Two renegade members of the Democratic Party, Dr Lulume Bayiga, the Buikwe South MP and Medard Lubega, the Busiro East parliamentary seat hopeful, have returned to the mainstream party fold headed by Norbert Mao.
The members who have been hobnobbing the opposition Interparty Cooperation accepted to pay allegiance to Mr Mao, the DP presidential candidate and campaign for him for the good of the party.
DP secretary general Mathias Nsubuga confirmed the development on Thursday, saying it was a big boost to the party as it positions itself to capture power in next year’s elections.
“Yes, we have resolved the differences amicably and the two have received the party blessing to stand on the DP ticket in their constituencies,” he said by telephone after a closed meeting with the duo on Wednesday.
“We love to see all our members back so that we enter State House next year when we are one family.”
Mr Nsubuga said the return of the duo was also a manifestation that the current leadership can reconcile the warring factions within the party.
Dr Bayiga, a former deputy party secretary general, together with other party members had refused to recognise the leadership of Mr Mao as party president claiming that he was “beneficiary of fraud” after sailing through as party president during the Mbale delegates conference.
Dr Bayiga’s group said then that the conference was unconstitutionally convened. This faction has fielded a candidate, Mr Sammuel Lubega, to run as an independent presidential candidate.
Dr Bayiga’s known mobile telephone was off while Mr Lubega failed to pick up repeated calls from this paper yesterday. Recently, the former president of the party, Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, offered unconditional support to Mr Mao and pledged to join his campaign. Mr Ssemogerere had earlier refused to recognise Mao’s administration .
Meanwhile, members of the party in Mukono District have asked the party’s National Executive Council, to reverse its decision of fielding another candidate other than Betty Nambooze for the Mukono Municipality parliamentary seat.
The resolution was made at a meeting chaired by the district party vice chairperson Musisi Kirega, held in Mukono on Thursday. The members, numbering about 500, said it was not right for the party to back Godfrey Matovu without consulting them, considering that they know each candidate’s potential.
“At one point I thought that someone is bewitching my party, because there is no way NEC could come up with such a resolution without our input as people on the ground,” a party member, James Sekamate said.
DP announced Mr Matovu as its flag bearer for the seat, saying that Ms Nambooze, the Mukono North legislator, has never written to them expressing her willingness to run for the same office.
But Ms Namboze insisted that she wrote a letter and handed it to Mr Kirega.