Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Brief statements from Uganda’s political party leaders and Secretary Generals will dominate the much anticipated Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit due to take place on Wednesday at Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo.
The summit will be attended by the National Chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Yoweri Museveni, Democratic Party DP President Norbert Mao and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) faction president Jimmy Akena, and Justice Forum’s Asuman Basalirwa.
The leading opposition group, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) pulled out of the summit, backtracking on a commitment they had made earlier. It is the only political party with representation in Parliament that has decided to boycott the meeting, the first of its kind in Uganda.
IPOD is hosted and funded by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). Frank Rusa, the NIMD Country Representative and IPOD Executive Secretary told Uganda Radio Network that the summit has been structured as a party affair through which Political parties will be driving the agenda.
Rusa says that Secretary Generals of the four political parties will give speeches, briefing the audience what has been happening in IPOD council before party presidents go for a private summit. He adds that when they return, each president will give a talk on what they have agreed as well as the implementation modalities.
Representatives of development partners – Democratic Governance Facility and the Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda are also expected to give brief speeches. When presidents of political parties go for a private summit, Zimbabwe’s Brian Kagoro, the founder and Executive Director of UHAI Africa Group, a governance and development consulting firm will be speaking to the audience on what political dialogue means for Africa’s governance.
Rusa told URN that they had invited former Mozambique president Joachim Chissano to give a keynote address but he couldn’t make it because of short notice invitation.
The summit discussion will be centred on four thematic areas; strengthening political parties to enhance their relevance and effectiveness, consolidation of constitutional and electoral reforms, promotion of inclusiveness in national politics especially in relation to the role of youth and women in politics and strengthening democratic governance, human rights and observance of rule of law.
Rusa said the outcome of the dialogue depends on how its agenda has been set. He argued that NIMD facilitated and inclusive agenda setting where all political parties agreed on what should be discussed at the summit.
Rusa added that the benefits of the summit will be determined by what leaders will agree on as well as modalities for implementation. It’s expected that after the summit, there will be a discussion at the council level on the implementation process of the outcomes.