THANK YOU ALL WHO JOINED OUR CALL TO THE DIASPORA THIS EVENING. THE TURN UP WAS MASSIVE. THE ENERGY WAS IMPRESSIVE.
Below is a transcript of my communication to our brothers and sisters in the diaspora.
Greetings to you brothers, sisters, countrymen and women around the world!
Please accept warm greetings from me, my family and from your brothers and sisters in Uganda, especially those who are involved in this struggle to liberate our country from an oppressive and dictatorial regime.
Let me start by sending sympathies to all of you friends, who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We have all been affected, one way or another by the pandemic, haven’t we? But I am aware that several Ugandans in the diaspora, just like at home, have lost loved ones while others are still battling the virus. We pray for strength and fortitude.
I also wish to applaud all of you, countrymen and women, who have continued to support our struggle for freedom, one way or another. We continue to receive moral, logistical and psychological support from Ugandans across the world which energizes us.
I am sure there are also non-Ugandans, our friends and supporters who are tuned in. THANK YOU. I cannot thank you enough for all that you do to support our struggle for freedom and democracy! We are indebted to you, and have no doubt that your faith in a better Uganda shall be vindicated.
I know that many of you left Uganda not because you wanted to, but because there were no opportunities for you to lead decent lives back here at home. We are working hard to change the circumstances for those that you left here; and perhaps for you to have a reason to return for good and so that we can rebuild our country together.
Tonight, I’ll be addressing you on three things
- The status of our struggle
- What we stand to lose if we do not win
- What we must do jointly to win
Regarding the status of our struggle, I want to give you the assurance I have been giving you several times. The balance of forces is in our favor. All signs are clear that Museveni is on the way out.
Our people have never been as determined to free themselves from oppression as they are today. Everywhere you go in this country, including Kiruhura where General Museveni comes from, people are saying enough is enough. The other day I met some elderly women here. They were from Kyankwanzi, a place previously fronted as an NRM stronghold. The four women told me their troubles. One of them is a widow to a fallen UPDF soldier. Her late husband served both the NRA and the NRM. They gave their cows to Museveni while he was coming here, losing everything for the sake of a better country.
For seven years since the husband died, she has been moving from office to office trying to pursue her late husband’s retirement benefits. She has been told the same thing year in, year out- come back next week. And so she is tired!
The other of the four women lost her sister during the lockdown! The only hospital she could go to for a normal delivery was 10 kilometers away. She could not get a vehicle to transport her in the dead of the night and she died in pain. While she narrated this story to me, she broke down and cried. As she wept each tear off her wrinkled face, I could see the pain that a broken healthcare system has brought upon our people.
The two other elderly women narrated their stories too and gave reason why Museveni must go. They told me how they have previously supported Museveni and even rigged elections for him. In their words, their past actions helped to entrench a dictator and it was their duty, even in old age to contribute to efforts to dislodge the monster they helped create.
Friends, the people of Uganda, old and young, men and women, from Acholi to Karamoja, from Ankole to Kigezi, from Sebei to Bugisu, from Lango to Acholi, from Busoga to Buganda and all other parts of the country, are ready for change.
Many of them had given up hope. Many had given in to despair. But thanks to the emergence of People Power, everywhere you go, people are saying Mission 2021!
Therefore to conclude this point again, the balance of forces is in our favor.
But what if we do not win. Another five years under Museveni means another five years of oppression. It means another 5 years of 18 mothers dying daily in child birth. It means five more years of stinking corruption, nepotism and sectarianism. It means 5 more years of repression – of blocked assemblies and blocked places of worship.
Five more years under Museveni means 5 more years of muslims being targeted by the state! It means 5 more years of extreme violence against anyone who dares speak out about how they are governed. The regime in Uganda is now bringing new regulations targeting social media! Museveni in power for five more years simply means a more targeted attack on the freedom of expression.
As the National Unity Platform, our promise to our country is renewed hope. We have promised a vision built on five strands.
