The unbecoming conduct of security forces in breaking up opposition party rallies, delays to implement electoral reforms and violation of human rights, yesterday dominated discourse at the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit at Protea Hotel in Entebbe.
Speaking at the event, Democratic Party (DP) Hon. Norbert Mao said such has been the main impediments to Uganda’s democracy.
Mao said although headways have been made in initiating and popularizing policy reforms, a lot remains undone.
Particularly, Mao pointed out that despite Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda’s efforts to harmonize public assembly laws, security organs continue to forcefully disperse opposition rallies.
“Since the last summit, we have made some progress but still the conduct of security organs especially their refusal in practice to adhere to basic principles and guarantees of fundamental human rights especially freedom of association and assembly continues to foil the political environment”, he said.
The DP leader further noted with concern that key provisions of the constitution meant to curtail violent regime changes have been sacrificed for political ends.
Using the example of young musician Patrick Senyonjo alias Fresh Kid, Mao challenged President Yoweri Museveni to find out why many Ugandans are not happy with his leadership despite the impressive economic figures.
“Mr. President I was surprised to hear that a 7-year-old musician called Fresh Kid complained that you have also not led him well,” he said.
“Ironically, he is making enough money to build a house for his father and is paying school fees for his elder brothers. So why would he say he is not being led well?”
Commenting on the refusal by some parties to attend this event, Mao said this undermines IPOD’s powers to stimulate political debate.
On DPs part, he said the party believes that a lot can be achieved through constructive dialogue as opposed to those who abhor meeting President Museveni.
For the second year running, opposition Forum for Democratic Change has absconded from this event citing harassment by security agencies and lack of commitment on the side of government.