FDC threaten to boycott IPOD meet over brutality

Tuesday April 16 2019

Disappointed. Forum for Democratic Change

Disappointed. Forum for Democratic Change president Patrick Amuriat addresses the media in November last year in Kampala. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA  

By Damali Mukhaye

Kampala. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has said they will not attend the forthcoming Inter-Party Organisation for Democracy (IPOD) summit if the organisation does not show commitment to fight for protection of the Opposition parties from police brutality.

Addressing a press conference yesterday at their offices in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, the FDC president, Mr Patrick Amuriat, said police have on several occasions brutally dispersed the party rallies and meetings in various parts of the country.

He said the IPOD, which is mandated to defend and fight for protection of all Opposition political parties, has not condemned or done anything about it.
“We are members of the IPOD and we have been informed about the forthcoming summit next month. If we continue to be treated the way we have been treated, we shall boycott the summit,” Mr Amuriat said.

“This is the notice we are putting to IPOD and the ruling National Resistance Movement. We are also considering non-participation in all the donor-funded activities that support growth of the political party because we are not reaping anything,” he added.
The next IPOD summit is slated to take place on May 15 under the new stewardship of Democratic Party (DP) headed by Mr Norbert Mao.

This is not the first time FDC is threatening to boycott IPOD.
The party did not attend the summit held towards the end of last year.
The summit, which was attended by other political parties including NRM’s President Museveni, saw FDC boycott it on grounds that the agenda was not known.
Daily Monitor could not get a comment from the IPOD summit chairperson, Mr Mao, as he did not answer our calls.

Meanwhile, IPOD has organised a meeting on Public Order Management Act which law they say is being used to curtail activities of the Opposition parties.
Mr Amuriat, however, said they will attend this meeting since FDC have been directly affected by this Act but expressed doubt whether anything useful would come out of it.

Mr Amuriat condemned police brutality and violation of the Public Order Management Act and said he would mobilise a protest.
Police have stopped talk-shows and rallies by FDC. Last week FDC leader Dr Kizza Besigye was pulled off air on a radio talk show in Jinja and there were violent clashes between police and FDC supporters.

About ipod
Platform. The IPOD platform is a space to promote honest discussions between political parties in Uganda. The platform brings together all of Uganda’s parliamentary political parties for an equal voice. The parties are also represented in the IPOD council, the platform’s main guiding body. As such they jointly decide on the way forward for the organization.
The dialogue platform, founded and facilitated by The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, a has played a role in structuring multiparty dialogue in Uganda, despite a challenging political environment.