Museveni has not agreed to dialogue with Besigye – Ofwono Opondo

Museveni, Besigye historical handshake
President Museveni (L) shakes hands with his long-time political rival Kizza Besigye at Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo during Pope Francis' mass in 2015. Courtesy Photo.

The Government Spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo has dismissed reports of dialogue between President, Yoweri Museveni and his rival, former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president, Dr. Kizza Besigye.

This follows press reports quoting Besigye telling FDC party members in a workshop in Soroti district that they have reached an agreement to dialogue on the 2016 presidential election audit.

Last week, Daily Monitor quoted Katrina Byrenius Rosland, the Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesperson, saying Sweden had been asked to facilitate possible dialogue in Uganda.

But the Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo says there is no dialogue whatsoever between Museveni and Besigye.

Ofwono was addressing journalists at the government owned media center this morning that the purported election audit doesn’t arise since it doesn’t conform to the laws of Uganda.  He said it is laughable that Besigye thinks the ruling National Resistance Movement party is willing to discuss Museveni’s exit as if he is a criminal.

According to Ofwono, the only ongoing dialogues are that under the Inter party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) and National Consultative Forum. He said by making such claims, Besigye is seeking to remain relevant through publicity.

Ofwono asked Besigye to concentrate on mobilizing his supporters for next elections, since it’s the only time when Museveni’s exit can be discussed. He however stated that Government was approached by Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) and women Groups, to reconcile with aggrieved opposition party members following the 2016 elections.

Ofwono explained that although Government considered the advice the process of dialogue hasn’t kicked off. He said Government is considering implementing reforms suggested by the Supreme Court and different organs to improve elections in the country. Besigye contested and lost to Museveni in the February 2016 polls.

Museveni won the by 60.8 percent against Besigye’s 35.4 percent. However, Besigye rejected the poll results, saying he had won the polls. He attempted to release parallel elections results but was stopped by police. He later went ahead and declared himself winner of the polls, which lead to his arrest and subsequent prosecution for treason, a matter, which is before court.