“The NRM has boycotted the meeting of IPOD scheduled for the handover of IPOD seat from Democratic Party to FDC. This as FDC insists the discussion should focus more on the meaningful dialogue and smooth transfer of power in Uganda” (NBS Television 27.11.2019).
Not to long ago, actually for two IPOD Summits the FDC boycotted these, as they did boycott the first IPOD Summit, as an reaction to the police brutality and harassment from the authorities. The second one was because they didn’t want just a photo-op and a friendly greeting with the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The IPOD Summits haven’t resolved anything or made any amends with the electoral reform or dialogue between the NRM and the opposition. The IPOD is just a paid journey from the Dutch, to preoccupy the parties on the way to yet another General Election in 20201.
Just a friendly reminder of what NRM said when the FDC boycotted it:
“Kasule Lumumba: NRM is the minority in IPOD. FDC is the leading opposition party. FDC shouldn’t run away from responsibility. NRM remains committed. Come and offer leadership and we work together, Come and show Ugandans that you can lead” (NBS Television, 17.10.2019).
“I have always said FDC is a radical extremist party behaving like a millenarian cult & hostile to dialogue. This was on display yesterday when they boycotted the first IPOD meet. They used to say they would only attend IPOD MEETINGS if Museveni attends. What is their excuse now?” (Andrew Mwenda, 18.12.2018).
“I don’t know why anybody [FDC] who says they are democrats would not like dialogue. I always welcome opportunities for dialogue because when you don’t dialogue, you miss an opportunity to be understood clearly” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the 12th December 2018 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo
Therefore, I wonder what will be the excuses of the NRM in the upcoming days. One that has already come out, which is unbelievable is that they wasn’t invited. That one is just a lie, I don’t believe that Norbert Mao forgot to send the invitation to the NRM Secretariat. The DP head wouldn’t miss that one out.
It is weird that FDC comes now after boycotting for so long. It seemingly a play for them. It is insincere to take the helm. That it is, after calling out the other parties for being involved in the months ahead of this. The FDC knows this. Yes, this is politics, but the perception of this isn’t brilliant. It is insincere at best.
The FDC should have pulled out, unless it seems they are just in it for the party-funding and possible billions promised after the second summit in May 2019. The environment for the FDC isn’t better. Their party offices has been raided both in Kampala and in the up-country. Not like the FDC leadership is secure and safe for police brutality. Neither is their ability to conduct party activity in general.
What is weird is the NRM who has harassed and diminished the FDC for boycotting from before Christmas last year until the present IPOD takeover. That is very rich of them to not sit in the yellow chairs. Because, its not like the NRM will end up behind bars or get detained for participating. Neither house-arrested nor awaiting court-cases because of their loyalty elsewhere, than the President himself. Since all of them are loyal to him.
I never have believed in IPOD. Just like the Apple IPOD, I believe the relevance is gone and not vital for the changes in the Republic. It is just a tool for the NRM to keep the others in check. The NRM will only use this to settle the score and use the platform to ensure they are following guidelines and supposed protocol. The IPOD will not challenge or have any significant power, as the NRM and the government haven’t given it that.
The IPOD and IPOD Summits are PR stunts and play for the facade. It is weird that the FDC wants to play now. They should have dropped out and been righteous. Instead, they wanted a little spotlight and look decent now. That’s a bit late, but the NRM are totally in the wrong. When they have called the FDC out, but bails out themselves. That proves again the real value of it.
The real value of the IPOD is none, except for the Dutch donors who pays for the “dialogue”. Peace.