President Yoweri Museveni has told the opposition leaders a long with their supporters to work with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government to eradicate electoral violence and the monetization of politics in order to give democracy and stability a chance to flourish in Uganda.
“These are very serious matters. If you want democracy and stability, you should not tolerate this electoral violence and money,” he said.
The president made the statement during the meeting with Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) at State House Entebbe.
The meeting was attended by political parties leaders including Eddy Fred Kasajja of Justice Forum (JEMA); Hadijja Babirye Kizito who is the Chairperson of JEMA Women’s League; the Secretary General of NRM, Justine Kasule Lumumba and her Deputy, Richard Todwong, James Tuhairwe an NRM representative on the IPOD Council and Lawrence Okae, the National Chairperson of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), the Government Chief Whip, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa and Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.
The Forum for Democratic Change did not attend with apology from Salaam Musumba of the who said her party was not able to attend the Entebbe meeting because of other engagements.
The IPOD leaders, including FDC’s Proscovia Salaam Musumba, had prior to the meeting with the President, held another meeting with the NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba at the NRM Party Headquarters in Kampala, after which they addressed a joint press conference.
President Museveni, who had a candid interface with leaders of the opposition political parties, was responding to some of the concerns raised that included, among others, electoral violence, monetization of politics in the country and the issue of independents (Political leaders nor affiliated to any party).
“I was working on stopping electoral violence myself. But if I get support we shall eradicate it,” he stressed.
On monetization of the politics, the President said that the use of money was a very dangerous practice that can disenfranchise the electorate and make voters shun elections.
“If you can bring money and you are elected because of money not because of your performance, that means the people have no power to punish you. The vote should be to punish or to reward you for doing well,” he observed.
Regarding the issue of ‘Independents’ and Party discipline, President Museveni concurred with members of IPOD that a mechanism should be formulated to enable political parties control their members, especially those who lose in the primaries.
The delegation was very delighted to learn from President Museveni and National Chairman of NRM that he was ready to attend IPOD meetings that will be organized twice annually.
They were equally happy to note that the President gave green light for the IPOD summit to take place in Kampala on 12th December 2018 at which all leaders of the opposition political Parties are expected to attend. Some of the invited guests include former President of Tanzania, Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa.