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Twaweza asks for impounded calendars to be released by Ugandan authorities

For over a week, seven hundred thousand copies of the Twaweza 2012 calendar have been inexplicably impounded by the Ugandan police. We urge the authorities to release them urgently so that the people of Uganda can benefit from its educational message.

The text of the calendar asks ‘Who will change your world in 2012?’ above photos of 10 Ugandan (ruling party and opposition) politicians on one side and 14 international personalities (including statesmen, royalty, footballers and musicians) on the other side. Below the photos the text reads ‘Will you wait all year for someone else? Or will you take action today?’ and provides a place for the reader to place his or her own photo. The message is clear: people themselves are responsible for their own development.

The calendar intends to convey the point that the President, Ministers, Parliament, Opposition or football stars cannot solve all your problems; that development comes through our own efforts. It is essentially a message promoting individual and community responsibility.

This message is consistent with our view of development . ‘Twaweza’ means ‘we can make it happen’ in Swahili, and our tagline ‘Ni Sisi’ means ‘Its Us’.  The Twaweza initiative works across Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to promote access to information, pragmatic citizen action and service delivery improvement across the region.  Close to two million copies of similar calendars have been distributed, without incident, across Tanzania and Kenya. The calendars have also been posted on our website for over one month at www.twaweza.org

Anyone who reviews the calendar can see that it is not in any way politically partisan. Twaweza is fiercely independent and is not affiliated with any political party. The very point of depicting photos of leaders across the political spectrum and contrasting them with the place for citizens’ own photo is to demonstrate that this is not about this or that leader, but about the people.

We believe there must be a serious misunderstanding that has led to the calendars being impounded. We therefore urge the authorities to release the calendar, without further delay, so that the people of Uganda, like their sisters and brothers in Kenya and Tanzania, can enjoy the message and discuss how they will promote their own development.

Read the full press release regarding the Twaweza 2012 calendars impounded by Ugandan authorities below.

Read more: Citizen Agency

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