The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga has retaliated the National Unity Platform’s decision to boycott the Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) until their grievances are addressed.
Mpuuga made the remarks shortly after meeting with members of the European Union delegation to Uganda where the EU pledged to work with the opposition to strengthen democracy.
During the discussions which touched on rule of law, good governance, tackling corruption and human rights, Mpuuga lamented about the continuing abduction of opposition supporters especially in the central and eastern regions where president Museveni was defeated in the previous elections.
“We have been so patient with Mr. Museveni. We had chosen to play civil politics but we are being pushed too much. While we are open to dialogue, we can only dialogue with an honest person. Gen Museveni has proved so dishonest, and this is the reason why we are keeping away from IPOD,” he said.
He explained that his party issued a statement detailing their demands which include; the unconditional release of all political prisoners, the demand for an audit of the previous elections among others.
Mpuuga said if they are not given explanations and unequivocal answers to the issues the party raised, they will not join IPOD.
“We are not going to allow NRM to ransom the NUP to go into a platform (IPOD) where the ruling party’s commitment is questionable,”he said.
Mpuuga told EU diplomats that as representatives of the people, the opposition in Parliament has a duty to push for improvements in service delivery and accountability.
“The theme under which we operate in the 11th Parliament is accountability and service because we are alive to the fact that however much you want to deliver without bearing in mind the need to be accountable, along the way, you lose so much. The absence of accountability compromises not just the quality but even the depth and the reach of service delivery,” Mpuuga said.
The head of the EU delegation, Attilio Pacifici said that the EU is committed to making engagements with various stakeholders despite the challenges.
“Having these exchanges gives our partners the opportunity to sometimes influence our thoughts and actions, that is why our discussions should always be very open and candid; we are very keen to meet everyone even though it may make someone unhappy,” Pacifici said.