where we have gone wrong and then improve our collective livelihood. I know it can be done if we just commit all our energy. If we commit our energy to rejecting bad leadership and going further in pursuit of what is happening now. I know that many of us are afraid but we must summon from some place the courage to go forward tackling each problem exhaustively so that our children and grand children after them will never have to carry our debts.
We, the people of Uganda need and deserve the following;
Complete revival of our democracy and our institutions together with a complete revision of government in Uganda to ensure true and representative democracy.
Two, a government that is based on the rule of law and not on the whims of individuals. A society in which the rights and responsibilities of all are known and respected.
We, the people of Uganda, we need and we deserve for every single citizen to see the fruits of a growing and better managed economy. We need and deserve job opportunities for man or woman in every part of this country. We need jobs and jobs and jobs especially for the young ones to address the current skills gap and simultaneously create a better system of education. We deserve high quality healthcare made available to every citizen.
Today I want to call on you the people of Uganda. Let us finish the work of liberating this country once and for all. I have a dream of becoming the President of this country so that Uganda can change. Uganda is a naturally endowed place. We have a problem in Uganda. What we want to give you is hope in tomorrow. I am going forward. I will not let you down. I will go forward with you. Come along with me.