Uganda President To Meet Opposition Leader Over High Food, Fuel Prices

Posted April 28, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Economy ~ 2,970 views


FOX BUSINESS | By Nicholas Bariyo, KAMPALA Uganda -(Dow Jones)- The Ugandan president will meet the country’s opposition leader next week to discuss a way to deal with rising food and fuel prices, which have triggered unrest across the country in the past couple of weeks, the Ugandan presidency said Thursday.

President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, is scheduled to meet veteran opposition leader Kizza Besigye together with other opposition leaders under the inter-party forum May 3, according to Tamale Murundi, the presidential spokesman.

“They will discuss issues of national concern, such as the economy and national stability,” he said.
The meeting is expected to be the first between the two erstwhile allies in over a decade. Besigye, a former internal affairs minister under President Museveni regime fell out with the president in the late 1990s after he criticized the ruling party’s political agenda.

President Museveni, who won the Feb. 18 disputed polls sent out invitations to at least seven opposition party leaders Wednesday.

Margret Wokoru, the opposition spokeswoman, confirmed the invitations.

In the past couple of weeks, the opposition has been rallying supporters to “walk to work” twice a week in protest of the steep prices in the country. Several opposition party leaders have been arrested in the crackdown against the protests.

Last week, the United Nations criticized Ugandan security forces for using excessive force in the crackdown and called for dialogue between government and the opposition.

At least five people have been killed in the protests, dozens have also been injured.

The government blames the food shortage on a drought last year and the steep fuel prices on the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

Until last year, Uganda was the leading supplier of food to the World Food Program in Africa after South Africa.

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