True Democracy is Bigger than Single Politician - US Ambassador

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In short
The United States Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, has said that strong institutions, not one person or party, is the secret to longevity and stability of nations.

The United States Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, has said that strong institutions, not one person or party, is the secret to longevity and stability of nations.
Malac was speaking on Wednesday night at the celebrations of America's 241 Independence anniversary at the US Embassy in Kampala. She noted that a true democracy requires the collection of all voices, backgrounds and beliefs and a system in which every individual can and does have a say in how Government is run.
She says although this system is noisy, contentious and messy, it is a system that works.
Ambassador Malac attributed the success of the US to great institutions, laws and structures that have ensured that Americans stay true to their ideals which are guard-rails of democracy. She says the founding fathers of the US put in place a system to safeguard the rights of the citizens against the difficulties to come.
"As a result, we have a constitution that has stood the test of time and has been only lightly amended during the past 241 years," she said.
According to Malac, the constitution installs checks on the power of every arm of Government and with this no arm of Government could gain total control over the other. She says at the same time the US is a country of laws and everyone is accountable for their actions, adding the Government is bound by the dictates of law and not men.
She says no Government is perfect, noting that although their institutions may occasionally bend, they do not break.
Malac also said Ugandans need the same opportunity to determine their future, to have a full say in how they develop and how they are governed.
This comes at a time of heightened debate in Kampala over plans by the government to amend Article 102(b) of the constitution that limits the age of the president to between 35 and 75 years.
Under the current provision in Article 102(b) of the 1995 constitution, President Museveni would not be eligible to contest for the seat in 2021. Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Museveni will hit the limit before the next presidential election. He will be 73 this year and 77 in 2021.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who represented Government at the celebrations, congratulated Americans for achieving 241st Anniversary, stating that the world should emulate the founding fathers of America.
Rugunda hailed the US for supporting Uganda to fight HIV/Aids, the fight against Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and providing the opportunities under the African Growth and Opportunity Act among others.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.