The Justice Forum commonly known as JEEMA has handed over the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue platform (IPOD) leadership to National Resistance Movement (NRM).
President Yoweri Museveni will assume leadership for the next six months.
JEEMA Secretary General Mohammad Kateregga handed over the reins to Justine Lumumba, the NRM Secretary General who represented the party President who is currently on a campaign trail for the upcoming elections.
During the handover ceremony held at Mestil Hotel yesterday December 22, Kateregga said that despite the many challenges of Covid-19, JEEMA has been able to deliver as per the mandate and institutionalized IPOD.
“The process of institutionalization is not complete. It requires leadership and good will of members for completion, NRM leadership is critical in seeing this coming to a tangible end,” Kateregga said.
He revealed that the IPOD council of secretaries held a number of meetings with the Minister of Finance and Electoral Commission where the issue of increasing political funding was discussed.
“I am glad to report that in the last quarter, the commission released Shs 20bn to political parties and the Ministry has indicated that sooner than later, an addition of Shs 5bn will be released,” he added.
Meanwhile, party presidents from Democratic party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Deputy Secretary General Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Harold Kaija came up to express their early disappointment in the incoming leadership.
DP President Norbert Mao accused NRM of unfairly distributing money that was allocated to political parties to fund their campaign process.
“When the money was released, NRM took the biggest share, they gave DP only Shs 100m out of the Shs 20bn. NRM, you are thieves, it is totally unacceptable because you are undermining IPOD. How do you expect us to seat in a summit and trust you again, you are shameless,” he said.
“I also call upon leaders to adjust their language. I want to ask the incoming chairman, Kaguta, to reduce his threatening language,” he added.
Kaija stated that the major cause of violence and unrest in Uganda’s multiparty politics is the unequal distribution of resources.
“NRM feel that if political parties are given money, they will use it to fight them so they feel safe when we are weak,” he said.
“It is hard to appreciate because everyone is scared. I feel saddened when I see that it is NRM taking over. If the tormentors are taking charge, I don’t feel safe, will they even call for a meeting when there are challenges?” he posed.
On her part, Lumumba cautioned Mao on the language he used to refer to the NRM party noting that DP should have asked for accountability instead of accusing the party of theft.
“In reference to what Mao has said, instead of accusing us of theft, you ought to have asked for accountability. All of you who are in office or out of office are fighting to remove NRM from power so we have to double our efforts. I know there is pressure from the elections but as leaders we have to torn down our language because we act as examples to the people we lead,” Lumumba said.
She further urged the public to guard themselves and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“If you haven’t suffered, you can doubt that Covid-19 is not real. Please, I suffered it and I want to appeal to everyone to guard themselves. If you feel fatigued, go to the hospital for check up because it starts with such symptoms,” Lumumba said.
The dialogue platform is funded by Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).