Fred Mwesigwa the party spokesperson said the IPOD is now like an orphan. (File photo)
By Ibrahim Ruhweza and Shibba B. Nkwanzi
Journalists @New Vision


The Democratic Party (DP) has asked the government to fund the Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) as it had earlier pledged with sh5b each financial year.

This comes after the chief funders of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) withdrew their support of the IPOD.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday in Kampala at the party headquarters, Fred Mwesigwa the party spokesperson said the IPOD is now like an orphan, with no funds, yet the organization has to continue playing its role of joining political parties in the country.

"We cannot afford to lose this organization. We know what it has done through peace establishment among key political parties, we call on the government to fulfill the pledge of sh5b to IPOD," Mwesigwa said.

According to Mwesigwa, most IPOD activities are no longer going on because when the government closed DGF, NMD ran short of the money to fund IPOD, and he thought when an avenue for togetherness is closed, insurgencies may arise resulting from other forces who may take advantage of the disunity among them.

On February 17, 2021, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the suspension of DGF with an estimated sh500b of funding. This was coupled with an investigation into its activities and even on Government officials who oversaw its operations.

According to the President, the majority of the funds were used to support organizations and activities aimed at subverting the government under the guise of improving governance.

"We all understand the importance of dialogue. The main intention of forming iPod is to reach a consensus as political parties. As DP, we believe that political parties coming together means we can agree on how to run a government, however much we have different ideologies," Mwesigwa said.

Mwesigwa added that as long as all political parties come together and share a common ideology, the iPod will remain strong and it will be used to spread patriotic messages to all Ugandans, which will in turn push the country’s developmental plans and projects.

"This is the only chance we have as Ugandans. As long as there is iPod and all political parties join, then nothing will go against us (Ugandans)," he said.

Mwesigwa stated that many people had confused NIMD with IPOD, and when NIMD announced its fund withdrawal from IPOD, many people were left grumbling, thinking it could be over for Uganda’s political mutual joinery.

"People shouldn't confuse NIMD with IPOD. The two are different. Even the money that NIMD was giving to IPOD was obtained from DGF," he clarified.

Earlier, the minister of justice and constitutional affairs also DP president general Norbert Mao had said “IPOD is the most political platform in Uganda and politics in Uganda matter. Let no one tell you that Ugandan politics does not matter. We might compete for parliamentary slots but if we cooperate, we are likely to achieve much more together.”
Mao urged political parties to work together instead of dividing themselves.


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