Political enemies of Uganda, the ruling National Resistance Movement(NRM) and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) have reportedly agreed on new terms for a Museveni-Besigye dialogue that could go a long way in solving their political differences.
A mediator was appointed last week for the talks which will last for about six months. All political parties, the government, religious leaders, as well as civil society are expected to be a part of the Museveni-Besigye dialogue.
The process leading up to this moment was done behind closed doors as both parties agreed on what will be discussed, a neutral venue, and so on.
February 2016 elections saw the opposition, Besigye arrested a couple of times, even to the point of being placed on house arrest on the polling day. This led the US, UN and other international observers of the election to condemn the process.
Nonetheless, Museveni emerged the disputed winner of the election.
Soon after the February 2016 elections. Besigye was reportedly visited by some emissaries who sought to open a dialogue between Besigye and Museveni, who had just won an election that was marred by irregularities.
This reportedly went on for several months between the office of the Prime Minister and a committee of the FDC.
“We believe that the solution to Uganda’s problem will be through dialogue where we will discuss the future, including the transition.
“We don’t believe in the armed struggle and violence. That is why we are engaging in peaceful civil disobedience and dialogue,” a source in the Forum for Democratic Change said.
Both President Museveni and Kizza Besigye have reportedly endorsed the move, according to The Monitor.
On the contrary, NBS TV reported that the FDC had not supported the Museveni-Besigye dialogue. According to the reports, the FDC claims that reports of the talks are baseless as no foundation for the negotiations has been set.
The FDC’s deputy secretary, Harold Kaija told journalists that the FDC was not against dialogue, but if a dialogue is being created between both parties, it must involve “all Ugandans with an agreed agenda and a neutral facilitator. As FDC and Col. Besigye, we are not in any secret talks with Museveni.”
This will be the first dialogue between President Museveni and his former ally, Dr Kizza Besigye if earlier reports about a dialogue are accurate.