The Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has described the dialogue under the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) a ‘ ‘ complete joke’’. He says the summit is a desperate attempt by President Museveni and his regime to sanitize the impunity that he presides over in this country.
The Kyadondo East MP says, he ‘‘encourages 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?’’
He added: 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 favor 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 said.
President Museveni hailed the delegates of political parties that attended the summit. ‘ ‘I am glad I was invited to this dialogue and met my fellow leaders. We can agree on points of convergence and move together, where we do not agree, we understand why.’’
‘‘Dialogue is a good method of resolving political issues and we believe in it. In 1979 when fighting Amin, we met in Moshi and through dialogue formed UNLF but some people did not appreciate and we had to start again.If dialogue had been used, Uganda would have avoided many problems. The men who led Uganda to independence were all young except Nadiope and Balaki Kirya. They failed because of arrogance and inability to dialogue.’’ He said.
‘’if I don’t want to dialogue when in politics then I should go to look after my animals. God gives you ability to talk and you say you won’t, he can switch off that gift. I take it as a Biblical command to talk to whoever wants to talk to me.’’
The head of state called on the opposition to ‘ ‘do a lot to change the lives of Ugandans even when in opposition. I did a lot to transform the people of Ankole in the years when I was in opposition as a member of the Democratic Party’’
He added: I persuaded people to stop nomadism and go to commercial agriculture from subsistence farming. I was reported to the UPC government that I was misleading people to fence farms. But I explained myself to Vice President John Babiha, who gave me a go-ahead.’’ He said.
The delegates arrived at a raft of resolutions that should help strengthen multi-party political dispensation. The resolutions are about funding of parties, the question of independent candidates, conduct of public gatherings, among others.
Delegates instructed Parliament to amend the controversial Public Order Management Act (POMA), to curtail police brutality towards Opposition groups.
In a joint statement after a four-hour summit, the leaders agreed that amendments to POMA be tabled in Parliament within two months, to reduce the powers of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
In its current form, the law gives the IGP sole authority to Opposition politicians and activists to hold public rallies and meetings anywhere in Uganda.
The summit that was held at Protea Hotel in Entebbe, was attended by President Museveni the chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Mr Jimmy Akena, the leader of Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), Mr Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja; who represented Justice Forum (Jeema) leader, Mr Asuman Basalirwa and Mr Norbert Mao the Democratic Party president.
Mr Mao is the current chairman of IPOD.
The Forum for Democratic Change was not represented since the party announced last week that the meeting was an insignificant “social event”.