The National Unity Platform (NUP) party the leading opposition in Uganda has declined to join the Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) that brings together all political parties with representation in Parliament.
IPOD was formed in 2010 with the main objective of using dialogue to build trust and consensus within and among the political class to strengthen multiparty democracy in the country.
As the term of the current IPOD framework is set to expire in December 2021, the organization recently wrote to NUP inviting the party to join the platform.
It’s upon this request that NUP has written back to IPOD secretariat declining to the offer on grounds that the platform has been instrumentalized by the regime.
According to the Party Secretary General, David Lewis Rubongoya, NUP can’t be party to a platform that the regime uses for political gain far from its intended objective of “Strengthening Uganda’s multiparty democracy”.
“You will agree that in the past ten years of IPOD’s existence in Uganda, the democratic space has only shrunk, going from bad to worse every successive year. We have taken time to study the discussions that have taken place in IPOD overtime, in our assessment, the regime has turned it into a forum in which Party Principals meet for a cup of tea followed by a photo opportunity,” Rubongoya said.
Rubongoya said that all serious discussions about the future of the country have been denied audience within the platform.
“NUP is not keen on taking part in an exercise which is used as a façade to legitimize an otherwise illegitimate rule; we express our yet again our utmost commitment to genuine dialogue based on the principles of fairness, mutual respect, impartiality and transparency,” Rubongoya noted.
He added that the party will not be joining IPOD at present until the issues of concern raised are addressed.