Launch of National Alliance for Change

UDU statement released on the eve of the conference


I thank the organizers of this important and timely conference for inviting United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) to the launch of the National Alliance for Change. The conference is taking place so soon after another important conference organized by FDC took place here in the City of London. This is a welcome recognition that when people unite they perform more effectively and efficiently than when they are divided. 
 
Uganda is in a political, economic, social, moral and environmental crisis. It has been described as a failed state under dictatorial leadership. For the last twenty six years Uganda has been driven by wrong drivers, in a wrong bus, on a wrong road. The collapse in 2009 of the economic model pursued by NRM since 1987, the massively rigged elections in 2011 and the current severe economic crisis characterized inter alia by crippling high interest rates, unaffordable and rising prices especially of food and fuel, unprecedented level of youth unemployment, spreading and deepening poverty and the associated moral decay confirm that something is endemically wrong in Uganda’s political economy, calling for change of leadership and launch of a different political and economic development agenda. This is a task that Ugandans themselves have to shoulder with a helping hand from friends and well wishers.

Two thousand and eleven was a watershed year in Uganda’s history. It was a year of reflection and action. Ugandans at home and abroad travelled, consulted and debated in search of a lasting solution to Uganda’s domestic, regional and international challenges. The outcome was the creation of United Democratic Ugandans (UDU), an umbrella organization of political parties and organizations at home and abroad opposed to the NRM system. UDU was established on July 9, 2011 at a Los Angeles (USA) conference. One of the landmarks of the conference was a brainstorming session about Uganda’s frightening challenges. The session was interactive, substantive, comprehensive and multi-sector covering political, economic, social, democratic, spiritual, regional and external relations issues. The overall aim of the session was and the creation of UDU is to create conditions for the achievement of unity, liberty, justice, equal opportunity, dignity and happiness for all Ugandans.  
 
A committee was elected and charged among other things with the task of preparing a comprehensive National Recovery Plan (NRP) as an alternative to the failed NRM policies. Mindful of the importance of gender and youth in Uganda society, gender and youth representatives were elected to the UDU committee and tasked to provide inputs into the draft Plan which was completed in August and distributed widely including to all political parties and organizations for comment in preparation for the conference of October 8, 2011 in Boston (USA). The conference took place as scheduled and devoted most of the time to the discussion of the Plan which was adopted at the end of the conference. The representatives of youth and gender made presentations at the conference. The Plan is accessible at www.udugandans.org. We recommend that the Plan be used as part of the documents for the brainstorming session.
 
UDU has also been involved in developments at home such as protest against diverting part of Mabira forest to sugar cane production, warning against the negative environmental impact of the oil industry and protest against violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Press releases were issued. They are available together with other relevant information at www.udugandans.org. UDU has also undertaken diplomatic work with state and non-state actors calling on their support as Ugandans embark on a new humanitarian and political economy path for the benefit of present and future generations.
 
Let me conclude by stating once more that Ugandans need to work together, harmonize their policies and strategies and speak with one voice. It is efficient. It is effective. UDU is ready to work with others including the Alliance for Change to promote unity and rule of law, democracy and good governance, peace, security and equality, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, rapid and sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

Eric Kashambuzi
Secretary-General, UDU
 

© 2011 United Democratic Ugandans. All Rights Reserved.