Describing the post-independence governments as the biggest problem that Uganda has faced, President Yoweri Museveni has lauded his government for taming the armed forces that have continuously played a pivotal role in peace building in the country and across the region. Museveni who was speaking at the launch of the Elders Forum Of Uganda (TEFU) on Thursday at Imperial Resort Beach Entebbe revealed that only 120 soldiers have been condemned to firing squad since 1986 and that they had been found guilty of killing other people.
“The Problems of Uganda right from the post-independence era where caused largely by the bad methods of work from the successive governments which bred conflict and unrest” Museveni noted.
He added: Because there was no proper dialogue the politics of confrontation, manipulation and intimidation were the order of the day. Conflicts could have been avoided in the post independence era had there been meaningful dialogue in the mediation process.
He underscored the need for the mediators and actors to have substance during the mediation process adding that it would be meaningless to hold talks that would end in a superficial manner.
Museveni also argued that power sharing as a means of conflict resolution with no common perspective was hitting a dead end.
“There is no reason to share power when both parties have no common perspective. It would be ideal to share power with a minimum agreed programme” he argued.
Keynote speaker Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat urged the elders to have the initiative to find solutions to the crises in their countries other than waiting for somebody else to solve them on their behalf. He cited the 2007 post election violence in Kenya where he and other imminent citizens took the initiative and started negotiating for peace.
“Don’t wait for somebody else to solve your (country’s) problems. Africa would develop if there was no body to help us because we have immense opportunities and resources. Africa must take ownership of its problems”. He advised leaders to learn to find a compromise to avoid conflict and upheavals.
The launch was attended by several imminent senior citizens and they included former Democratic Party President and 1996 presidential candidate Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, former chief justice Wako Wambuzi, former prime minister Apollo Nsimbabi, Dr. Maggie Kigozi, Electoral commission Boss Dr. Eng. Badru Kiggundu, Archbishop of Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali, John Baptist Odama, DP Secretary General Mathias Nsubuga and UNDP Resident representative Ms. Ahuuna Eziakonwa-Onochie.
The Forum is chaired by retired Principal Judge Justice James Ogoola who stated that their aim is to provide counseling and not critiquing, deflating egos and not inflating them and above all working for peace across the country. The Elders Forum Of Uganda (TEFU) is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).