BY DOUGLAS OLUM
The Democratic Party (DP) President General, Norbert Mao, has slammed Uganda Christian University students over anti-social lifestyles.
“These days people don’t even know their neighbours. I am sure those of you who live in hostels, don’t know who lives in the next room. I’m just telling you that you can’t have a citizenship where people are disconnected. Active citizenship is about strong family bonds and then voluntary associations,” Mao said.
Mao made the remarks while speaking at the 2018 UCU Law Society Symposium, held in Nkoyoyo Hall at the university’s main campus in Mukono on Thursday November 1.
Quoting from Alexis Detocqueville’s book, ‘Democracy in America,’ Mao said: “The current generations would not be able to voluntarily resolve problems in society if they keep relying on government that mostly seek to, “stupify people reducing them to nothing better than flock of timid and industrious sheep.
“I’m told the voter turnout here in the guild elections is very low. I don’t know whether the guild holds general assemblies where you can ask questions to the president! These are rhetorical questions. I’m just telling you that active citizenship is about being part of a community, whether it is a community of a boda-boda association. Why am I saying that? Because citizens must know their interests. And those interests must bring you together,” he said. “Without voluntary associations which connect people to their roots, life is meaningless.”
Mao urged the youths to exercise their voting rights at all levels and also express their opinions in writings, saying literature had such immense power to transform society and settle daily challenges like water shortages, electricity blackouts and poor road conditions.
The event took place under the theme: “The choice of taxing OTT and Mobile Money services as a tool of widening Uganda’s tax base.” It was addressed by several high-profile speakers including Uganda Law Society president, Simon Peter Kinobe, the human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, NBS television journalist Raymond Mujuni, among others.
Mujuni criticised the government’s move to tax the citizens and not the multinational companies that repatriate billions of shillings to their countries every year. While Opiyo said the move was unconstitutional and in contravention of people’s human rights to freedom of speech, expression and association.