U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski has urged youth in Uganda to vote in the 2016 elections a way of playing a constructive role in the country’s politics and emphasizing the influence they hold in shaping the future. “It is clear that this country is full of passionate, patriotic, and creative citizens,” Malinowski said. “Youth have an incredible power to influence the future of your country. But only by voting do you leverage that power”.
This was at an event at Makerere University on Nov 17 organised by International Republican Institute. While interacting with the students, the Assistant Secretary emphasized the importance of protecting the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, preserving fundamental freedoms, strengthening democracy, and supporting a free and independent media during the electoral season.
In his visit to Kampala from Nov 15-17, Malinowski met senior government officials including Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and Chief of Military Intelligence Brig. Charles Bakahumura. He also held discussions with representatives from the civil society, NGOs and journalists.
Malinowski then travelled to Addia Ababa for similar discussions with human rights activists, think tanks and bloggers who have been released from prison in recent months.