After months of speculation, former prime minister and President Musevenis right hand man John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has finally declared that he will stand for the office of the presidency in the upcoming presidential elections. In another first, and probably to minimise interference, he used his social media account on Facebook and Twitter to announce his candidature. See his full statement below;
My Declaration to the People of Uganda
My fellow Ugandans,
I greet you wherever you are. It is a great privilege for me to address you.
I come before you today, to tell you that I will be seeking your vote, first within my party the NRM as its flag bearer; and later on in the whole country for President in the 2016 Presidential elections.
The coming election is about the future, about making Uganda work for everyone.
It is about reinvigorating our country and making it fit for the 21st century and beyond.
And it is about breathing new life into our system of government – a system that has become weak and inefficient.
We need to revive our mission to improve education, health and public services and ensure that they are delivered fairly and to high standards.
We need to restore our party, the NRM, and return to its roots – a genuine, accountable and democratic movement.
And we, as a country, need to rediscover our democratic principles.
52 years ago we gained our independence and Uganda has since achieved many things.
We have united the country and increased prosperity …
Attained a greater level of peace and security…
Greatly improved the provision of education and won the respect of the international community…
These are all achievements of which I am sure the men and women – who even before Independence envisioned what Uganda would look like as a self-sufficient nation – would be proud of.
We have too much to be proud of to allow anyone to belittle those gains.
Yet we still face many challenges. It is abundantly clear that what Ugandans want now, what you want, is not simply a change in leadership but a change of systems, a change in order: The kind of change that will not only strengthen the gains of the last 52 years, but will enable the nation to rise above where it is today.
To bring about this change I believe we must focus on eight critical things:
Reviving Uganda’s democracy and institutions.
Transforming the economy and attracting heavy local and foreign investment.
Promoting equitable development where all communities and all regions of the country equally benefit from decisions made by the government.
Providing jobs that are fit for the 21st century.
Ensuring a greater level of accountability on the part of your leaders and making a stronger effort at fighting corruption at all levels…
Reinforcing observance of and respect for the rule of law while ensuring security for all.
Providing good quality healthcare.
Enhancing the quality of education and addressing the skills gap.
43 years ago as a youth and, later on, as a young idealistic lawyer with a hunger for justice I joined the struggle against the destructive forces that were threatening to derail the self-governing hopes and dreams of our new democracy.
That hunger still remains.
As most of you know, I have dedicated many years of my life to serving the people of Uganda. My loyalty is absolute. It is to the people and Constitution of Uganda. It is to the founding principles of the National Resistance Movement and the values for which I fought as a young man and for which many lost their property, liberty and even their lives.
This is the most important election in a generation.
As a people we must choose between achieving success and true prosperity in the new global economy or nursing a tired nation – yesterday’s story.
You will be making a choice for your families, for your children and the generations to come.
In the coming days you will hear and read, in greater detail, more about my plans for Uganda’s future.
The future is not secured by what we do tomorrow; it is entirely determined by the decisions we make today.
You hold Uganda’s future in your hands.
So I want to urge you to take the first step – by choosing a fairer society and a democratic future.
A new age is upon us and upon this our focus must rest
Yesterday is gone and today’s challenges must have newer, better answers.
Uganda can work. Together, let’s make it work.