KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan. 26, 01 (CWNews.com) - Cardinal
Emmanuel Wamala, the head of the Catholic Church in Uganda,
on Tuesday told a press conference that the Church will not
back any candidate in the March 6 presidential elections.
The cardinal however advised Ugandans to vote for a
candidate with a high moral character and record, who is
God-fearing and prepared to listen and work with others. He
said that though some candidates, including the incumbent
president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had met with him, the
Church will remain impartial.
"The Catholic Church has no official position on any
candidate. The guidelines are for Ugandans to see which
candidate answers the needs of the common people," the
prelate said in a 13-page pastoral letter. The letter
further urged Ugandans to vote for a person who is
"forthright, unselfish, firm, and objective and committed
to promoting the common good."
The cardinal said Ugandans needed a person of exemplary
leadership in society and general economic empowerment of
the community right from the family unit. He said Ugandans
should look for a government committed to the improvement
of the quality of life through "equal opportunities and
through fair distribution of national wealth."
"Ugandans expect a government which will work towards
establishing real and lasting peace both within and outside
the country's borders," the cardinal said. He urged Ugandans
to denounce the buying of voter cards on the election eve
and all other kinds of manipulation and bribery.
"True though that the Church must be distinguished from the
state, it can not be ignored or completely separated from
it," Cardinal Wamala said. "We deserve leaders who will not
condone immorality such as corruption, abortion,
homosexuality, or any other forms of behavior which are
contrary and offensive to God's law and our own culture,"