Mafabi faces exit as FDC reshuffles
Posted Friday, September 27 2013 at 00:00
Jostling for top opposition positions in Parliament has begun as the Forum for Democratic Change party prepares to reshuffle its leadership in the House in November. By virtue of being the largest opposition party in Parliament with 35 MPs, the FDC controls four oversight committees and provides the Leader of Opposition in the House.
House rules dictate that the leadership of the committees be reviewed after two-and-a-half years. The current leadership was instituted in May 2011.
FDC party president Mugisha Muntu yesterday acknowledged that meetings to review the position of Leader of Opposition (LoP) and leadership of committees would be convened soon but was non-committal on the time frame.
“For me, the most important thing is that we will hold meetings with MPs, listen to them and look at the best way forward. I am hoping that there will be a consensus,” Maj Gen Muntu said.
Asked if he would drop current LoP Nandala Mafabi, the FDC president said he does not “deal in speculation”.
Sources close to Gen Muntu, however, indicated that there was growing consensus around his confidants to drop Mr Mafabi, who faced off with the General in a close contest for the presidency which has left the party fractured.
Mr Mafabi, who is also Budadiri East MP, lost the party presidency by 32 votes to Gen Muntu in November 2012.
Mr Mafabi protested the results, accusing several top officials, including the party secretary general, Ms Alice Alaso, of engineering his fall by tampering with the polling process.
The election was called after then party president Kizza Besigye decided to step down before completion of his term in 2014.
A tribunal headed by lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi was set up to study the complaints and propose a way forward but instead kicked up another storm when it advised that the party presidency be re-contested in 2014 when all other party positions are up for grabs.
Whereas the Mafabi camp insists that the November 2012 election only served to complete Dr Besigye’s term, Gen Muntu’s group insists he was elected to a full five-year term which can only end in 2017.
Top party officials were slated to meet today to discuss a new committee’s report on the contested length of party presidency but the meeting has been deferred to a yet-to-be-named date because the group is yet to file its report.
Contacted yesterday, Mr Mafabi insisted the party must implement the Rwakafuzi recommendations and indicated he would find no problem being replaced as LoP.
“The LoP office was never intended to be a life-time job. I have done my best and the party is free to do what it wants. FDC is growing and LoP was never going to be a life time job,” said Mr Mafabi.
The source close to Gen Muntu intimated that Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal could be poised to take over from Mr Mafabi because she is “agreeable to both camps”.