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Listen to opposition - Mckinnon

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th November 2007 03:00 AM

THE Government should address issues raised by the opposition in their letter sent to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the secretary general, Don McKinnon, has said.

THE Government should address issues raised by the opposition in their letter sent to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the secretary general, Don McKinnon, has said.

By Cyprian Musoke

THE Government should address issues raised by the opposition in their letter sent to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the secretary general, Don McKinnon, has said.

The opposition, led by the Forum for Democratic Change party, has decided to boycott most of the ongoing CHOGM activities after accusing the secretariat of ignoring a memorandum they sent last month raising concerns on governance.

McKinnon said the Commonwealth observer team that monitored the 2006 Presidential elections had also raised similar issues, which included a lack of a level playing ground, human rights violations and fusion of the state with the ruling party.

“We hope those all those issues are worked on,” he said, while responding to queries on the opposition’s boycott of the summit.
“With this job, you meet a lot of disgruntled groups who want to play a role in the summit.
“Politics is politics every where in the world. There are some people who will feel marginalised.

“I was in the opposition for eight years. No one wants to be in the cold. This happens all over the world,” he told journalists at a press briefing at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

“I have met several of your (opposition) leaders who have indicated support for CHOGM and wanted to play a part. But it is the government in power to organise and that will be the case.”
McKinnon said Uganda had just introduced multiparty politics, which takes time to nurture.

Asked whether it was appropriate for the President Yoweri Museveni to don military uniform when welcoming past Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi, yet Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf was being asked to step down from heading the army, Mckinnon replied:

“We are yet to see whether this issue will be discussed in this summit. But everybody knows President Museveni’s history as a soldier, which many presidents are.

“But I know that issue can be discussed by the people of Uganda.”
Foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa clarified that although Museveni officially retired from the army, he occasionally likes to don his uniform.

On corruption, McKinnon said it was every Commonwealth country’s duty to ensure that effective punishment is meted out to corrupt individuals.

Listen to opposition - Mckinnon

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