Special Reports

EU tells Uganda to change from ‘steady progress’


Kristian Schmidt

European Union is concerned that Ugandans are merely satisfied with “steady progress” yet a lot needs to change.

This was revealed by the EU ambassador to Kristian Schmidt on “Europe Day” celebrations at the residence in Kampala on Monday.

“Even if you just want steady progress, change is needed,” Kristian emphasised.

“Steady progress” is a vote catchword for the ruling NRM party.

It was used during presidential campaigns to canvass votes for President Yoweri Museveni who is due to be sworn in this Thursday.

It was recently added in the theme for President Museveni’s swearing in ceremony.

According to the EU envoy, Europe believes in multilateralism.

“We are not “neo-colonialists”. We have no imperialist agenda,” he noted.

Kristian said EU welcomes scrutiny on whether they are doing their part, and whether they do it well because “we are not perfect”.

“We all know the world is crying out for more collaboration, not isolation and countries and dictators hiding behind nationalism and pride.”

He said EU thinks, like the rest of the world, to preserve legacy, to ensure peace and stability, to build the future, things have to change.

“If you want improved governance, better service delivery, victory over corruption, and free and fair elections, you should consider reforms.”

Kristian said as a partner and friend of Uganda, EU worries when it sees the freedoms, guaranteed by the constitution coming under pressure currently.

He said curbing media freedoms, deploying security forces or resorting to courts to solve political differences– may not be the solution.

He was indirectly referring to a government ban placed on FDC defiance activities, the house arrest of opposition officials and gagging of media.

“We hope Uganda’s leaders, political parties and civil society will come together and agree to put Ugandan national interests first.”

He added: “As your friends, our hope is to see you succeed! We seek a strong partnership with a stable and truly democratic Uganda.”

Kristian said EU support will be for courageous policy change, “after all, the campaign mottos were “Steady Progress”, “Go Forward” and “One Uganda, One People”.


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