The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has urged youth to register as voters if they are to be relevant to the country’s governance.
He said failure to register as voters deprives them of the moral authority to criticize bad policies, and that they have a duty to exercise politics rooted in peace.
“You have no right to speak where registered voters are speaking; you just shut up,” said Oulanyah, who was guest speaker during a public lecture at Gulu School of Nursing and Midwifery, on Thursday, 21 February 2019.
The lecture was organized by the Africa Leadership Institute (ALA). A similar lecture was held at Uganda Christian University, Mukono.
“It is our country and we must take responsibility to shape it the way we want it to be,” he added.
On voter bribery, Oulanyah said it takes two to effect the vice, rolling back the responsibility to voters who base their decisions on inducements.
“Making a fundamental decision based on money; a decision affecting all spheres of your life premised on Shs500 is unacceptable,” he said.
“Let it start from here that we do not sell our rights for small monies,” he said.
Oulanyah cautioned the youth against violence, saying it is not profitable to be destructive.
“Whatever participation you choose to engage in, let it build rather than destroy; let your participation be positive,” he said.
ALA is set to launch an online platform to score MPs based on their responsiveness to issues affecting their constituencies.
Mr Alfred Okwonga, the institute’s Director, asked Parliament to draft them into the students’ loan scheme.
“We don’t benefit from the students loan scheme; there’s segregation in the student loan scheme because they allow only selected universities and tertiary institutions,” said Okwonga.
Oulanyah promised to raise the concern with the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The Independent Electoral Commission in January released the roadmap to the 2021 elections, with nominations tentatively scheduled for August 2020.
At a retreat, the ruling National Resistance Movement’s Central Executive Committee recently endorsed party Chairman President Yoweri Museveni to be its torch bearer for the presidential race.
If approved by the party’s National Executive Committee, President Museveni will battle a cluster of opposition candidates who are expected to flood the race.