By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Inter-Party Organisation Dialogue (IPOD) is currently in trouble after its main sponsor the Netherlands Institute of Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) revealed that it would stop funding it if the National Unity Platform (NUP) does not join.
According to a statement dated September 21, 2022, NIMD will “re-assess its involvement” in IPOD unless the largest opposition party which is NUP agrees to join.
“Now that the National Unity Platform (NUP), Uganda’s biggest opposition party has indicated that they will not sign up to the revised 2022 IPOD Memorandum of Understanding, and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is hesitant to sign up,” the statement noted.
NIMD stated that they have supported IPOD since 2010 and that until the last general election in 2021, all political parties represented in Parliament have participated in IPOD prior to the arrival of the NUP.
They stated that IPOD, as the country’s only national discussion platform, can play a critical role in developing democracy, but only if it is genuinely inclusive and all legislative parties are present at the conversation table.
“For NIMD, inclusivity is a prerequisite for effective dialogue. We believe that a dialogue process can only work when all political parties in Parliament commit to speaking and listening to each other as they deal with the many challenges in their country, with respect for differences in viewpoints between various parties.
”NIMD still hopes that IPOD will start its third phase with all political parties on board. As a key partner of Ugandan political parties, NIMD stands ready to continue to support the process toward a new Memorandum of Understanding. However, we will only consider continuing to host the secretariat if IPOD is fully inclusive,” said the funder.
NUP and its leadership declined to join IPOD unless the established requirements are met.
“We will not join IPOD until the issues stated by us are resolved.” They should stop kidnapping individuals, let the opposition parties do their business without interference, and elections should be respected,” NUP Secretary-General Lewis Rubongoya recently noted.
According to Rubongoya, IPOD has not done enough to address the critical concerns threatening Uganda’s democracy.