Let me begin by congratulating Engineer Patrick Amuriat, Oh boy… upon his election as FDC party president. I pledge my support to you as you take on this noble responsibility. I wish you the best at every step of the way.
I also congratulate the FDC for continuing to be a beacon of democracy and for holding free, fair and most importantly peaceful elections.
I must congratulate Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu for his distinguished service to his party and the leadership of Uganda. There are not many leaders in this country who say what they mean and mean what they say.
There are not many leaders who have showed consistency in action and word. I therefore salute you Gen. Muntu for being an inspiration to all of us.
Comrades, we meet at a very critical time in our country. We are meeting at a time when the oppressor is determined to oppress the people of Uganda much longer. We meet at a time when the dictator is making it clear that he is not done squeezing life out of our country.
We meet at a time when he is desperate to remove the age limit in our constitution and declare himself life president. He is doing this a time when the nation is bleeding- the levels of unemployment are soaring, more people are slipping into poverty, health workers have just been on strike over miserable working conditions and our nation continues to be a laughing stock among nations.
Mugabe has fallen- and today if a trophy was to be given for the worst dictatorships in Africa, I think Uganda would gladly pick it.
The hope however is that we meet at a time when the whole nation is united in saying ‘TOJIKWATAKO’. We meet at a time when the population has made it clear that Museveni and his despotic regime MUST GO. Wherever I have gone in this country- people are tired and fed up of the corrupt regime and want change.
The question is, ARE WE THAT CHANGE? Friends, although as we know we have achieved very many things together, there is still a lot to be done. Sometimes people who look at us from the outside see forces in disarray. They hear us speak but sometimes we speak with an uncertain voice and many times our message is contradictory.
Therefore, all of us must understand what we are dealing with. We must assess the odds and decide what our ultimate objective is.
My message to all democracy seeking forces, and all citizens who want a better country is that all of us MUST UNITE in purpose to dislodge the dictatorship and create a better Uganda for all our citizens.
President Museveni onetime promised to munch the opposition like samosas. Whenever we are divided, we become to him a very sweet samosa to munch. If we unite, we shall be too hot for him. I have said before that a group of rabbits who are united in purpose can chase away a leopard.
As Steve Biko said, the most potent weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. Indeed, grasshoppers often times fight amongst themselves in a bottle, not knowing that all of them are under captivity.
Our minds must be very clear on who the real enemy is and we work towards defeating that common enemy. That is when the people of Uganda will be pleased with us. And it has happened before.
How did Uganda get rid of Amin? Ugandans united. They were clear that enough was enough. When they met at the Moshi conference in 1979, they all spoke with one voice. I call upon us today to learn lessons from history.
Look at Zimbabwe. Mugabe fell, but what do they have now? A continuation of the same system which the opposition said had run down the country. In the weeks preceding Mugabe’s fall we saw thousands of people march. We saw protesters.
But we didn’t see anyone with placards of the Movement for Democratic Change or of Morgan Tsvangirai! Or of any opposition leaders. We only saw them with placards of Mnangagwa and the army chief.
This should provide a lesson to us- Museveni may fall and we continue with the same system he has created. We must be clear that we all want the kind of change we have been talking about and all work hard and together for it.
I thank you.
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine’s speech at the FDC presidential swearing in