Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Teso Clergy have embarked on reconciliation of political candidates ahead of political campaigns starting next month.
The program that started with the Soroti Catholic Bishop, Joseph Eciru Oliach has been emulated by his counterpart of the Anglican faith, Rt. Rev. Kosea Odongo who has also announced a prayer program for all candidates in the respective districts.
Bishop Eciru, while launching prayers for politicians last Thursday asked them to put aside their political differences and peacefully front their agendas to the electorate. Speaking at St. Immaculate Conception in Soroti City, the bishop asked politicians to run peaceful campaigns that will not divide the electorate.
While holding prayers for politicians in Kaberamaido on Thursday on behalf of the Biship Eciru, Fr. Romanos Etwap said that there is no need to fight one another over support and votes. He told candidates that politics is a game with an option of winning or losing, asking them to prepare for any.
“It shouldn’t be a do or die. Some of you think that after getting nominated, you must win at all costs! My friends, let’s front our ideas and allow voters to make their choices”, he said.
In Kumi, Rev. Fr. John Eriau, the Parish Priest of Koloin Parish in Ngora District who represented Bishop Eciru called on the politicians to express campaigns of love, dignity and respect for one another.
Silas Aogon, the Kumi Municipality MP and an Independent Candidate for the same seat commended the church for the initiative that he described as a timely intervention to mend hearts for peaceful campaigns. Aogon noted that the church has stepped in to do work that was supposed to be implemented by the government to orient politicians on their roles and how to hold peaceful campaigns.
In Katakwi, Rev. Fr. Francis Kayaye of Soroti Catholic Diocese who was delegated by Bishop Eciru warned politicians against inciting violence in the community. The tough speaking priest said that it’s shameful for people in leadership to engage dirty acts that harm the community they claim to lead.
Fr. Kayaye attributed acts of violence to politicians without any manifesto that he noted want political capital from sympathizers.
The prayer program comes at a time when the ruling NRM party has failed to reconcile or convince members who failed in the party primaries to desist from contesting against party flag bearers. Almost all NRM members who failed in primaries have been nominated as independent candidates.