PEOPLES’ GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE POWER COOPERATION
Last week, the Peoples Government (PG) and People Power announced through their official spokespersons that they will be cooperating on a number of issues aimed at removing hurdles stopping citizens from exercising their political and other rights.
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) welcomes and embraces this cooperation. Historically, the FDC has pursued cooperation with all democracy seeking forces. In fact, the FDC herself is a union of different political formations i.e. PAFO, Reform Agenda and National Democratic Forum (NDF).
We were the champion of the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) a joint opposition forces electoral platform in 2011 and most recently The Democratic Alliance (TDA).
Having participated in three stolen elections (2006, 2011 and 2016) and various civil campaigns, the FDC regards elections under the current repressive and brutal environment as a continuation of the struggle and not a conclusion.
We are happy, People Power having suffered the brunt of the dictatorship recently, now also see the need to rally citizens to reclaim their power and rights first, before engaging in elections.
That is the campaign under the DEFIANCE label that we are engaged in. This campaign aims at sensitizing citizens about their individual vulnerability and collective strength to overcome it. Citizens are mobilized and empowered to rise up against wanton abuse of their resources and their rights. They are also taught and led in various campaigns to reclaim their power.
We call upon all democracy seeking forces to support these civic campaigns. The FDC doesn’t have to initiate or lead these campaigns. We will be glad to participate in such campaigns initiated by others.
We would like to warn the UPDF, Police and other security agencies not to interfere with our legitimate civil campaigns. We will hold individual Police and UPDF officers responsible for all the abuses they have occasioned on our leaders and citizens.
We would also like to warn some selfish individuals who are inciting the state to clamp down on citizens who are freely exercising their rights. The self-styled group of traders from Kampala who want demonstrations and processions banned are especially warned. Don’t accept to be used. Don’t follow the dictatorship to its grave.
FDC-PEOPLE GOVERNMENT KALANGALA AND BUVUMA PROGRAMME
As announced earlier, the FDC and People’s Government will visit Kalangala and Buvuma this week. We will begin with Kalangala on Wednesday and Buvuma on Friday.
Last week Police and UPDF blocked our meeting in Buikwe and as has become the practice fired bullets and teargas at citizens in Lugazi. We intend to return to Lugazi and other areas of Buikwe later.
Police and military also cordoned off the FDC headquarters over the weekend and held our leaders captive during a meeting with Lubaga district. Nobody was allowed to leave until after seven. We condemn these abuses and we shall hold the commanders of these operations responsible.
IPOD MAY 15 SUMMIT IN LIRA
The FDC will not attend the Wednesday May 15th 2019 IPOD Summit in Lira because conditions that prevented us from attending the December 2018 Summit have not changed.
We are still under siege by various security agencies. Our legitimate rights to associate and assemble are still curtailed and the situation has even gotten worse. We cannot speak to lower FDC leaders on whose behalf we transact business. Who therefore shall we be representing at these summits?
We have agreed and processed both political and constitutional reforms as IPOD members before and the NRM said there was no time to process them. Five years later, these reforms are not being processed. Instead, the NRM and its chairman have forcefully and illegally changed the Constitution to remove yet another safeguard against life presidency.
There is no favorable atmosphere in the country for a meaningful dialogue. We call upon religious leaders and the Elders who are organizing similar engagements not to engage in futility.
Restoration of citizens’ rights and freedoms in a more urgent matter than socialization events in big hotels. The FDC will continue carrying out mobilization and sensitization of citizens.