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Social media storm over fears FDC may break up

Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu’s re-election loss as president of the country’s largest opposition party has stoked a backlash on social media, with some Ugandans predicting the end for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

Many angry commentators urged Muntu to abandon FDC and form his own party while some say these are the fruits of democracy and Muntu should gracefully accept the loss. At the heart of these deeply-felt sentiments are questions over the role former FDC president, Dr Kizza Besigye, played in Muntu’s removal.

With 641 votes, Besigye protégé Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) ejected Muntu out of the top seat at Najjanankumbi. His 463 votes were too little too late to stop Amuriat in last Friday’s deeply divided general delegates’ conference in Mandela national stadium, Namboole.

Since then, there have recriminations and a hot exchange of barbs between those who supported Muntu and those who rallied behind Besigye. Muntu had led FDC since 2012.

Mugisha Muntu talking to Patrick Oboi Amuriat at Namboole last week

One Prince Isaac Mwesigwa posted: “Team Muntu is getting its strategy. We will accommodate those who accommodate us. We will work with those that believe in us. Even if it means creating our own party. We will surely make it someday.”

Doreen Nyanjura, an FDC delegate whose day job is being a councillor at Kampala Capital City Authority, posted a response to those criticising Amuriat’s win: “Clearly social media people don’t understand the dynamics in FDC. Social media people vote popularity, delegates vote for the party. Like I said earlier, Mugisha Muntu lost because he had very little to show for the last five years he has been in charge. Delegates have three years to judge POA, should he not work to their expectations, I trust them; they will throw him out.”

She added: “I have seen some party members still referring themselves as ‘Team Mugisha Muntu, ‘Team POA’. Elections ended on Friday, we no longer have teams, we are all team FDC now. Let’s move forward and start working.”

On Twitter, Muntu posted the most reassuring response to the party, saying Amuriat’s win had been hard-earned and he wished him well.

“To those who supported me both in and outside the delegates, I would like to urge you not to panic or lose hope. While there are setbacks on a personal level, there have been gains at a party level…FDC won. Democracy won,” Muntu said.

Muntu has had a torrid time as party leader with his opponents frequently branding him an NRM mole, an unsubstantiated allegation which found its way into the campaign narrative. But Besigye came out on Monday to say he trusted Muntu and would not think of him as working for someone else against FDC.

The feeling that Muntu’s exit, and the ascendency of the hardline and militant wing over the so-called moderates spells doom has been amplified by even NRM commentators. Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo has said Amuriat will not add anything to FDC.

While Don Wanyana, the senior presidential press secretary, posted “Poor Muntu” cynically to say he was in a wrong place.

FDC delegates at Namboole

Andrew Mwenda, a known regime apologist, posted: “The defeat of the noble Mugisha Muntu in the race for the presidency of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has put the last nail in the coffin of decent politics in that party. It marks the final triumph of radical extremism as an organising philosophy for FDC.”

Some people have, however, said NRM’s preference for Muntu as FDC leader was because his way of doing things would not give them a hard time.

Amuriat is expected to reset the Besigye confrontational tactics with defiance as a guiding principle. The other view emerging on social media is that those Ugandans turned off by President Museveni’s militarism and Besigye’s militancy were drawn to Muntu as a third way for Uganda – and this could find expression in a new political organisation formed from the ashes of a disintegrating FDC.

In congratulating Amuriat, Muntu also promised to announce his next move soon, cryptically saying he would want to work in an environment where he is trusted.

amwesigwa@observer.ug

Comments   

-1 #1 Phalanch 2017-11-29 04:31
Fake news,
If a branch breaks off a tree does that break the tree?

Thinking arn't illegal but free to used.
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0 #2 WADADA rogers 2017-11-29 09:15
I have said it over and again that the difference between With 641 votes for (Patrick Oboi Amuriat and 463 votes for Gen Muntu showed that both candidates had support from within FDC hence the need to trade carefully.

Certainly, there would be a winner and a looser but the behaviour of the supporters during campaigns, during voting and after voting betrayed the prospects of FDC and introduced hatred that will have far reaching consquences.
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0 #3 WADADA rogers 2017-11-29 09:18
Muntu's reaction be have been perceived as strange but POA would have behaved the same way if he had lost given his demeanor.

But when all is said and done, Besigye's decision to support one candidate against another is what created the rift.

Besigye still wants to have so much influence on FDC and to decide how members handle the affairs of the Party. In other words, there is no difference between Besigye and M7 in the way they handle these projects/parties that they founded
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+1 #4 WADADA rogers 2017-11-29 09:24
But for those expecting Muntu to announce his return to nrm, FORGET, it wont happen, he is to principled and too proud to make a U-turn.

The worst Muntu can do is to retire from politics or join hands with the likes of Bobi wine and many other disgruntled MPs to organise a mass defection which would kick start the birth of another disgruntled political party
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0 #5 WADADA rogers 2017-11-29 09:27
Muntu's problem like he rightly put it is that he was not a bad looser and the result had nothing to do with his reaction as there was no rigging but the internal bad mouthing especially by some members of the top executive and Besigye in particular.

No doubt his departure if at all will affect numbers in FDC and reduce its chance of taking over leadership of the top seat in the country.
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+1 #6 Zungulu Zzungulu 2017-11-29 11:37
There are those in great fear of FDC's formidable energy growing, and will use all means to create division.

Watch out and stay warned, let not your emotions take over sensible thinking!!!
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0 #7 Jacinta 2017-11-29 19:05
I can see, we have many idiots every where, who told u that Muntu must be?

if he is defeated let him accept it and support the winner, no one is meant for that position, no one the best for it, no one is worse for it, if pple love me and vote me let it be.
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