Kampala, Uganda | IAN KATUSIIME | The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) aka The Alliance was launched on May 22 at the Kampala Serena Hotel in a colourful ceremony that had children singing poems about the potential for Uganda, performance from an instrumentalist and a moving speech by Upendo Furaha Peneza, a young Tanzanian MP.
Upendo was the keynote speaker at the event and she made a rallying cry for the youth to actively engage in politics.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu was unveiled as the National Coordinator of ANT before the fully packed Serena conference centre. He will have two deputies. The first is Alice Alaso who will be the deputy national coordinator in charge of finance and administration. The two worked closely together since the New Formation was announced in September 2018, as the forerunner to ANT. The other deputy national coordinator is Nyanja Musoke.
Muntu urged Ugandans to get out of their comfort zones and actively join call politics other than just lamenting no how it is a dirty game. “If you keep saying it is dirty, then who will clean it up?” he said to cheers. Muntu said the party will give opportunities to young people to fufill their potential regardless of which part of the country they come from.
At the launch, the party also introduced its National Spokesperson Wilberforce Seryazi who was the MC of the day. Also introduced were Treasurer Christine Abil, her deputy, and a team of elders; Wandera Ogalo, Yokasi Bihande and Dr Munini Mulera.
It was an honour to witness the official launch of @TheAllianceUG (The Alliance for National Transformation, ANT); Congratulations! wish you the best,
For God and My Country. #CountryBeforeSelf #TheAllianceLaunch pic.twitter.com/V6KklxpvJq
— Winnie Kiiza (@winniekiiza1) May 23, 2019
A raft of coordinators were also introduced, at regional and sub-regional level. There will be four regional coordinators for the northern, eastern, central and western regions of Uganda. These four will other sub-coordinators in key districts like Mbale, Gulu, Kasese and others.
Party leagues of women and youth were also present to show the structures that The Alliance has been talking about.
Upendo, a member of the Opposition Chadema party in Tanzania said she joined politics at the age of 19 when she volunteered with the UN-affiliated organization. She said politics requires a lot of sacrifice and commitment especially for a new party like ANT.
She urged members of The Alliance to toil for the party without expecting material support saying Chadema started almost in similar circumstances against the might of CCM, the dominant ruling party in Tanzania.
She also urged Muntu and team to build structures which are critical in election time. “If you do not have structures, you will have no agents during elections.” Upendo also said change in Uganda must be peaceful. “We want change but we have to keep Uganda safe.”
While welcoming guests, Alaso thanked Ugandans for turning up and said the day was a climax of a gestation period of 13 months that the party went through. “We have given birth to an elephant after 13 months.” She added: The Alliance will be a breeding ground for transformative leadership.”
The colours of the Alliance are purple, orange, red and white and the party symbol is a bulb. Copies of the ANT constitution were handed out to guests together with the party’s Transformation Agenda.
Some of the guests who attended include DP president general Norbert Mao, Kyadondo East MP Bobi Wine, Conservative Party’s Ken Lukyamuzi, MPs; Winnie Kiiza, Lyandro Komakech, Latiff Sebaggala, Gerald Karuhanga, Kassiano Wadri and guests from civil society.