The first one is a People centered governance. Ugandans deserve a government that works for all citizens. Ugandans deserve a government which respects the rights of all citizens. Ugandans deserve a corruption free government. Ugandans deserve a government which does not cover up for murderers and criminals. Ugandans deserve fairness and equal opportunity! Ugandans deserve a government where jobs are not given to people based on their first or last name, but on merit!
Our second promise is equal access to quality services especially healthcare and education. We cannot continue to have hundreds of thousands of Ugandan children drop out of school. We cannot continue to have a government which abandons thousands of children affected by the nodding disease syndrome in northern Uganda to fate. We must improve healthcare and education. We must prioritise the welfare of our people. Instead of spending millions of dollars buying weapons to scare and intimidate our people, we must invest these resources in building schools and hospitals. We must ensure that students get holistic training- academics, arts and athletics. This we must do, this we shall do.
Our third agenda point is inclusive economic development. What we have in Uganda today is development for a few against the many. Very few people, well connected and strong own the entire economy while the majority of our people groan under the yoke of poverty. We are struggling to ensure that the people of Uganda get out of stinking poverty. Where one is a teacher, health-worker, soldier or police officer, they too deserve a dignified life.
The fourth point is land, agriculture and natural resources. Our country is well endowed. We have natural recourses that are sufficient to sustain our country. The problem is that Gen. Museveni sees Lake Victoria as his personal property and the oil in Bunyoro as his own. No wonder he calls it, my oil. Friends, we must reverse this trend and ensure that natural resources are not owned by those in power but by the people of Uganda. Regarding land, we must end the rampant evictions from land by the rich against the poor. By those who are well connected against those who are not connected. This is our country.
The final point is national security and international relations. Countrymen and women, Gen. Museveni boasts of bringing security, but as Martin Luther King told us, peace is not merely the absence of war- it is the presence of justice. That is why we promise to ensure that Ugandans are peaceful psychologically and in all other ways. What more? We must be at peace with our neigbors and not pretend with them. There must not be a cold war between us and any of our neigbors. We must stop being war mongers. We must export peace, love, harmony and share in the prosperity of our nations.
With this in mind comrades, let us do everything and ensure that we win. We must dislodge the dictator or else our children and their children will never forgive us. The generations to come will continue to ask us and ask themselves what we did when our country came to this point.
What then must we do to win? There is a lot of stake and we must do everything within our power to support this struggle. There are friends who are supporting ground soldiers, assisting them with posters and other materials. Continue doing that and do it more! There are those who are sending support to our secretariat. Continue doing that and do it even more. There are those who are petitioning the United Nations, and the European Union, and other international bodies and organisations. Continue doing that and do it even more. There are those who are gathering evidence of crimes against humanity so as to take Gen. Museveni and his cronies to the International Criminal Court. Continue doing that and do it even more. Friends, let each one of us do whatever we can to change our country. The future belongs to those who organize. It is painstaking. It is tasking. Along the way, many will give up, but friends, those of us who will soldier on will look back and say, It was worth it.
As you may have been following, there are several simultaneous schemes sponsored by the regime to derail our struggle. These schemes range from malicious Court cases brought against me and other leaders in the National Unity Platform, to sowing seeds of division in our camp along tribal lines. Take heart and know that we are taking the right steps to defeat them. God is fighting alongside us.
Comrades, National nominations for President, Member of Parliament, and other leadership positions are just a few weeks away. As the National Unity Platform, we are currently vetting prospective flag bearers to ensure that we not only have candidates for all leadership positions across the country, but also that we present the best candidates possible for each post. Continue to support us in whichever way you can. What we promise you, is that we shall not give up. God being our help, we shall win!
May God bless you and may God continue blessing our country Uganda.
PS: Many comrades yet again asked how they can support us directly and I encouraged them to send in their contributions to +256 70363636 (registered as Daniel Oyerwot). Alternatively, support can be sent online via https://peoplepower.org.ug/donate/