KAMPALA — We are honored by your Church Apostle Joseph Sserwada, all the pastors and other leaders of the church and the congregation to have chosen us, in your judgement, to offer us this prestigious award and because of that, I don’t think it is my own award alone. This award is for the values we are trying to entrench within the organization we are representing here-this is why we came together.
For 57 years since Independence,we have had leadership in governments that focuses on building and developing the physical infrastructure-roads, schools, provision of water, generation and distribution of power, hospitals-which are important because we need them as human beings but we [ANT] tend to believe that there needs to be a shift in this country that more focus is put on things that are intangible but which we believe are the foundational issues that become the bedrock on the basis of which you build the tangibles. Why? Because if you build roads,schools, power lines, hospitals (which are physical) and they are not built on a firm foundation which is established on justice, fairness, equality before the law, even handedness, transparency-they can come crushing down. We have seen countries which had more physical infrastructural development but when things short-circuit in the areas of the intangible, instability emerged. Countries like Libya, even in Europe a country like Yugoslavia was more advanced but it broke down into 7 countries. Currently, there is turmoil across the globe.
We need to shift. Go to issues of justice, issues of fairness, issues of equality before the law. Good governance principles must be established as a bedrock on the basis of which we can carryout other physical development issues because we believe deeply that when we establish, within the culture of any society, those intangibles and therefore there is an atmosphere where people feel at peace with themselves and their society, that environment can cause a sparking off of innovative and creative capabilities of the individuals and they will Excell and do things which people possibly thought were impossible. That’s what we (ANT) are focused on-creating a shift in our politics and putting focus on the intagibles, so, we want to build an organization that is value-based.
You have talked about tolerance. You have also talked about peace. In our estimation-because I hear many people talking about peace within our country-we tend to have a different view of peace. Peace, as someone said, is not the absence of conflict-peace is the presence of justice. If there is no justice, whatever anybody sees as peace is simply cosmetic-it can be law and order but it can never be peace. In countries like N.Korea, there is little or zero rate of crime but there can never be peace because there is repression. So, we must ensure that we create an environment where there is peace in a country but peace which is rooted in justice. Again, there are two types of peace-1 the peace we require on Earth as human beings and 2. the peace that transcends our understanding (that can be better explained by you religious leaders). As politicians,our focus is on the first. It is the religious leaders who should help the believers to pursue the second one.
People are looking for a David (Biblical) who can come and kill Goliath. We (The Alliance) don’t think that things should be done that way because in the story when David killed Goliath, that was war. He got a sling and killed Goliath and the enemy forces ran. In our situation, the Goliath we have is corruption, Nepotism, divisionism, intolerance. So, even with the personification of all that, eventually when he/she leaves and a new dispensation comes in, that’s when we confront the main Goliath and therefore, the Davids is not one person. The Davids are each and every Ugandan who must stand in a gap and fight against corruption, injustice, Nepotism, disunity and other compromises that have brought us to our knees. See the situation we are in now. People are desperately looking for jobs in countries whose people are supposed to be coming here looking for greener pastures because God blessed this country. It is a contradiction- looking for greener pastures in a desert.
God gave us same capabilities like he did to those in developed continents,He gave us same intellect and therefore, there is nothing they have done that we can’t do. For us in politics,we shall do our part, but also, as church leaders you have a role-building people who recognise that Values and Character are important, that if you are in any position of responsibility, you manage resources for the benefit of others. When we do that, then we will create peace, we will create justice in our country. In Politics, we need people with character so as church, you can help in that and once we achieve it, we shall have had a breakthrough. Recently, I read somewhere that Christianity in Africa is miles wide but inches deep because whatever we see happening in our society is a reflection of what is happening in the faith. There is no way we can confront the Goliath of Corruption, Nepotism, Injustice and be subdued unless we are subduable. But if faith is deep, the Goliath will be crushed,the Goliath will be uprooted, so, concentrate on deepening faith- unless there is inner transformation, we can never have men and women of character. It is possible, and by God’s grace together we can achieve it.
Thank you and may God bless you all.