The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, has urged political party leaders to take up the role of identifying and mentoring leaders whom they can later deploy to take up positions at the national level.
He made the remarks as he launched the multiparty youth forum, a platform that brings together youth leaders from the different political parties and civil society groups to build a generational consensus for progress.
“Between the 40-year-olds and the 70-year-olds, there is a gap, and that void became too big because of our history; a history of one man takes it all, and therefore, there was no opportunity for political organizations and institutions to organize, build, incubate, mentor and deploy young people,” Mpuuga said.
The forum is a culmination of engagements between the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and leaders of the youth leagues of the six major political parties with representation in Parliament namely; National Resistance Movement (NRM), National Unity Platform (NUP), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Justice Forum (JEEMA) and People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Drawing from his experience going through the mentorship programme of the DP, Mpuuga said that parties have to adopt deliberate efforts to nurture future national leaders rather than keeping youths in a position where they cannot articulate their respective party ideologies.
“I invite you to summon the courage to ask the most important questions to the elders. Hold your leaders in the parties accountable,” Mpuuga told the youth leaders gathered at Protea Hotel, Kololo, near Kampala before calling for an overhaul of the 1995 Constitution that he said is no longer representative of the aspirations of the people.
“A constitution is an outcome of the people’s consensus. At least there was some basic consultation that led to the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution. Is it still the same document? Is it a culmination of the people’s consensus? Why are we running away from that conversation?” he wondered.
He asked the youth leaders to champion the cause for a new constitution.
“I want to see young people raise their voices to ask potent questions that will herald a durable constitutional order,” Mpuuga said.
He urged the youth leaders not to shy away from involvement in discourses on the future of Uganda.