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Mao blasts FDC, IPOD Summit goes into the night

 

Mao introduces delegates to Museveni soon after his arrival for the summit. PHOTO IPOD

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The chairperson of the Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) Nobert Mao has blasted the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) for continuously snubbing the IPOD summit.

Like in the first summit, FDC has participated at council level but refused to attend the summit. Mao said at the opening of the IPOD summit on Monday  at Protea Hotel in Entebbe that it is not good snubbing the summit.

All parties have previously agreed that there is a need for dialogue with the ruling National Resistance Movement Party ( NRM) chairperson Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on increased inhuman treatment of opposition politicians.

The summit however nearly hit a snag, taking off  nearly 10 hours late. President   Museveni reached the venue late in the evening.

The dialogue is meant to bring together leaders of different political parties and the council, a forum of Secretary Generals of political parties. The council executive is responsible for proposing ideas and drafting documents which are later submitted to the summit of leaders for approval.

Mao who was flanked by the UPC party President Jimmy Akena and JEEMA Chairperson Mohammad Kibirige Mayanja told  Museveni that the opposition is willing to hold meaningful discussions with government so as to improve democracy in the country.

He also decried continued harassment of opposition politicians by security forces and asked President Museveni to rein in on them.

While such issues were discussed in the first IPOD Summit last year, Mao wondered why security forces continued to bar opposition processions and activities.

Later in the evening the summit members who include party chairmen and secretary generals were  engaged in a closed door session.

IPOD General Secretary Frank Rusa earlier commended Political Party heads for engaging in dialogue as one way to improve democracy in the country.

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