As we wake up to the news that The Democratic Alliance (TDA) has decided not to decide on a joint presidential candidate, it’s easy to lose heart. We had so hoped that for once, country would be bigger than personal political ambitions. We had hoped that for once, after several attempts at trying to come together, the forces opposed to the continued misrule in our country, would present a united front. And we must give it to them, they did try.
But I do not lose hope. I think each trial at working together brings us ever closer to the hope that one day things in Uganda will change. What was different about the TDA attempt this time was that politicians and civil society worked together. I applaud all the galant Ugandans who worked behind the scenes and round the clock to ensure that this process worked – people like Bishop Zac Niringiye, Godber Tumushabe, Sheila Kawamara, Miria Matembe, Thelma Awori, Professor Sempebwa and a host of others. These men and women have spent their time, energy and intellect putting the TDA together, supporting the meetings of the TDA, ensuring that the secretariat is up and running, working as volunteers while looking for funding, trying to broker peace and unblock the stalemates when they happened.
This work is not in vane because these men and women believe in the idea of TDA – which is not just about a joint presidential candidate, but an idea for a new Uganda, where consensus is the bedrock of our democracy, where pooling our gifts, talents and resources for the good of our country is the key method of work. TDA is a dream of a new Uganda, a Uganda free from corruption and the tyranny of impunity, a Uganda where we are happy and peaceful, a Uganda of opportunity and solidarity.
Whatever happens, whatever the disagreement by the top politicians, this dream must not die. This dream must be kept alive. And we can do it, one Ugandan at a time. We can do it in the way we reach out to each other, in the way we work together, in the way we build bridges towards each other, instead of walls. We must carry on this dream for ourselves, for our children and for Uganda. We can learn from what didn’t work and push on. We can do better.
Change will come. It’s only a matter of time. Let’s keep on keeping on. Let’s keep hope alive.