FUF: The Struggle To Redeem And Renew Uganda Continues
Prof. Amii Omara-Otunnu, FUF Chairman
FREEDOM AND UNITY FRONT (FUF):
THE STRUGGLE TO REDEEM AND RENEW UGANDA CONTINUES
I write as Chairman of Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) to report to members, friends and well wishers that the organization that was formed on October 6, 2013 to perform the historical missions to champion national reconciliation and healing, to banish the culture of violence and militarism that has blighted the lives of millions of citizens through gratuitous use of force, to fashion institutional mechanisms for democracy, accountability and checks and balances on power, to inspire hope and faith in the future, and to seek understanding and solidarity from the international community to assist us in our struggle, is well and robust and continues to grow in leaps and bounds.
We formed FUF because we were gravely concerned about, among others, the fragmentation of the country through divide and rule tactics employed by bankrupt politicians; the growing cancer of corruption that is disabling the country; the chilling assassinations and torture of political opponents; the devastating military adventures into neighboring countries; fostering of poverty as means of control; and the muzzling of free and independent press in the country.
Why has FUF inspired so much hope and following since its inception? This is essentially due to five main reasons.
First, it is because of its vision, mission and objectives, which are informed by ethical values and principles of compassion, tolerance, inclusiveness, reciprocal respect, equality of treatment, social justice, economic empowerment, political emancipation and unity of the country.
Second, because its leadership is committed to listen, to see and to feel the suffering and aspirations of the great majority of people and to take into account the experiences of people to fashion strategies and policies that would enable individuals and groups to engage meaningfully in affairs that affect their lives.
Third, because a cross-section of people see that the leadership of FUF is dedicated to a new approach to politics, which is designed to bridge the gap between rhetoric and practice. This imposes upon the leadership a duty to lead by example. In other words, the FUF leadership holds that it is not sufficient to profess to stand for laudable goals; but that we must walk the talk in the ways we conduct ourselves and treat others.
Fourth, because the leadership of FUF has made it clear that the struggle to oust the current dictatorship is neither personal nor for the purpose of simply changing musical chairs. For FUF, the new Uganda must be a country in which all those who live in it are treated with respect and dignity and enjoy all rights equally.
And fifth, because the leadership of FUF is driven by a wider vision and an abiding desire to see an Africa at peace with herself and at peace with the rest of the world. Accordingly, we seek to form constructive partnerships with the international community that would foster international peace, human security and stability not only in Uganda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa, but in the entire continent.
Since the establishment of Freedom and Unity Front, a lot has been achieved. This includes enormous progress in the diplomatic and political arenas.
In the international arena, we have managed to publicize the duplicity and indeed criminality of President Museveni policies that have resulted in the loss of millions of lives and the plunder of resources, as well as in undermining international peace and security in the Great Lakes and Horn Region of Africa.
We have managed to sensitize people to the fact that the current regime in Uganda is a threat to international peace and security in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa.
In the difficult task of promoting freedoms and of bringing together people of various ideological, social, religious and regional backgrounds, FUF has worked diligently to form practical and productive working relationships with other Ugandan groups for the common and greater good of the country.
Arguably the most robust relationship with various groups is the partnership between the Federal Alliance for Democracy and Development (FADDU) and FUF. We have done this by acknowledging, respecting and celebrating the diversities in the country and by recognizing that Uganda is big enough for all her children regardless of where and how they were born.
The experience of Uganda, combined with the ethical values and principles that guide members of FUF, have instilled in them a deep determination to fashion a formula that would not simply remove the current dictatorship, but also curtail abuse of power while at the same time creating enabling environment in which Ugandans can exercise to the optimum, fundamental rights and freedoms as citizens.
As indicated in FUF’s Manifesto, this would require radical decentralization of powers — not simply delegation of authority — to the regions.
FUF is committed to a formula of decentralization as the most reasonable means of minimizing abuse of power while at the same time engaging people meaningfully in affairs that affect their lives. This means, in the political grammar understood in Uganda, federalism.
FUF subscribes to and advocates federal system of government not for purposes of political expediency or as political dogma; but rather, because it was under the federal system of government in Uganda from 1962 to 1966’s that the country enjoyed optimum freedoms, social peace and robust economic development.
Most historians regard this period as the golden period in Uganda’s history.
In the current political climate in the country, federalism offers the most reasonable opportunity to citizens to engage in activities that affect their lives, as well as allows people to be involved in determining the best policies for their localities and for the management and control of their resources and governance.
In due course, FUF will announce other partnerships with other groups and organizations, as it calls upon all Ugandans to transcend their petty differences for the purpose of achieving not simply the change of the current dictatorship but also to usher in a new dawn in Uganda where all her citizens and those who live in it enjoy optimum freedoms, rights and a unity of purpose.
The march of history is on the side of the great majority of Ugandans. The suffering of Ugandans in every region of the country, coupled with conscious education, have awakened the great majority of the people to engage in struggles to unite and defeat the authors of their servitude.
FUF emphasizes the simple and profound point that Uganda is large enough for all her children. Based on intellectual, moral and practical solidarity, and on the ethical principles of equality and non-discrimination, the struggle for freedoms and unity to which FUF is providing leadership, will sooner than later usher in a new dawn of social peace and justice in which all citizens enjoy their rights.
As we enter a new phase of the struggle to emancipate ourselves from the tyranny and corruption of the current regime, our resolve is firm and solid. We are emboldened by the fact that our cause is right and just and that the means we have chosen is proportionate to the task at hand.
The flame of our just cause and struggle has been fueled by ethical values that do not discriminate on the grounds of ideological, ethnic, religious or racial affiliations. As long as the fire of struggle so fueled burn in our hearts and minds, no person can extinguish it.
With our ethical values and faith that are far stronger than the tyranny of the regime, we shall redeem and renew Uganda and build institutions that enable citizens to realize their fundamental rights and freedoms regardless of where and how they are born. We shall build an inclusive Uganda for God and our children.
A better Uganda, informed by ethical values and principle of compassion, empathy, inclusiveness and tolerance, is possible.
Professor Amii Omara-OtunnuChairman, FUF.