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UPC slams opposition: we are not party to what you stand for

by James Ateenyi

Uganda People’s Congress Jimmy Akena faction has rejected the condition set by opposition members for proposed National Dialogue in Uganda.

The UPC statement comes less than a week after a group of opposition politicians including former UPC President, Olara Otunnu, Joseph Bossa (UPC President), FDC’s Patrick Amuriat represented by Wafula Oguttu, Kizza Besigye represented by Geoffrey Ekanya, DP’s Norbert Mao, PPP’s Dick Odur, Mugisha Muntu and Lubega Mukaaku issued conditions that must be fulfilled prior to any National Dialogue.

“In order to avoid manipulation, it is necessary to agree on independent arrangements for financing the national dialogue; in order to ensure that the eventual outcome is acted upon and fully implemented by all stakeholders, it is necessary to agree beforehand on arrangements for guarantors of the outcome.” the opposition leaders noted.

They added that the government must show the commitment that the upcoming dialogue will be respected by the state actors.

“In light of our painful and bitter experience, it is crucial for the government to show its good faith by immediately guaranteeing freedom of political activities; freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of movement and freedom of organisation,” the leaders noted.

Addressing media on Wednesday in Kampala, the UPC UPC’s Vice Chairperson for Greater Kampala, Dr. Gideon Akomo said UPC is not party to sections of oppositions that issued the conditions.

Akomo added that the Jimmy Akena faction has always and still stand to the idea of national dialogue adding that they are ready for any genuine and meaningful dialogue.

“We are happy that other players in the country are now realising the need for a national dialogue that we for so long advocated for. We have maintained our stand that the country can’t discuss transition without having President Museveni as part of the dialogue,” Akomo said.
He noted that other opposition players should stop putting up conditions to dialogue but rather embrace the idea and then present their issues during the process,” Akomo said.

He added, “When you set conditions before dialogue, it means that you are now becoming a dictator. Why don’t you first allow the other party to present on the table? Else, you are likely to disagree even before beginning to dialogue on the important issues,”

He called on other opposition actors to wait for the launch of the dialogue before presenting their concerns and conditions which the neautral party will capture and find ways of harmonising the positions.

“We are the ones who championed the dialogue and the purpose is to save the country the bitter scenes of 1980s,” he stated.

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