KAMPALA – The Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has Tuesday, May 21 shown dissatisfaction with the opposition leaders dialoguing with President Museveni under the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) saying it is a complete joke.
According to the People Power leader, it is a desperate attempt by Museveni and his regime to sanitise the impunity that he presides over in this country.
Mr. Kyagulanyi said that Mr. Museveni has a lot of blood of his own citizens on his hands and therefore unfit to share the same platform with the innocent opposition leaders.
“I encourage all friendly pro-change forces not to fall for this trick! How can we share a platform with a man who has the blood of our people on his hands and is not ready to admit and denounce it?,” asked Mr. Kyagulanyi in a statement.
He says Mr. Museveni does not consider his opponents as citizens of Uganda and therefore, he [Bobi Wine] can’t dialogue with him [Museveni]
“We have never been opposed to dialogue, but our stand has been and remains that it is only free people who can dialogue- PERIOD. If I am dialoguing with President Museveni, he must, first of all, see me as a citizen of Uganda with my full rights, and not as a slave or a mere pawn on his chessboard! You cannot have your foot on my neck and then say to me, – ‘let’s talk!’.”
“Citizens’ rights must first be respected and upheld. I say this well knowing that these rights are not a favour from any government- they are inherent!! Secondly, the people of Uganda are the true stakeholders and shareholders of this country. All leaders must never forget that. I always tell my friends that the PEOPLE ARE OUR FIRST AND LAST RESORT. Any dialogue that is worth its name must involve them and listen to them,” he added.
On May 13, the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) said they will not attend the May 15 IPOD Summit over what they described as the continuing violation of their rights to assemble and hold rallies by the army.
FDC, which in November shunned the first IPOD summit attended by President Museveni over the same reasons, have now resolved not to attend. IPOD, which brings together political parties represented in parliament, is funded by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).
Addressing journalists at their office in Najjanankumbi near Kampala on Monday, FDC party spokesman Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said the political situation has even got worse.
“The FDC will not attend the Wednesday, May 15, 2019, IPOD Summit in Lira because conditions that prevented us from attending the December 2018 Summit have not changed. We are still under siege by various security agencies. Our legitimate rights to associate and assemble are still curtailed and the situation has even gotten worse. We cannot speak to lower FDC leaders on whose behalf we transact business. Who therefore shall we be representing at these summits?” he said.
On Monday, May 20, the 2nd IPOD summit adopted a recommendation to increase funding for political parties from the current UGX 10bn to UGX 35bn in a Financial Year.
The IPOD also recommended that all Parties in Parliament get an equal share for running offices; 15% for IPOD Secretariat and the remaining be shared on numeric strength.
“Public funding to political parties in the opposition be distributed according to numbers as opposed to the current status. The amount going to the Leader of Opposition be allocated 40% equally and 60% committed basing on numeric strength,” reads in part the IPOD communique.