KAMPALA – The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has lashed at President Museveni for refusing to honour his commitment to a dialogue with Dr Kizza Besigye following the controversial 2016 presidential elections.
According to the national party chairman, Mr Wasswa Birigwa, whereas the opposition party and the President last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), agreeing to the dialogue that will be brokered by the Swedish government, Mr Museveni has dragged his feet on setting the date.
“We agreed with Museveni that a dialogue should take place and it should include an audit of 2016 elections as suggested by the FDC and the rule of law which was suggested by Museveni. We have with us a document which President Museveni signed, agreeing to have a dialogue, but he decided that he does not want to continue with the dialogue any more without giving a clear explanation,” Mr Birigwa told journalists on Monday at the FDC party headquarters in Najjanakumbi, near Kampala.
In March 2017, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported that the Swedish Government confirmed that it had accepted to mediate planned talks between Mr Museveni and former presidential candidate, Dr Besigye. Ms Annika Söder, the Swedish state secretary, was agreed on by the principals as the mediator for the talks. She later flew into the country and held separate back-to-back meetings with the President and Dr Besigye.
On Monday, the FDC national chairman said the dialogue is more necessary than ever given the current situation in the country that is characterized by torture, illegal detention and shooting of civilians by security agencies.
“We appeal to President Museveni that for the sake of his children, our children and his grandchildren, as he calls them, that we agree to sit down and be able to come out with something to guide our nation so that this country does not go back to what took place in1996, so that our children do not go into exile or loss their lives as we witnessed in the previous years. That would be a very bad thing so we ask of him, we should sit immediately and draw an agenda that is agreeable and take out country forward,” Mr Birigwa said.
When contacted, senior presidential press secretary of Don Wanyama said he was not aware of any MoU that Mr Museveni signed with FDC and asked the Opposition party to produce it.
He said he is only aware of the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) where other parties always meet.