Presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, says a big part of Uganda’s post-independence story has been weakness.
“Weakness in the form of bad governance, where ordinary Ugandans have been kept down rather built up.”
He adds: “Weakness in the form of bad leadership where systems and institutions have been personalised and stripped of their agency and power.”
In his independence day messages to Ugandans, Amama noted that 53 years ago when the British flag came down and the Ugandan flag was raised, then a barely 40 year-old Milton Obote proclaimed a turning point in the county’s history with the view that it would help her prosper.
Mbabazi agrees Uganda has experienced beauty, strength and fortune.
He cited the beauty of unique communities and landscapes.
He praised Ugandans as resilient and innovative.
He said there was hope after bad systems were replaced in 1962, 1986 and 1995 when the constitution was changed.
Amama further observes that the hope of change for the better instead of more of the same is still alive in Uganda.
“And it is my hope that 50 years from now, when we celebrated 103 years, we will say that hope was satisfied.”
He says from 2016, Uganda will surely go forward.
“Today, as we celebrate 53 years of the great gift of independence, let us make a promise to ourselves and to our nation that will modernise whilst preserving out history and cultures, that we will build a nation that is strong and proud, that we will fight for those who are vulnerable and that we will stay united, always going forward, always reaching further towards a Uganda that works for everyone; a Uganda that leaves no one behind.”
Amama took part in the 1986 liberation struggle that brought his 2016 rival and former boss, President Yoweri Museveni.
He broke away from government last year following his sacking as Prime Minister and ruling party, NRM Secretary General.
Last year, he celebrated the 52nd independence day from Kanungu district where he was given a presidential treat.