By Micheal Woira
I still continue to jubilate following the conclusion of local council (LC) elections, much as they didn’t go well in some regions of the country. Point is that at least most villages in Uganda have their own elected leaders who can mobilise them.
The election process had Ugandans exercise their right, right from the registration, the actual voting where people lined up behind their candidates, counting of voters and announcement of results.
However, the big voter turn-up on the lection day demonstrated how Ugandans value village leadership in this country. They woke up early Tuesday morning and were seen at various polling stations eager to vote. This was evidence that citizens had been longing for leaders who can serve them better.
The electoral exercise also showed that citizens can reconcile on leaders they think can serve them better, irrespective of social class, religion, tribe and political party affiliation. One psychologist says that: ‘When groups which were formally antagonistic engage in activities that are aimed at a shared future, they are more likely to develop mutual trust which is a vital step towards reconciliation in the community.’
Compromise is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of maturity. Ugandans can now start to desist from finger-pointing, name-calling, discriminating against others and discuss how to make things better. For instance, all LCI candidates that I had chance to interact with had very good development ideas that help the country prosper. It is therefore not hard for citizens to agree on the best development ideas. We can agree on a number of them.
It is high time we realised that politics is all about compromise for the good of the country. Reconciliation is one of the core issues that all leaders must always bear in mind. All candidates irrespective of their political affiliations must avoid statements that divide the people. There is no need to play politics of hatred. Politics of hatred takes us nowhere while politics based on good ideologies builds the nation Uganda.
That said, it time to take stock mistakes during elections and chart a way forward for our destiny as citizens of Uganda. Electing leaders serves as an affirmation of the people’s right to be led by those that they choose. Those who fail to be chosen must work hard in preparation for the next election. But also have the chance to advise those in leadership.
My heart’s desire is to wish love and peace to all Ugandans. We need to move forward, get beyond the hatred and bitterness. The village elections are gone, yet still many are to be held in the near future. Those who lost in the recent elections could emerge winners in the future elections. So why hate fellow citizens for winning an election? Ugandans are one and will always remain one. That is why one of the political parties in the country has a slogan that goes: One People One Uganda…
The writer is a Media Assistant at Uganda Media Centre