Mpagi Edward Edmary was on death row in Uganda and was exonerated after they were able to prove that the alleged murder never took place. After over 18 years in prison he was exonerated and released in 2000. In 2005 Piers Bannister, of Amnesty International brought Edward to the United Nations in New York to speak for human rights and abolition of the death penalty. Piers was aware of Journey of Hope events in Texas taking place during that same time frame and contacted me and asked if Edward could join us, which he did for the remainder of our Journey tour.
In 2011 I received a letter from Edward asking me if the Journey of Hope could come to Uganda to help him in his lonely battle there against the death penalty.
The Journey of Hope went to Uganda in 2011 and helped Edward We were able to help him network with others who wanted abolition. Some were old contacts, some were new.
In 2014 Edward asked the Journey of Hope to return to Uganda and help him establish Ugandans Against the Death Penalty. We went with a team of ten and help him cofound UDAP.
In January the President of Uganda declared he wants to resume executions. He said he wants to take a few necks, referring to one of Uganda's methods of execution. Uganda has had a moratorium on executions since 2005. Edward has again asked for the Journeys help. In a letter to me this week Edward stated:
“The purpose of this letter is to invite you to Uganda to help me in my local campaigns to end the death penalty in Uganda, I know the Journey of Hope 's voice can and will be louder and can be heard by authorities, we are planning to set up a meeting with the Ugandan president, speaker of parliament, human rights committee of parliament, inter religious council, the team will also visit universities, churches, and schools with the gospel of abolition. The speakers will engage in television debates, radio talk shows and also a press conference.
This will raise awareness about the dangers of death penalty among our society and will deeply help in our abolition struggle.
Thank you for all your efforts to abolish the death penalty and thank you for helping me in my fight to abolish the death penalty in Uganda.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Mpagi Edward Edmary
Ugandans against the death penalty.
P.O. Box 26391 Kampala-Uganda ,East Africa"
The Journey of Hope is going back to Uganda October 4-11. It will be in commemoration with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty's "World day Against the Death Penalty" on October 10. Shujaa Graham, Jack Sullivan Jr. George White and yours truly are heading to Africa.
All four of us are murder victim family members, and George and Shujaa are also both exonerees. George is a cofounder of the Journey of Hope, chair of the Board and he is our Journey ambassador. Shujaa is also a death row exonerate and a former Journey of Hope board member. They are both looking forward to being part of the Ugandan mission. Rev. Jack Sullivan is a man of God. Uganda is a Christian country. They need to hear his spiritual voice. We have raised enough for the four of us to go to Uganda.
We hope to raise additional money to bring Journey of Hope cofounders Marietta Jaeger Lane and SueZann Bosler. The four of us guys will be there and have their backs when arrive. In the Last 25 years these two ladies have made a tremendous impact on the abolition movement by sharing their horrific stories to show listeners how to find healing through forgiveness and how revenge is never the answer. This will be Marietta's first Ugandan Journey. SueZann joined us for the 2014 Uganda Journey. It was a life changing experience for her.
If and when we raise enough for SueZann and Marietta to join us in Uganda then we will work to bring Randy Gardner and Bill Babbitt back to Uganda. Bill and Randy's brothers were executed and they both joined the Ugandan Journeys in 2011 and 2014. I hope they can come back because of their experience, and for their love of Edward and the Ugandan people. I picture them as bringing up the flanks and wrapping their protective wings around whoever is drawn to our group.
We would like to bring Terri Steinberg and Scott Langley back to Uganda as part of that group. and be able to provide that additional security and support. Terri's son, Justin, was sentenced to death. Terri joined us for her first Journey back in 2004. Terri is the perfect example of "the answer is love and compassion for all of humanity". You can not say that you have love and compassion for all of humanity and look Terri in the eyes and say her son should be executed. Terri has joined us on many Journeys since and joined us in Uganda in 2014. I hope we can bring her back again.
Scott Langley, a professional photographer, joined us in Uganda 2014 and took some great photos that I hope we will be posting shortly. A picture is worth a thousand words and these photos will give you an inclination of the power of an Ugandan Journey. Precious pictures. Scott would like to join us too but doesn't have funding. I hope we can raise enough funding for us all to go back.
The Journey will bring a powerful voice, totally united for Edward and all his work. We want to go back, We need to go back! We are going back to Uganda.
We need your help to make the 2018 Ugandan Journey of Hope go with full strength. $5,000 will cover the cost of bringing SueZann and Marietta to join us. Who better to help us deliver the message of love and compassion for all of humanity.
Uganda is fertile soil. The message will be well received and grow. Those seeds of love and compassion that we will be sowing and it will bring forth a hundred fold. You can help us plant more seeds.
If you are interested in joining the tour please message me. Others have joined us in the past. I believe that we can help Edward.Edward is well respected through out Uganda and he will be able to open many doors for us. I believe our voice of love and compassion for all of humanity will be received by the people of Uganda and the president will see that love and compassion for his people is the only answer. I believe that with the help of other worldwide organizations, the Journey of Hope will play a major role in abolishing the death penalty Uganda. No only will we help bring about abolition of the death penalty in Uganda, but it will cause the abolition bell's ring be heard throughout Africa and the world.
Do you have ideas for fundraising? I asked my church for support for the Ugandan Journey and they said yes. Maybe you can ask your network groups that are like minded. Alaskans Against the Death Penalty is one of my network groups that helps the Journey of Hope every year. The Journey of Hope is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization.
Check out the Journey archives on our website for our past events. Let me know if you have any advise or suggestions.
Peace, Bill Pelke