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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

CROSSFIRE: IPOD Responds to NUP Refusal to Join Political Parties’ Forum

The Inter-Party Organization for Democracy (IPOD) has spoken out on a decision by main opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) to decline an invitation to the forum of political parties with representation in Parliament.

On September 02, NUP Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya wrote to IPOD and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) detailing why the Kamwokya-based party would not join the inter-party organisation.

In his letter, Rubongoya claims that “IPOD has been largely instrumentalised by the regime, co-opted and used to legitimise a brutal regime that has no regard or respect for democratic governance.”

“The regime uses it [IPOD] for political gain, far from its intended objective of ‘strengthening Uganda‚Äôs multiparty democracy.’ You will agree that in the past 10 years of IPOD’s existence in Uganda, the democratic space has only shrunk, going from bad to worse every successive year,” wrote Rubongoya.

“Our nation has just come out of the most violent and irregular election in our history. Hundreds of our supporters have been abducted, tortured and even murdered. To date, there are hundreds of political prisoners scattered in different gazetted and non-gazetted detention places, being subjected to all manner of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The attack on the civil society is at an all-time high. Political parties have been suffocated and denied an opportunity to do even the most basic mobilization activities.”

The NUP SG further made it clear that as far as the opposition party was concerned, IPOD had become a forum where “principals meet for a cup of tea, followed by a photo opportunity” and that “serious discussions about the future of our country have been denied audience within the platform.”

He went on to say that NUP would not join the organisation until the issues raised in previous meetings have been resolved.

Now, IPOD has responded through its Executive Secretary Frank Rusa who acknowledged that NUP had been invited to express interest in joining the platform since it was its first time to send MPs to Parliament.

Rusa noted that IPOD was aware of NUP’s refusal to join the organisation but was optimistic the concerns raised would be addressed through consultations.

IPOD’s current Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will expire in December 2021.

Rusa says that the process of formulating a new political dialogue would ensure extensive consultations “to deliberate on the kind of dialogue framework that should be put in place to respond to the needs and aspirations of Ugandan citizens.”

The executive secretary went on to assure NUP that IPOD was interested in a dialogue forum that “serves the interests of all Ugandans where all Political Parties are treated equally and their voices respected.”

“We are committed to supporting the efforts of Ugandan political parties to develop a good dialogue framework that works well for all members and puts the interests and aspirations of all Ugandans first,” Rusa added.

“The processes of consultation are currently underway. We are working with the organs of IPOD and the leaderships of the eligible political parties to develop a new roadmap to the new IPOD framework and we hope to have a new framework by the end of this year.”

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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