Forum for Democratic Change vice chairman Proscovia Salam Musumba has said that the ruling party and two opposition parties are trying to influence who should be FDC’s next president.
The country’s largest opposition party convenes for a scheduled general delegates conference on November 24 at Namboole Stadium to elect a new leader for the 12-year-old organisation.
Speaking to The Observer at FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday, Musumba said the party faces multiple threats, both internal and external, as they near to election day.
“I have received complaints from delegates that they are receiving calls from NRM, DP and UPC advising them on who the suitable candidate for president would be,” Musumba said.
“That, to me, is a threat because our party is not up for sale; that people from without should determine for us and set the agenda for the party.
We are watching with keen interest the external threats to our internal procedures and we are going to mitigate against them.”
Fierce competition is between the incumbent president, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, who is running for his second and last five-year term, and three-time Kumi MP Patrick Amuriat Oboi.
Fringe candidates are Dan Matsiko and Moses Byamugisha. Two weeks ago, Kawempe south MP Mubarak Munyagwa stood down in favour of Amuriat.
Musumba did not reveal the identities or reported preferences of whoever is calling FDC delegates.
“Those threats are real and are bigger than I’m mentioning to you,” she maintained when pressed for details. “It looks to me like the allegations of Russia interfering with the elections in the [us] using computer manipulation.”
However, during a phone interview, Democratic Party president general Norbert Mao described Musumba’s accusations as nonsensical and ridiculous.
“I don’t know where she gets that opinion from which has no basis. We are too busy with our internal issues to interfere with the internal workings of FDC,” Mao said.
Meanwhile, NRM secretariat’s spokesman Rogers Mulindwa rubbished the claims saying they have better things to do than interfere in FDC elections.
“FDC has no ideology; they survive on people leaving the NRM to cross to their side,” Mulindwa said.
He claimed that some elements within FDC are trying to taint the image of their opponents to gain more votes.
We are winning
A fortnight ago, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, the chairman of the Muntu re-election taskforce, said he had no doubt his candidate would win a second term as FDC president despite the perception that party strongman, Dr Kizza Besigye, and his supporters are against him.
“I have participated in this nature of a campaign supporting the Hon Nandala Mafabi in 2012 [for party presidency] and I actually thought we were going to defeat Muntu. The Besigye group doing publicity on social media may think creating an environment that forces people to support a candidate of their choice will work but they are going to be shocked…”
However, Harold Kaija, FDC deputy secretary general and one of Amuriat’s strategists said Muntu will not prevail this time
“This is a sure win; not even a witchdoctor can take the money of the enemy camp to tell them they are winning,” Kaija said.
He added that after the 2016 presidential flag bearer race and other internal party elections, it was obvious that the popular strategy in FDC is the defiance option, which Amuriat has embraced.
“Our opponent believes that you can massage Museveni but all Ugandans across the board, including those in the NRM, believe that we must hold Museveni by the collar and that is what Amuriat believes in. I can confidently tell you that on November 24, Patrick Amuriat Oboi will be the president-elect of FDC,” Kaija said.
Efforts to speak to Gen Muntu were futile as he neither picked, nor returned our numerous calls and messages to his known telephone number.