Muntu speaks out on Nandala Mafabi exit talk
Posted Monday, October 21 2013 at 18:51
Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, the president of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has warned some party members against stirring emotions in the party by threatening to quit over party leadership.
The warning comes after Daily Monitor reported that some FDC officials were plotting to oust Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
The move has reportedly angered some supporters of Mr Mafabi, who have threatened to leave the party if he is dropped from the position.
The supporters, mainly from eastern Uganda, have held four meetings where they made the resolution.
Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu said Monday that he is the only person with the mandate to decide whether Mr Mafabi is demoted or retained as Leader of Opposition in Parliament in consultations with the party organs.
Maj Gen Muntu says there is no need for agitation among party members since it is a necessary Parliamentary procedure to have a review of opposition leadership in Parliament after every two and a half years.
The FDC is to review its leadership in Parliament next month, as dictated by House rules. Besides Mr Mafabi’s position, the party will also review leadership of the four oversight committees it controls as the largest opposition party in Parliament.
However, the process has become sticky after it was reported that a section of confidantes of party president Mugisha Muntu were pressuring him to drop Mr Mafabi, whom they accuse of failing to reconcile with the former, after a heated election last year.
Maj Gen Muntu defeated Mr Mafabi by 32 votes in the November 2012 race to replace Dr Kizza Besigye, who chose to retire. However, Mr Mafabi cried foul, accusing top party officials, especially Secretary-General Alice Alaso of abusing her position to influence results against him.
The former army commander says any party official speaking about Mr Mafabi’s exit is doing so as an individual adding that, “as the party president he has not yet made his decision known until the right time comes.”
Following a petition by Mr Mafabi’s supporters, the party instituted a commission headed by city lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi to review the polls and make recommendations.
However, the commission’s move that Muntu only serves the remainder of Dr Besigye’s term and subjects himself to a fresh election in 2014 has kicked up another storm.
Maj Gen Muntu’s supporters say he was voted for a full-five year term while Mr Mafabi’s group insists it was only a by-election whose terms ends in 2014 when all other party positions come up for replacement.
The group also argues that the position, which was offered to Mr Mafabi by Dr Besigye in 2011, gives him clout that he uses to reportedly undermine Maj Gen Muntu.