KAMPALA: The leaders of political parties under the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (Ipod) on Saturday afternoon headed to State House, Entebbe to meet President Museveni the Chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
The team of Ipod leaders, mostly comprised of secretary generals of parties represented in parliament, are on a routine visit to headquarters of member political parties.
On Saturday morning, the Ipod council members led by their Chairman Mr Fred Ebil convened at the NRM headquarters on plot 10, Kyadondo road in Kampala to acquaint themselves of what is happening at the home of the ruling party.
They had earlier in the day visited Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) headquarters at Najjanankumbi, Democratic Party’s home at City House and Uganda Peoples’ Conference (UPC) at Uganda House.
However, on arrival at the NRM headquarters, Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba the NRM Secretary General told the Ipod leaders that the party Chairman who is also the President was not able to receive them at plot 10 Kyadondo road but had extended an invitation for them to find him in State House, Entebbe.
“Our party Chairman who is very committed to the Ipod memorandum of understanding would have liked to host you here but because he is at the same time the President of the country, he has foreign visitors today. So, he told me to extend the invitation to you to meet him at State House since he has limited time,” Ms Lumumba said.
However, FDC’s national vice chairperson Ms Salume Musumba declined to travel with the team to State House, Entebbe saying she had not received permission from the party to do so.
Ms Musumba said that the objective of Ipod is to build a multiparty system that is separate from the state and therefore it is difficult for her as a representative of FDC to go to State House when the team was supposed to meet at the NRM secretariat.
“I don’t have permission from the FDC to go to State House for the said meeting. Multiparty democracy does not allow us to mix with the state. However as FDC we shall abide with the outcome of the meeting with the NRM chairman,” Ms Musumba said.
Mr Ebil who is also the Secretary General of UPC said the meeting with Mr Museveni is important because there are issues that they, as leaders, had agreed upon to put forward to him. He, however, did not explain what issues they were to discuss with Mr Museveni.
“We shall continue with the journey to Entebbe and officially communicate to the FDC the outcome of the meeting,” Mr Ebil said.
The Ipod will also welcome back the Justice Forum (Jeema) party which had ceased membership ever since it’s only Member of Parliament, Mr Hussein Kyanjo left the House in 2016. Jeema returns to Ipod following the election of their party president Mr Asuman Basalirwa as the MP for Bugiri Municipality.
The team that headed to State House includes Mr Fred Ebil the Secretary General of UPC, NRM’s Justine Kasule Lumumba, DP’s Gerald Siranda and Jeema’s Eddie Fredrick and other members of the Ipod council.