As we commemorate the LRA War victims in Uganda, it is on the other hand a great opportunity for Ugandans to also reflect on the causes and dangers of war not only to innocent Ugandans but to the country as a whole, Walakira Nyanzi reports.
War is caused by several factors including the uncontrolled, endless and sporadic scenes of violence in a country, among others. On the other hand, Violence takes many shapes but the most common one is the politically inspired violence, which is caused by among others, failure to resolve political differences between aggrieved political opponents.
As Uganda moves towards the 2010 general elections, there is a great need for government and all concerned stakeholders to prepare the hearts and minds of Ugandans so that we embrace election results in the spirit of brotherhood. There is no need for Ugandans to turn against each other especially in this era and age where violence is regarded as a back ward form of conflict resolution.
It is upon this back ground that the Chairperson of Production desk at Kampala City Council, Bernard Luyiga and other politicians in Kampala have launched
‘Advocacy for Violence free Elections,’ an independent, non-partisan civil society organization, fully recognized and legally registered by the government of the Republic of Uganda. Advocacy for violent free elections has been launched today in Kampala.
Advocacy for violent free elections has been founded by a group of dynamic and foresighted young leaders with a major objective of advocating for a violent free environment before, during and after elections in Uganda. The organisation has been in existence for about six months, according to Luyiga, who also works as the organisation’s Secretary General.
The Vision of the Advocacy for violent free elections is “to have a violence free Uganda before, during and after 2011 national elections,” Luyiga says.
The Mission of the Advocacy for violent free elections is “to prepare and direct the public mindset of Ugandans to be tolerant and peaceful before, during and after national elections through dialogue, sensitization, advocacy, networking, peace slogans and symbols and promotion of the spirit of nationalism and patriotism among all Ugandans,” he adds.
Luyiga says the slogan is “enhancing tolerance and Cooperation.”
He says just like in other African countries such as Liberia, Kenya, Zimbabwe where pre and post-election violence occurred and drastically led to the loss of property and lives; given the current political trends and tensions which are being influenced by the different Political players in Uganda, there are increasing signs of pre and post election violence in Uganda.
Luyiga says this situation needs urgent mitigation to build peace, tolerance and cooperation before, during and after such elections. Despite the trend of such events, minimal efforts have been done by the government and the civil society to mitigate such impending circumstances. There is no well structured program by stakeholders be it political, cultural, religious or the civil society to avert the likely impending violent situation, thus leaving Advocacy for violent free elections with the challenge to fill this gap.
“As part of its action program, Advocacy for violent free elections will reach out to all election stakeholders like all heads of political party, electoral commission, donor community, diplomats, religious leaders, cultural leaders, academia, members of parliament, judiciary, heads of security agency, private investors, to mention but a few, calling upon them to join us in spreading to all Ugandans our a message of non violence, before, during and after elections to all Ugandans,” he says.
Luyiga says as the ‘forth arm of the state’, the media, will be central in all their operations since it is the best channel through which Advocacy for violent free elections message can be relayed to Ugandans.