President Museveni has scoffed at the biggest opposition political party, the Forum for Democratic Change for shunning the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit ongoing at Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo.
FDC recently said they would not attend the summit because it had no clear agenda.
Speaking during the summit attended by Democratic Party, JEEMA, Uganda People’s Congress and the ruling NRM, Museveni lashed out to the party and any other person who refused to be party of the dialogue for not being visionary.
“Dialogue is the beginning of democracy. I don’t know why anyone who says is a democrat does not want dialogue. I always welcome opportunity for dialogue. When you don’t dialogue you miss opportunity to be understood clearly,”Museveni said.
The NRM chairman said attending the dialogue would give FDC chance to be able to give their views to other parties and they might also be able to woo them on their side.
He cited an example of his days during the 1986 bush war when he accepted to dialogue with Tito Okello Lutwa’s government in Nairobi despite not believing in what they were saying.
“Some people just miscalculate and think they are very clever and that they can pass here or there. If I dialogue with you I tell you what I think. You understand me better and I may influence you to come to my side. Why would democrats fear dialogue,”Museveni noted.
JEEMA president Asuman Basalirwa told the summit that at the end, the meeting should produce tangible results that would benefit Ugandans at large and not just individual politicians adding that the outcomes should be respected by everyone.
“We came here to achieve only one objective of getting assurance and commitment that this process will be one whose outcomes will be respected. We are here to get assurances that this country will have ensure human rights, freedoms of association as enshrined in the constitution are respected,”Basalirwa said.
Speaking on regard to the IPOD Summit, the coordinator for Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), Crispin Kaheru said it demonstrates that political leadership can work together in the greater national interest.
He however urged that the summit should be followed by actions.
“The IPOD Summit has laid a positive foundation for the broader National Dialogue Process – with political leaders on board. All the heads of the political parties in attendance confirmed that they discussed pertinent substantive national issues. I think this demonstrates a political leadership that can work together in the greater national interest. This should be quickly followed with actions around the resolutions,” Kaheru said.
IPOD was founded in 2010 as a forum for leaders of political parties with representation in Parliament to engage on matters of common interest.