KAMPALA – During Uganda’s 50th Independence anniversary in 2012, President Museveni led the country in prayer. It was a remarkable prayer that covered all grounds.
The prayer had five elements. First, there was thanksgiving. Second, was an unequivocal declaration to break clean from the past. Third, was a clear admission of sin. Fourth, the President asked God for a new beginning. Finally, he dedicated Uganda to God.
We’re heading for a defining moment. A test awaits. Will the tectonic plates that make Uganda stick together or will they drift apart? Will Ugandans see something that has been elusive – namely peaceful change of government? Will we have an army that lasts beyond the lifespan of one regime? These are the big questions.
Museveni is now in his 34th year as president of Uganda. His conduct since the day he uttered those profound words of prayer has been contrary to the spirit of that prayer. He will be judged by God based on that prayer.
But it is never too late. Heaven is for repentant sinners. President Museveni should reclaim his legacy and adhere to the spirit of that great prayer. Here is a reminder of that prayer in full:
“Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.
“I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness.
“We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.
“We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.
“Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.
“These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.
“We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.
“We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.
“We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.
“I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.
“I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Nobert Mao is a Ugandan politician and the President of Democratic Party.