President Yoweri Museveni attended the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) Summit at Speke Resort, Munyonyo. The grouping is for parties with representation in Parliament.
Dialogue is the beginning of democracy and I am glad to be at this function. I always welcome any opportunity for dialogue. I therefore do not understand how people purporting to be democrats can refuse to dialogue.
If you express desire for leadership then qualify it with whom to talk or not talk to, you betray that mandate. It explains why even while fighting, I got time to talk to the Okellos in Nairobi. I also had talks with Mzee Obote and even attended the relaunch of the DP at Grand Imperial Hotel.
Let me clarify about my role in politics. Naturally, I am a cattle keeper, that is my job. In my family, I was the first to get into politics. There are two key things that drove me into this; prosperity and strategic security.
About prosperity, we must ask how families, our companies, businesses can prosper. As a cattle keeper and producer of milk, I make more profit if more people buy my milk.
Political leaders must therefore attend to the issue of their people’s prosperity, irrespective of the number of transitions a country has.
On strategic security, the question is around making Africa secure. Why was Africa easily colonized yet the Europeans failed to colonize China, Japan?
We were colonized because of incompetence and bankruptcy of our chiefs. They wore lion skins, and other regalia but could not defend their continent against external aggression. Politics therefore should be about survival and destiny of our people.
I also want to address the following issues raised by Honourables Nobert Mao, the DP president and Asuman Basalirwa of the Justice Forum.
About freedom to associate, we have no problem. What we take issue with is politicians assembling in markets and disrupting people’s businesses.
We shall not allow what happened in the Gulf to happen here. I am glad I have secured our women in the markets and there has never been looting under the NRM government.
We also take issue at times with motive and message of these gatherings. We have the cases of Babu from Bushenyi who was killed and eaten in Eastern Congo and Opoka who was killed by Kony.
We will not accept political actors who purport to use constitutional means to engage when actually they have another leg in unconstitutional arrangements. That we shall not allow.
On the issue of torture, we are against it. I spoke to the soldiers who were caught on video beating up people. I have given them guidelines but I urge political players to be disciplined.
Finally, I have been accused of threatening to wipe out the opposition. Truth is the opposition is in danger of wiping out itself because of miscalculation and leaving the NRM to deal offer solutions to all problems.
For example when we were fighting Joseph Kony, some opposition players insisted we talk to him instead. Some were praising Kony as an “elder” (ladit). We chose to fight him and once we defeated him, it was reflected in our 2011 victory.
It was the same case with cattle rustling. Opppsition politicians like David Pulkol and Alice Alaso opposed us. But we succeeded. The population is not foolish. They see these gains of the NRM and reward us.
As long as the opposition oppose what Ugandans see as beneficial, they will cause their own defeat.