Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is yet to let go of the defeat they suffered from Bugiri Municipality MP by-elections which saw Justice Forum’s Asumani Basalirwa elected into office.
The friction between the two parties was further expressed on Thursday during the welcome party for JEEMA back to the Interparty Platform for Dialogue (IPOD) when FDC was absent with no appologies.
FDC’s absence was highligted by Democratic Party (DP) President, Norbert Mao who noted that this is a clear indication that the country is still far from achieving if even within the opposition, there is no unity.
“Dialogue must start from within us as agents of change. If we can not hold peaceful talks amongst our own selves, then how can we hope to dialogue with others?” Mao said.
“The absence of FDC from this meeting means that there is lack of internal dialogue between the opposition,” Mao stressed.
Mao made these remarks in light of the presence of Muhammad Mayanja Kibirge, the Chairman JEEMA, and James Tweheyo of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) together with Jimmy Akena of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC).
The Inter-party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD), is a forum for dialogue among Political Parties with representation in the Parliament of Uganda.
Thursday’s event was to officially welcome JEEMA as its newest member that promised to scale up its efforts to foster a spirit of cooperation within a competitive and vibrant multi-party system in Uganda.
Speaking at a press conference at the Protea Hotel in Kololo, NIMD Country Representative and IPOD Executive Secretary, Frank N. Rusa said that new additions like JEEMA have the capacity to not only strengthen IPOD but can also contribute to the rich discourse of diverse opinion to foster the much needed consensus on pertinent national issues.
“Since the IPOD platform is a safe space to promote important and honest discussions between Political Parties at the highest levels, a new Political Party like JEEMA coming in with a unique perspective to national issues is a much welcome addition to this platform,” Rusa said.
Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) President, Jimmy Akena reiterated these sentiments and stressed the need for all political parties with a foothold in Parliament to unite combated efforts and hold much needed round table dialogue which is crucial for the country.
“I am happy to see JEEMA join us once more. JEEMA never left and we have always considered them as part of us,” Akena noted.
“We are all fighting for the same thing: a democratized citizenry, and this can only be achieved through proper dialogue among all parties concerned. Therefore, I call upon all MPs to advocate for dialogue, irrespective of which party you belong to,” he added.
JEEMA Chairman, Muhammad Mayanja Kibirige thanked IPOD for welcoming them back and promised to work with the other political agents irrespective of ideology in developing the country, as ordinary citizens were the ones most in need of a strong democratic nation.