The National Unity Platform (NUP) led by Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine rejected the invitation to join the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) claiming that the platform is only used by party heads to meet for a cup of tea and photo opportunities.
IPOD membership is made of all political parties that have representation in parliament.
According to a letter dated September 2 2021 to the executive secretary IPOD, the secretary general of NUP, David Lewis Rubongoya, explained that the regime uses the organisation for its political gains which is far from the intended objective of strengthening Uganda’s multi-party democracy.
He said in the past 10 years of IPOD’s existence, democratic space has only shrunk going from bad to worse every successive year.
“You will recall that on 26th April 2021, the leadership of the National unity Platform met with you and a representative from the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). At that meeting, you made an impassioned appeal for the National Unity Platform to join IPOD,” letter partly read.
Rubongoya stated that it’s true that NUP expressed gratitude to join IPOD but the organisation has been co-opted and used to legitimise a brutal regime that has no regard or respect for democratic governance.
“We have taken time to study the discussion that has taken place in IPOD overtime. In our assessment, the regime has turned it into a forum in which party principals meet for a cup of tea, followed by a photo opportunity. Serious discussions about the future of our country have been denied audience within the platform,” he said.
Rubongoya said hundreds of their supporters have been abducted, tortured, and even murdered and to date, many supporters of NUP are scattered in different prisons across the country yet IPOD is quiet.
He insisted that NUP will not join IPOD at the moment until there are tangible changes that incorporate the interests of the common Ugandans .
IPOD was set up in February 2010 by six political parties which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to govern the multiparty platform.
NUP is the current leading opposition party with the most members of parliament from opposition hence its absence might affect the credibility of IPOD.