Saturday February 18 2017

Muntu faults EC on LC poll delays

FDC party president Mugisha Muntu (left)

FDC party president Mugisha Muntu (left) addresses party leaders during their mid-term strategic plan review meeting in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 


Kampala. Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Mugisha Muntu has faulted the Electoral Commission (EC) for delaying to issue guidelines for the forthcoming Local Council elections.
Gen Muntu, who was speaking on the sidelines of his party’s mid-term strategic plan review yesterday, challenged the EC to borrow best practices from FDC.
The former army commander said FDC had already issued its road map for the election of a new party president 10 months ahead of its November polls; something the national electoral body ought to emulate.
“We have waited for 15 years to elect LC1, up to now, there are no guidelines yet there are about 60,000 posts for contest and more than 200,000 candidates,” he said.
About 1,000 delegates will elect the FDC party president in November this year.

EC speaks out
At a media briefing this week, EC chairperson Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said the electoral body had not delayed in developing the necessary guidelines but was constrained by the lack of resources.
“We are doing what is reasonably possible in the circumstance pending release of funds by government. By the time the funds are released, we will have moved,” Justice Byabakama said.
On allegations that some members of FDC have been convinced to join the NRM party or have agreed to work in principle with the same government they oppose, Gen Muntu said he was not bothered by individuals as long as the party structures are strong and working.

“I don’t care about the individuals whether they hobnob, even if there are some who would be compromised. My view is that the only danger an individual can cause within the organisation or a party is when they become a source of conflict and you don’t have the internal capabilities to manage that conflict to end it even before it starts; but we have that capability,” he said.
In his maiden speech after being announced winner of the 2016 presidential elections, President Museveni, at his country home in Rwakitura in Kiruhura District, announced he would “wipe out the Opposition completely in the next five years.” But Gen Muntu said the attempts by the incumbent are counterproductive for the country.
“If you are a responsible leader, you would instead of trying to destroy parties, be concentrating on how to strengthen parties because inevitably, a party that is now in power will at some point leave. If the other parties are not prepared and they are the ones ruling, if they wreck the country, the responsibility of that wreckage will be traced back to you,” Gen Muntu said.
“It seems Gen Museveni has no care at all about the future about the time he will be out of power because if he cared, I don’t know how he would think he should spend any time or effort in trying to destabilise the Opposition,” he concluded.