Uganda Peoples Congress

Uganda Peoples Congress
National Secretariat
Party Headquarters, Uganda House,
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, P. O. Box 9206, Kampala

The Party President's Speech in Bushenyi 2007

31 May 2007 to 02 Jun 2007

Speech By Her Excellency, Mama Miria Kalule Obote, President Of Uganda Peoples Congress, To Western Uganda Regional UPC Youth Workshop At Bushenyi-Ishaka Town 31st May To 2nd June, 2007.

The National Party Officials,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

  1. On behalf of the National Executive Committee, Congressmen and Women and on my own behalf, I am honored to be speaking to a gathering of UPC Youth leaders from Western Uganda. Indeed, you are the new face of the party, full of energy, drive and hope to revive, renew and strengthen the mighty congress of the people. This regional landmark conference is the last one in this phase- after successful similar ones were held in Gulu, for Northern Region, Soroti for Eastern Region and Mityana for Buganda Region.
  2. I am extremely happy that the western leg is taking place in Bushenyi- Ishaka Town. Bushenyi District is not only regarded as the "Political Mecca" of the UPC but the home of the Congress, where Heroe's Day for this Country has always been celebrated. This gathering, therefore, is for us, a historic and important day, not only to recall the pilgrimage to Bushenyi, but to critically reflect on the vision, mission, and the purpose of our existence as a political party.
  3. This workshop comes exactly one week after UPC successfully held its Central Executive Committee meeting in Kampala . The Central Executive Committee is a Constitutional organ of the Party with the powers to:
  4. Shall be responsible for the implementation of the decisions and policies of the National Council and of the National Annual Delegates Conference
  5. Ensure that, such decisions and policies are duly by all Party organs and members
  6. UPC is the only Political Party to revive its Constitutional Organs which meets the requirements of our National Constitution, the Political Parties and Organizations Act and other enabling laws that binds parties to conform to the principles of democracy. The turn- up of members was extremely good and there were open, robust and frank discussions on the party's five year Strategic Plan and proposed Constitutional amendments during the plenary.
  7. We are very proud to be meeting our constitutional and democratic set targets despite the attempts by our detractors to misrepresent and rewrite history, the facts you have gained from this workshop, I trust, should help to give you the true picture and justify to Ugandan youth that UPC remains the beacon of hope for this Country.
  8. Among the achievements of UPC administrations in Uganda were the building and expansion of schools, hospitals, health centers, roads, socio-economic development including factories and agriculture, just to mention but a few. All these achievements were realized despite the many challenges as already outlined during the workshop.
  9. Uganda gained independence on the basis of multiparty politics. This system of governance was regrettably interrupted first by the military dictatorship of Idi Amin in the 70's. UPC fought relentlessly against the military dictatorship and succeeded in removing it in 1979. Following the ouster of the dictatorship, UPC ensured that multiparty democracy was re-established in Uganda.
  10. Sadly again, this was interrupted by the gormless military junta of Tito Okello and Bazilio Okello in 1985. What followed is well known to you all in that General Yoweri Museveni took over power, by the barrel of the gun, from the Okellos and established his no party, militaristic, monolithic and individual merit system of governance.
  11. It was again left up to UPC to struggle through Courts of laws, political agitation, diplomatic and international lobbying to ensure removal of Museveni's movement system of governance and re-establishment of multiparty politics in this country. From this account UPC's total commitment to multiparty governance is 100%.
  12. At this same workshop I am reliably informed that the historical perspective, operations, workings and advantages of multiparty politics have been clearly outlined to you. I believe you have had the opportunity to deliberate on them. It is the Party's belief that without the existence and proper working of political parties, there cannot be any democracy to talk of.
  13. Perhaps I can only refer specifically to the crucial importance of voter education, a topic that you have equally had the privilege to discuss and internalize during the workshop. The principles of democracy can only apply where you have an enlightened group of voters who know their rights and responsibilities when they exercise their obligations. Hitherto the attempt to entrust the education of voters to the Electoral Commission has proved a dismal failure hence the need for the stakeholders like political parties, to take direct responsibility in the education of voters.
  14. For the last two decades from 1985 - 2005 when political party activities remained restricted in Uganda, UPC was denied access and opportunity to recruit youth into the Party while the Movement enjoyed complete monopoly to recruit, indoctrinate and influence the youth.
  15. After the 2006 general elections UPC decided to review many aspects of its existence including its performance at those elections, structures and operations.
  16. One of the outcomes of that review specifically addressed the role of the youth in the Party and a strategic objective was agreed upon on the issue of the youth. The strategic objective on youth sets out to have, "massive, active and effective youth participation in the UPC structures, programmes and activities". I have no doubt that you have ably discussed, understood and agreed on how to proceed towards the attainment of that strategic objective the party has committed itself to.
  17. As you may be aware, Uganda has one of the youngest populations where the youth between the ages of 18-30years constitute 22.4% of Uganda 's total population. When you add on the children the percentage goes to 78.4% of the promising young generation. The youth therefore are the biggest and important constituency for UPC. This is the reason why we need you to massively recruit and enable them to play an active role in not only shaping the destiny of our Party but the Country as well.
  18. The cardinal purpose of these seminars of the youth is to place the future of this party, the Country and the people of Uganda into your hands. Remember, it was UPC that brought independence and liberated this Country. I must declare that, your time has come .This is the moment for you for you to unite and take an active role in the management of party affairs. That is why the National Executive under my leadership has decided that, henceforth 60% of all the leadership positions available in the UPC structures should be occupied by the youth.
  19. I am confident that you can meet these challenges. Let us go forward because Ugandans share our values and together we shall be victorious.

For God and my Country

Miria Kalule Obote