- To the State, we ask of you to unconditionally drop all charges arising out of the brawl at Parliament against MPs as the first step towards building reconciliation and honouring the preamble to our Constitution.
Fellow artistes, the Federation of Performing Artistes of Uganda note with concern developments in our country that do not conform to the spirit of our Constitution. The preamble of our Constitution clearly reminds us of our history and emphasises our collective commitment to building a better future based on the establishment of a socio-economic and political order guided by the principles of unity, peace, equality, democracy, freedom, social justice and progress.
Without a doubt, we are a heterogeneous society and have varied political, social and cultural aspirations and beliefs. However, our Constitution enjoins us to build unity based on those diversities. In other words, whereas we perceive things differently, we must respect each other’s opinion in order that we, at the end, build consensus or at worst agree to honourably disagree.
Whether it is appropriate to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution or not, the approach in arriving at that answer should be guided by the preamble to our Constitution, and indeed the spirit of mutual respect.
It is against this background that I implore you fellow artistes to act and behave rationally, particularly during this period. While expressing your opinion on the matter, respect another’s opinion even if it may be contrary to yours. Difference of opinion is only natural and healthy, but does not amount to enmity nor fuel hatred.
Fellow artistes in your respective domains, you are aware we are the mirrors of society and in most cases, the voice of society. Let us use our unique position in society to propagate tranquillity and to develop consensus among Ugandans on this highly contentious matter. Inflammatory statements cannot help us achieve our objective of shaping society. It will only cause more problems for our dear Uganda.
Therefore, let us ensure that whether through music, poems, plays, dances, skits, etc, our messages are geared towards building unity in diversity; tranquillity; and consensus building among Ugandans.
In the same spirit, we also call upon security agencies to accord equal treatment to all – whether they are for or opposed to the lifting of age limit for persons vying for presidency. It is a fact that individually, officers in the security forces are partisan, but collectively impartial. It is that impartiality that we seek of you to exhibit to all Ugandans.
To the State, we ask of you to unconditionally drop all charges arising out of the brawl at Parliament against MPs as the first step towards building reconciliation and honouring the preamble to our Constitution. At this crossroad in our political history, a conviction or acquittal will only aggravate the already volatile situation.
For God and my country
Andrew Benon Kibuka,
President – Federation of
Performing Artistes of Uganda