The Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) together with Uganda Musicians Association (UMA) have launched an official song for ‘I choose Peace campaign’ dubbed ‘Londa Dembe’.
Due to riots and protests, that took place last month after the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi in which over 60 people lost their lives, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy Uganda (NIMD) working hand in hands with IPOD two weeks back launched ‘I choose peace campaign’ purposely to sensitize masses about the dangers of riots and protests.
However, according to Executive Secretary of IPOD who also serves as the Country Representative of NIMD in Uganda Frank Rusa, they discovered that passing a message of peace to the mass through a song will give the campaign a milestone.
While speaking during the song launch at Kati-Kati restaurant on Thursday, Mr Rusa said that musicians have a big following and are good advocates of peace and have the power of influence since in every community they have a following who like their songs or personalities.
“Musicians have the power of influence through their songs, so as NIMD and IPOD we are very excited to partner with Uganda Musician Associations, we know your value, how powerful you are and how far you can reach, but importantly we are excreted that you have chosen to put your energy and resources to push on an important matter that affects our country,” he said.
Mr Rusa added that the I Choose Peace Campaign is a result of what has respectively been happening right from the first elections in 1996 up to this ongoing one. He noted that elections in Uganda have become a do or die matter.
“The amount of money that is used in elections these days is thuggery. Everybody goes to elections saying I either win or they lose. There seems to be no room for peace hold electioneering. We have seen riots in NRM primaries and we have seen it again in this ongoing campaign however the job to make these elections a quality one is for us all, not EC, political parties, religious leaders but all of us,” he said.
Mohammed Kateregga, the Secretary-General For Justice Forum (JEEMA) also current Chair for IPOD Council in the same spirit added that the I Choose Peace campaign is not for only leaders but whoever lives in Uganda needs peace.
“Today we are joined by the impeccable group of people that is added their voice in this campaign. In past and recent history, we have seen how powerful music can be. In this election the pressure and the fire we see is because some of the participants are musicians who embraced politics,” he said.
Tugume Wycliffe commonly known as Ykee Benda the current president of UMA said peace is the only hope Ugandans have, regardless of which political party someone belongs too. “It’s very important to know that Uganda will stay even after us or elections, therefore it’s our duty to make it better,”
One of the musicians that featured in the Londa Dembe song is the young rapper Faith Nanyanzi alias Felista Di Superstar who asked leaders to think of the young generation that is suffering after losing their parents to violence and riots.
“People must stop fighting, I joined the team that sung this song to inform the elders of this country that we the young people are suffering. Security officers must also reduce the anger they use while enforcing laws because all of us are Ugandans and we have families who will suffer once we lose our lives,” she said.
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