I fought Amin for survival of Africa race, Museveni tells IPOD

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The summit in Entebbe

President Musevnei on Monday joined leaders of the Democratic Party, the Uganda People’s Congress and JEEMA for the Inter-party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit at Protea Hotel, Entebbe.

He said they arrived at a raft of resolutions that should help strengthen their multi-party political dispensation.

The resolutions are about funding of parties, the question of independent candidates, conduct of public gatherings, among others.

“DP President Nobert Mao was talking of political systems. Our perspective as NRM is that political systems are not an end in themselves. Right from 1912 when ANC was formed in South Africa, our liberation movements have had five aims,” Museveni said.

He said these were to fight for independence, institute democracy, ensure prosperity of people through market integration, enforce strategic security through political integration and support the fraternity of the African people.

Mao addressing the summit

“Politics therefore for us is to articulate these aims, which are critical for the survival of the African race.”

He went on: “It is these aims that by 1971 had pushed us to fight Idi Amin even before we had known he was killing people. He was blocking these aims.”

Museveni said dialogue is a good method of resolving political issues and believes in it.

In 1979 when fighting Amin, he said they met in Moshi and through dialogue formed UNLF but some people did not appreciate and had to start again.

If dialogue had been used, Uganda would have avoided many problems, Museveni pointed out.

He said the young men who led Uganda to independence were all young except Nadiope and Balaki Kirya.

They failed because of arrogance and inability to dialogue. It is amazing to see how they failed, he explained.

“If I don’t want to dialogue when in politics then I should go to look after my animals. God gives you ability to talk and you say you won’t, he can switch off that gift. I take it as a Biblical command to talk to whoever wants to talk to me.”

The President was hitting at Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party that decided to boycott the dialogue citing lack of goodwill.

“I will conclude with some advice to the opposition. You can do a lot to change the lives of your people even when in opposition.”

He added: “I did a lot to transform the people of Ankole in the years when I was in opposition as a member of the Democratic Party.”

Museveni said he persuaded people to stop nomadism and go to commercial agriculture from subsistence farming.

“I was reported to the UPC government that I was misleading people to fence farms. But I explained myself to Vice President John Babiha, who gave me a go-ahead.”

He concluded: “I am glad I was invited to this dialogue and met my fellow leaders. We can agree on points of convergence and move together, where we do not agree, we understand why.”

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