After three years of consultation and research, Uganda’s ruling party (NRM) cadre Mr. Godfrey Sseruwagi Mitch, put pen to paper to advise the President, the local and international community on peaceful transition. In his book titled, “Our Greatest Fear is the Transition of Power: An Open Letter to the President”, Mr. Sseruwagi reflects on Uganda’s violent past and lack of instruments of transition since Uganda’s Independence. He proposes a series of measures; political, economical, legislative and social which, in his opinion, if embraced, could ensure an orderly and peaceful transition of power.
Mr. Sseruwagi implores President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, whom he refers to as “Father of the Nation” to set a precedent for future leaders by preparing the country for an orderly and peaceful transition. He calls upon all peace loving Ugandans to begin exploring instruments and legislative Acts of other countries that have had orderly and peaceful transition of power.
The book further declares that the country is ripe for a renewed declaration of an Economic Revolution guided by a new set of cadres, the Economic cadres, as opposed to the traditional political cadres politicizing every aspect at the cost of the country’s development.
The Author challenges the International community, local politicians, the military and international intelligence agencies that heavily facilitate the removal of sitting Heads of States, especially in Africa, to instead weigh in on the debate on change of leadership involving the sitting Heads of State in planning and assuring their safety after they leave power, honoring them for the positive contributions to their countries instead of, only pointing out the wrongs to justify their violent oust from power. This, he argues, will open a new chapter of peaceful transitions of power as opposed to funding bombings of Presidents, let alone the untold bloodshed, refuge crisis and ruins that tag along.
The book was unveiled on Wednesday 5th February 2014 at a launch co-hosted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Makerere University Main Hall.
Speaking at the launch, Uganda’s Justice Minister, also Guest of Honour, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, noted that Uganda’s greatest fear is not the transition of power but the violation of the rule of law and people’s ignorance of their rights embedded in the Constitution. He called for massive sensitization of the populace on their rights, noting that power belongs to the people and that freedom of expression should never be breached by those in power.
One of the panelists at the discussion forum that preceded the launch, UN rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, also former Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, urged the President to respond to the letter, noting that positive criticism should not be viewed as antagonism. She said peaceful transition cannot be attained with violent elections, abuse of the principle of separation of powers and non-functional institutions.
Another panelist, Democratic Party President, Hon. Nobert Mao, dismissed the proposal by the author to declare President Museveni “Father of the Nation”, saying he had in many respects not made a difference with his predecessors whom he condemned.
Jolly Grace Okot, Cofounder of Invisible Children, also victim of violent regime change narrated her ordeal and implored those in power to put in place mechanisms for peaceful transition.
The launch was graced by Makerere University Chancellor, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu and Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS). An academic staff member of CHUSS, also Head Department of European and Oriental Languages, Dr Edith Natukunda –Tagboa edited the book. Prof. Kirumira said the College would continue offering platform for discussion on matters of national importance.
How to access the book
The book is available in Uganda Bookshop, Plot4, Colville Street, Kampala, opposite Christ The King Church. Phone contact: +256414343756
About the Author
Sseruwagi Godfrey Mitch was born and raised in Matanga Village, Masaka District, Uganda (East Africa). He was schooled in Uganda and the USA as a Computer Scientist – Information Systems Technology and Management. He has worked as an ICT Consultant for Uganda Government Electoral Commission, Ministry of Education and Sports, Omicron Corporation, Digital Card Systems in Hudson and Acton, Massachusetts, USA. Currently, he is a Project Advisor/consultant on Uganda National Security Information Systems (NSIS). He is a national leader of the Uganda ruling party, NRM, representing the Entrepreneurs League on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NRM as the General Secretary. He is an entrepreneur in Information Communication Technology and heavy construction equipment.