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FDC-Katonga faction moots forming new political party

Kizza Besigye addressing FDC-Katonga officials

Kizza Besigye addressing FDC-Katonga officials

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Katonga faction is considering forming a new political party - a breakaway from its mother party, FDC.

If adopted, the faction will officially part ways with the faction headed by Patrick Amuriat, or what is known Najanankumbi faction. The new party will be the second to emerge out of the disagreements in the once-largest opposition party. In 2019, former FDC president Rtd Gen, Gregory Mugisha Muntu formed the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party after parting ways with FDC.

The proposal is part of a report by Kampala lord mayor, Erias Lukwago summarizing developments within the party. Lukwago was chosen last year as the interim party president. Lukwago was presenting the report at the national council meeting held at Col Kizza Besigye’s office on Katonga road.  

He told the meeting that during their routine National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings, some members suggested they should consider getting a new brand and move on with the vision of building a new Uganda with new institutions.

“A section of members have mooted a rather novel proposal that since the vision, heart, and soul of members of the party resides here at Katonga, the bonafide members who are still committed to the struggle to push back against the junta should consider getting a new brand and move on with the vision of building a new Uganda with new institutions. This would essentially entail having a new political formation,” he said.

Lukwago also mentioned that there have also been calls for reconciliation from the Najanankumbi-based faction of the party.

“As NEC, we have been categorical in our response that for this proposal to be considered, the imposters must denounce their nefarious conduct and scandals, which include the coup they are perpetrating, the chaos and mayhem they have caused at Najanankumbi, and apologize for the public odium they have invited to the party. They must stop holding out as leaders of the party and vacate Najanankumbi. If they are to be retained as members of the party, they have to go through a cleansing and exorcising process,” he said. 

In September last year, the Katonga faction held an extraordinary delegates meeting at which they suspended the party president, Patrick Amuriat. The meeting also suspended Nathan Nandal Mafabi, the party’s secretary general, and Geoffrey Ekanya, the FDC treasurer. Before the current crisis, Lukwago served as FDC deputy president for Buganda region.

Later, Lukwago was with coming up with suggestions for strengthening the party. Apart from the suggestion to form a break-away party, the Lukwago report includes the need to continue fighting for FDC and rescuing it from what they described as capture. 

They also suggest the need to denounce the FDC party-related activities and to form a pressure group akin to the Reform Agenda. Reform Agenda which was birthed from the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO) led to the formation of FDC which later chose Besigye as its leader and presidential candidate during the 2006 elections.

Speaking to journalists, Lukwago explained the several options that the members of their faction have suggested. Those suggestions were considered by the National Council members sitting at Katonga on Wednesday. Key among those was the alleged call for reconciliation by the Najjanakumbi faction.

Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Semujju is one of the members of the council who roundly rejected to reconciliation call. He explained that their aim is not to rescue Najanankumbi but rather to rescue Uganda, and therefore the name of the platform that whomever person uses does not matter.

"The struggle that we're involved in is not just a struggle to rescue Najjanankumbi. The struggle we're involved in is to rescue Uganda. Dr Besigye and his colleagues who went to Luwero at the time of departure to go and find, they were the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM). He knows when they became NRA. So the name of the platform under which you're fighting to free yourself, for me does not matter otherwise Dr Besigye and those with whom they went to Luwero would have returned here as Uganda Patriotic Movement but they returned as NRA. There are people who are sentimental about this and now I know I'm pressing your wounds...there are those who can't let the FDC go, they would rather be buried with it. Please count me out, I want to spend the rest of my career fighting to rescue Uganda not fighting to rescue Najjanankumbi. Those who are there are crying, I join them and do what?" said Ssemujju.

Besigye said that while they are discussing the next course of action, they should know the main goal which is deliberating for the country to acquire its sovereignty which Ugandans have never experienced since independence. He suggested that for any action, there is a need for the national council members to get down to the grassroots to explain to their members what happened following the fights at the Najanakumbi office. He urged the council to fight propaganda that has emerged.

“You have been hearing that we want to sell FDC to NUP [National Unity Platform], why would we do that? How immune is NUP from becoming FDC? You think what ate FDC cannot eat NUP? It can or ANT or the other parties, so we must guard against the propaganda, especially you people from the district,” said Besigye.

Speaking about the available options as suggested in the Lukwago report, Besigye said that all options are applicable. He said on the option of forming a social movement, Besigye said that building a social movement would entail abandoning elections, something he cannot object to.

"That too is an option if you want to have no party and belong to a social movement but that means you have taken a decision maybe not to participate at all if there are elections because if you're participating in elections, you need to have an organisation that helps you in that kind of endeavour," said Besigye.

However, Besigye encouraged all delegates to take the time to go across the country and solicit feedback from people before gathering to make a final decision. He feels that a decision based on public input will be sound in the long run.

"My suggestion to the party leaders is that, I think, it is important ahead of the delegates' conference to have a conversation amongst our people led by yourselves in your different districts. Maybe during that time, we at the national should come to your districts and talk directly to the people because since all this chaos happened we have not met people firsthand what happened. They hear stories from different people. We need to update them directly about what has happened where we are and where we end this story. Then when it comes to the delegates' conference, it is easy to manage and move on," said Besigye.

The council resolved to postpone the initial March 19 delegates conference and provide delegates at least two months to travel across the country collecting feedback and ideas from other FDC members on which option to choose.

Comments

+1 #1 Akot 2024-02-22 17:59
So, already tribally divided Ugandans & +1 useless opposition parties think this isn't enough to ensure Rwandese Museveni & they have to further divide Ugandans!

As Ugandans are bent on fighting for posts, going for fake elections in the Uganda that belongs to Rwandese Museveni, who is fighting for change?

Why are Ugandans ensuring the zone frmed by their tribal lands belong to Rwandese Museveni & family for good?

Just NO to the tribalistic system, then UNITY, are all Ugandans need, but they continue fighting one another, knowing it only ensures Museveni's lifetime rule & transfer of power to his son in the waiting, WHY?
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0 #2 Zaitun John 2024-02-22 19:31
It is quite disturbing to note that instead of fighting together to rescue the country from drowning, our so called opposition party officials are busy fighting to form splinter parties that will lead us to nowhere but doom!.

If you guys succeed in doing that, you should not be disturbed tomorrow if Ugandans will refuse to go voting but remain in their homes to avoid wastint their precious times.

All you care about is amassing free money at the expense of of the poor. You all know that united we stand, but divided we fall apart.

But all that inyerests you is to make Ugandans suffer while you work underground for Museveni and his henchmen to destroy the country beyond recognition. Yes, that is what interests you! To make Uganda a looting ground for the Toms.

You better leave FDC as it is and start your own Party, and we shall see if you guys will become the next President and Ministers.
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0 #3 Abalang 2024-02-23 09:16
This would be an unfortunate decision and a clear demonstration that the agitators are driven by personal motivations rather than nationalistic interests.

It will continue presenting the ability of the opposition to gain power as a constant dream to people with sound reason and nationalistic interests.

It defeats the logic that strategic fragmentation and cannibalization of the same support base, which, in fact, is shrinking as people lose hope, form the core basis of your opposition approach instead of amalgamating support across opposition divides.

This is part of the reason I don’t belong to any party—I don’t want to be chained by unreasonable and sometimes personal drives of politicians but by nationalistic influences, which I can only decide based on self-judgment and reasons.
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0 #4 Marz Mubiru 2024-02-23 17:44
I have no trust in this Amuria side of FDC and will never support it.
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0 #5 tlakeri 2024-02-23 22:40
Hahah Semujju is preparing a way to join his fellow tribrmates in NUP.
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