By Guest Writer
OPINION: Recalling our history which has been characterized by political and constitutional instability. Recognizing our struggles against the forces of tyranny, oppression and exploitation.
The first three paragraphs of the Uganda’s constitution, 1995 as amended breeds a kind of patriotism calling all the people of Uganda to commit themselves and build a better future for everyone.
The preamble opens the old wounds of the suffering Ugandans since independence that most young people didn’t see but have had opportunities to read about them through our political journey.
Uganda’s development journey has been guided by a deliberate and well-planned effort to transform it from a peasant to a modern, industrial and prosperous society.
According to the National Planning Authority, The Uganda Vision 2040 aspires to pursue economic development and socioeconomic transformation premised on the principles of a green economy such as equity, environment sustainability, resource efficiency, climate change adaptation and mitigation and inclusiveness.
No citizen would this agree that this was a well though effort to create generational opportunities to transform Uganda to middle and developed country in the long run.
But has this been practical or it remains on paper kept on the National planning authority website. Have our leaders kept a continued focus on the fundamentals that are preconditions for successful development? Are they still working for the “WE THE PEOPLE OF UGANDA” as the preamble begins.
The quest of development by all Ugandans has not changed at all but the desire has changed. Ugandans want inclusive oriented development, not the development that holds Ugandans on ransom and blackmail.
Not the development that comes with liberation theories and awards. They no longer want the development of my oil, my resource and my NRM but development of all Ugandans. Uganda is grappling with challenges familiar to many developing countries.
And it ceases to be a matter of who makes decisions but millions of Ugandans who still live in poverty and abject to climatic problems like hunger, drought, landslides so on and so forth because of the decisions.
Currently, Uganda is on a global spotlight because of its historical oil resource. The resource has already created political, economic and social divisions amongst Ugandans themselves. The question of the day remains to be; “are we in the best governance structure to engage in the oil exploitation”.
The European Parliament which I call a development partner highlighted the continued human rights’ violations of oil communities, human rights defenders and environmental illegalities that many civil society organizations have been highlighting to the deaf eyes of Uganda’s oil institutional structures and oil major players. Of course, oil proponents have their stories that have been in news daily. Another question remains “who is right or wrong”.
The fundamental answers lie in the preamble of Uganda’s constitution but in my opinion, we should have a continued focus on the fundamentals that are preconditions for successful development which include; respect of the law, human rights and citizenry and inclusive participation.
This is the challenge we face. The policies that Uganda chooses today will determine whether Ugandans are on a road to overcome poverty and provide sustainable opportunities to all Ugandans.
As a lawyer and young leader who has appreciated the journey of inclusive development, I call upon Uganda’s decision makers and all other sectors to ensure that development is community-led and that it respects, protects, and fulfills human rights.
To do so, the youth and communities must have the information, power and resources to determine their own development paths and priorities.
They must equally be able to hold development finance institutions, governments, and other actors accountable for their impacts on people and the planet. The earth is the only thing we share equally so we should be mindful on how the next generation will find it.
The Aryampa Brighton, a lawyer and Chief Executive Officer of Youth for Green Communities (YGC).
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