In the following video PfAL alumnus Donnas Ojok recites an original poem campaigning for peace in the coming Uganda elections. (Text below)

In the light of Peaceful elections
By Donnas Ojok

On top of that mountain lies a priceless pearl
To me, it’s not just priceless, but hey it’s the best pearl in Africa
Inside this pearl lies a checkered pattern of political history
Where – colonial distortion of socio-economic and political way of life left indelible scars
Where – the euphoric independence trumpet ushered in only but short-lived celebrations
And long term poverty and violence
In the 1966 Lubiri attack, Kampala blacked out
And in 1971, just in a twinkle of an eye, Amin reigned
Nani wuyu, simama, Panda gari were all you could hear
From then on, your gun was your voice
Then in the midst of these gunshots and bombshells, coup d’états and espionage
Came the unbridled struggles by the upright thinking men and women
A concept regarded by Abraham Lincoln as the government of the people, for the people and by the people
Democracy is the brightest light in our dimly lit room and by voting, we choose our leaders

But the rocky road to elections shouldn’t be forgotten
With protruding fangs, elections can bite like a venomous cobra
Do you remember the post-election violence in Kenya?
The turmoil in Bagbo’s Ivory Coast? Charles Taylor’s troubled Liberia? Mugabe’s Zimbabwe?
These are, but painful realities of how politicians’ blows became painful blood clots of the citizens
Of how countries that resisted colonial exploitation succumbed to selfish political pleas
Of how millions of innocent lives perished in hot and cold blood
Of how billions of properties vanished just like that
Of how children became orphans, women widows and men widowers
These are, but true stories of how our rich cultural diversity are crushed
Of how our dazzling cities and tranquil villages are crippled
Of how our dreams, courage and hard-work are undermined
Of how short sighted and stupid we can be
Just like Konrad Adenauer, I keep wondering why God limited the intelligence of man
But did not limit his stupidity to be violent
Don’t be stupid and naïve about the dangers of violence

Cut it out and think for just one second
If you are uncertain, let the recent history of peaceful elections in Nigeria,
Senegal and Burkina Faso be your guide
Electoral violence is only but a can of worms
With each worm craving to come out to take the first bite
Each worm struggling to take the sharpest nibble
Once opened, everything and everyone is in danger
This danger transcends tribe, race, sex, age and even more interestingly political affiliation
Elections in Uganda are a significant political achievement
So let it not swing us like a pendulum bob
Or else, decades of state building will be switch off just in one click
And our hopes will once again be hanged on the weak ropes
And suddenly, the sweet dreams will turn into nightmares
All rendering centuries of hard work a trivial effort.
Let elections cast the light of non-violence
And a shadow of peace
Let it build new clouds of certainty
And generate thundering threads of jubilation
Let it ignite a shining flame of love
And spark a spontaneous feeling of patriotism
Voices are silent
Ears on the ground
Eyes on a gaze and hearts patiently pounding
All believing that today’s peaceful election is the Launchpad for tomorrow’s unstoppable progress