Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says the Inter-party organisation for Dialogue [IPOD] summit is nothing but a mockery of multi-party democracy.
“IPOD was a farce from inception. I reluctantly participated in its formation during the 8th Parliament in my capacity as the DP National Legal Advisor and Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Attorney General then,” Lukwago said on Wednesday.
His remarks were in reference to the IPOD Summit held at Speke Resort Munyonyo as attended by NRM’s President Museveni, Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao, Uganda People’s Congress Jimmy Akena and Jeema party’s Asuman Basalirwa.
He said the first benchmarking conference was in Accra Ghana in 1999 where the whole Idea of IPOD was conceived, with the support of the Netherlands Institute for Multi-party Democracy (NIMD).
“I vividly recall the concerns and worries some of us raised in that forum.”
Lukwago says the reason why the Ghanaian experience was a success story is basically because such process happened in the aftermath of a mass action characterised by a boycott of the 1994 presidential elections which forced Gen. Gerry Rawrings to abandon all manoeuvres to tinker with the 1992 constitution and decided to relinquish power upon expiry of his two 4 year term.
“I cautioned colleagues that embarking on such exercise without mass action, and with Mr Museveni firmly steering the process, would tantamount to massaging a dictatorship.”
As fate would have it, all efforts at ushering in democratic reforms have been rendered futile, he noted.
Lukwago says he wasn’t surprised when NRM, with reckless abandon, reneged on all constitutional and electoral reforms agreed upon under IPOD in 2010 and 2014.
“One needed not be a prophet to foresee what is happening today at the purported IPOD summit, with such an illusory theme!”
He added: “I wonder what motivates colleagues in the struggle who continue to flip flop and flirt with this bogus forum. I stand to be educated about the expected outcome of this intermittent “romance”.”