KAMPALA, UGANDA: The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has announced they won’t be attending the Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) Leaders’ Summit scheduled for Friday March 4, 2021.
Speaking to the press on Monday, Party Spokesperson Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said the party will not attend the meeting that will be chaired by President Yoweri Museveni.
“The FDC is aware that a summit of leaders of political parties including Museveni will take place. For some of the reasons I have listed here, we will be unable to attend that meeting,” he disclosed.
Semujju explained that their position is underpinned by the gross human rights violations that have taken place before and after the January 14, 2021 Polls.
“As a party, we are concerned with the deterioration of human rights observance in Uganda, the replacement of our courts with the court martial and the cover up by Mr. Museveni.”
For that matter, Semujju said while they don’t “begrudge” comrades, who might wish to attend the function, they cannot share the same table with their tormentor.
“As FDC we demand the immediate release of all the civilians who are in military detention and held by the army. The army should also disclose names of those who have died or who might have died in their hands,” he stated further.
This is the second time, FDC is withdrawing from an IPOD Leaders’ Summit having skipped a similar meeting on May 21, 2019.
Responding, Justine Kasule Lumumba, the current chairperson of IPOD Council urged FDC to participate saying issues to deal with security’s misbehaviour will form the key talking points.
That said, Lumumba retorted that while she has no powers to suspend or penalize the Party, such a measure is not necessary.
“I wouldn’t want us to go to that level even if we had powers under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Why? They are big political players, we need them on board and we are expecting them to come and participate as agreed on 23rd in the IPOD Council.”
The meeting slated for Friday 5, 2021 will attract Democratic Party’s (DP) Norbert Mao, Jimmy James Akena of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Justice Forum’s (JEEMA) Asuman Basaalirwa and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
The sharing of the 35 Billion Political party resource envelope is among the key issues that are likely to prop up at the Kololo Independence Grounds.