Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party has snubbed today’s Inter Party Organization (IPOD) summit on-going in Entebbe, exactly as they had declared last week.
The FDC officially communicated to the IPOD during the sitting of the IPOD Council on Monday May 13th at the secretariat in Ntinda.
The FDC Vice Chairman for Eastern Uganda Hon. Salaam Musumba informed the Council on behalf of the FDC.
The reason for none attendances are as they were in December last year during a similar IPOD Summit meeting in Munyonyo.
Here is their full statement?
• Violent and brutal crackdown on our political activities by the military, police and other security agencies on the order of the NRM Chairman. He admitted giving such orders in his April 28th media statement.
Our leaders mainly the Party President Eng. Patrick Oboi Amuriat and the peoples’ President Rt. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye have been repeatedly teargased and brutally arrested. Radio stations hosting FDC leaders have been switched off by or on the orders of Resident District Commissioners who are directly appointed and supervised by Mr. Museveni.
The Leaders are supposed to present views and feelings of Party leaders and members at such important meetings. At the moment, we are un able to meet FDC leaders and supporters who are the real owners of this Party. If our colleagues have another mechanism of collecting views from their members other than meetings, for us we are not in position.
• Lack of good will by Mr. Museveni and NRM leading to frustration of IPOD resolutions. As IPOD members, we generated proposals for electoral and Political reforms in 2014. We processed these proposals into Bills that were handed over to the Parliament.
The NRM Chairman and his Secretary General frustrated them hiding under the lack of time. Another election is approaching and the NRM has prevented adoption of any meaningful reforms.
Instead they have dragged Parliament and the Judiciary into changing the Constitution to allow Mr. Museveni dies in office. Restoration of the term limit and now the age limit are some of the reforms we had proposed.
These important issues are not even on the agenda of the summit. To demonstrate good will, all IPOD proposals must be presented and passed by Parliament before we attent these summit. These proposal include stopping Museveni from becoming a president for life.
• Summit should convene to ratify resolutions of the Council: In our view, the summit should only be summoned to ratify decisions of the IPOD Council. But as you all saw in December, there was nothing to ratify, nothing to sign.
We have made ourselves available to IPOD TO DISCUSS THE MOST CRUCIAL ISSUES AFFECTING THE Country. These issues include the life Presidency, abuse of public institutions such as the police and military and abuse of public resources leading to no medicine in hospitals, low quality education etc.
We must be committing ourselves to these issues in these meetings. The summit must sit to find solutions to these especially the abuse of power by Mr. Museveni.
Finally, as a Party, we respect the decisions of other Political Parties and organization. We are not faulting anyone but explaining our absence at this meeting. We still think IPOD was a very good idea but it must not turn itself into a pain killer. It must and has capacity to be real medicine disease.
SUSPICIOUS DEFENCE BUDGET
We are concerned with the unexplained sharp increase of the country’s security and defense expenditure. The defense budget has increased from Shs 1.3 trillion in the financial year 2017/2018 to Shs 2 trillion in 2018/2019 to now the proposed Shs 3.5 trillion in the 2019/2020 budget which Parliament is about to pass.
Significantly to note is the fact that, classified expenditure has also correspondingly increased from Shs 347 billion in 2017, to Shs 640 billion in 2018 and to2.1 trillion in the new budget of2019/2020.
Our suspicion is that Mr. Museveni is hiding money but both under defense and classified expenditure to procure votes. He has now embarked on a dubious poverty alleviation tour which is purely vote seeking.
He is spending billions on these tours yet critical sectors of the economy such as health and education remain un or under-funded. It is the reason teachers want to go on strike and we support them.
They are paid poorly and to now their April salary remain unpaid. Since donors are financing more than a quarter of our budget, they need to hold Museveni accountable.
Money which Museveni will donate has increased from Shs 80 billion to Shs 200 billion. This is three times bigger than Mulago’s Shs 71 billion annual Budgets.