The inter-party organization dialogue IPOD has kicked off at Common Weath Resort Munyonyo where party presidents have converged to plan for strengthening of multiparty democracy.
However, all eyes fall onto the Forum for Democratic Change, FDC party section and the party president's chair which remain empty after the party declined to attend.
The party claims the summit agenda is not clear.
President Yoweri Museveni the NRM chairman, Democratic Party's Norbert Mao, Hon. Jimmy Akena of Uganda Peoples' Congtess, UPC and Hon. Asuman Basalirwa of Justice Forum are in attendance to represent their parties.
There is prayer that by the end of the summit, there will be a common agenda of dialogue and that political parties will work together on the decisions taken today.
Frank Lusa, the IPOD Executive Secretary in his opening remarks commended the interreligious council for making this dialogue a success and prayed that by the 2019 dialogue, parties will have committed to work for the common good of Uganda.
FDC party recently wrote back to the organizers claiming they had not been given enough time to prepare.
"I acknowledge with thanks, receipt of your letter dated 9th November 2018 that we received on 26th November 2018, inviting the Party President for the above activity on 12th December 2018. Following internal party discussions in respect of the subject matter, we wish to observe that t four thematic areas to define the agenda for the period 2019-2021 need thorough discussion within participating parties and the IPOD council prior to the summit. It is therefore our considered view that there is inadequate time for us to discuss and agree on the four thematic areas stated in your letter, before the meeting of 12th December, 2018. As FDC, we believe in a Summit that should ratify the decisions from the different Political Parties, but not one that will spend time in detailed discussions which should be the role of the various party institutions and the IPOD Councl" the party President Patrick Amuriat wrote.
He added that some of the thematic areas cited like Enacting Constitutional and Electoral Reforms were previously discussed and agreed upon in the Uganda Citizens’ Compact on Free and Fair and Elections but have since not been implemented by the ruling NRM Government.
We therefore wonder what has changed to guaranteed future compliance to resolution(s) of IPOD.
"In view of the above concerns therefore, as one of the Political Parties in IPOD, we wish to inform you that we will not be participating in the IPOD Summit/National Conference scheduled to take place on 12th December 2018, as we believe it will not achieve its purpose" Amuriat added.
IPOD Summit Chairman also DP Secretary General Gerald Siranda acknowledged receipt of the FDC concerns and prayed that their issues be addressed in detail. He also explained that there is too much indiscipline in parties with people going radical to stand as independent candidates in unclear circumstances.
He also complained on the funding issue where NRM takes a lions share while others scrble for the remaining little.