AFRICA/UGANDA - Elections, the Bishops: "No to police violence, yes to dialogue and national reconciliation"

Monday, 11 January 2021 elections   violence   bishops  

Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - "No to the abuse of the authorities and police violence against innocent citizens and legitimate opposition representatives" warn the Bishops of Uganda, in their pastoral letter for the presidential elections on January 14, sent to Agenzia Fides. Recalling the seventy victims of the violent repression of 18 and 19 November of some protests during the primary elections, the Bishops denounce " he fact that many of the victims died or got injured in the hands of security agencies tasked with the duty to protect life and property of citizens". "Apart from demonstrating lack of political maturity on the part of various political actors, such violence only weakens the foundations of democracy laid by the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda".
Every election since independence has paid little attention to human rights. However, human rights are inalienable, they are rooted in natural law", the Bishops note, who also denounce the buying and selling of votes and the prevalent corruption in the country.
"We, therefore, call upon all players to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes peace, unity, equality, freedom and social justice. We should all focus on building, and not destroying our common home, Uganda. We cannot do this unless we exhibit high level of political maturity. This includes accepting others who are different from us in their opinion and belief", the Bishops remark.
The Bishops ask those responsible for organizing the forthcoming elections to establish a credible electoral process, whose outcome will be respected by all stakeholders. We call upon all voters to turn-out in large numbers to cast their votes for candidates of their choice. "And once the elections are over, we advise the ruling party that will come to power to initiate a process of national dialogue and reconciliation. There are many outstanding issues in our country that cannot be resolved by elections or mere change in leadership. Ugandans need to be given the opportunity to chart a future together and strive to promote a society befitting God and mankind", they conclude. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2021)