Birigwa snubs meeting with Amuriat as FDC crisis deepens

A photomontage of FDC President, Mr Patrick Amuriat (left) and the national party chairman, Mr Wasswa Birigwa. Mr Amuriat says he plans to meet Mr Birigwa over the National Delegates Conference. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Mr Amuriat had last week indicated that he was to meet the national party chairperson yesterday to harmonise the upcoming National Delegates Conference meetings

The crisis in the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has deepened after its national chairperson, Mr Wasswa Birigwa, declined to meet the party president, Mr Patrick Amuriat.

Mr Amuriat had last week indicated that he was to meet the national party chairperson yesterday to harmonise the upcoming National Delegates Conference meetings.

However, inside sources at the FDC Najjanankumbi headquarters indicated that Mr Birigwa did not turn up for the meeting yesterday.

His failure to turn up was attributed to the failure by the party president to specify the agenda of their meeting.

“Birigwa gave Amuriat conditions for him to turn up for the meeting. Since his demands were not honoured, he did not show up for the meeting today (yesterday),” one of the sources, who preferred anonymity said.

According to the conditions, Mr Amuriat was required to avail him (Birigwa) a clear agenda of the meeting, indicating clearly that he was ready to bring peace in the party.

Mr Amuriat is said to have declined to meet the conditions on grounds that the national chairman intended to frustrate the meeting.

When contacted yesterday, Mr Birigwa said he could not turn up for that meeting when the party is still in turmoil.

“We need to first organise ourselves before we meet. For now, I will hold a press conference next week on Monday to address the nation on our upcoming delegates’ conference and other things within the party,” he said.

We could not get a comment from Mr Amuriat who did not pick our calls by press time.

 However, the deputy party spokesperson, Mr John Kigonyongo, said Mr Birigwa indicated that the date set for the meeting was not convenient for him.

“I do not think he put any conditions. Ironically if there is a meeting, one should not put conditions. However, I saw a letter he wrote, indicating that he was ready to meet but was not available yesterday. Perhaps another date will be set for the meeting,” Mr Kigonyongo said.

The crisis in the party deepened last week after the revelation of two upcoming parallel national delegates’ conferences, one called by Mr Birigwa and the other by the chairperson of the party electoral commission.

Mr Birigwa had in an August 18 notice called for an extraordinary National Delegates Conference, which, as per the letter seen by Daily Monitor, is scheduled for September 19.

This is a mere 17 days before the second National Delegates Conference summoned by the party electoral commission chairperson, Mr Boniface Toterebuka, which is set for October 6.

While the two conferences have different agendas, both require substantial budgets to accommodate more than 1,400 delegates from various parts of the country. This has left party supporters uncertain about the two competing events.

The agenda for the extraordinary conference called by Mr Birigwa involves receiving reports from the party chairman, party president, secretary general, and the treasurer general. This will be followed by plenary sessions, resolutions, and adjournments.

 In contrast, the second conference aims to elect the National Executive Committee leadership, including the party president, deputy presidents, and the secretary general.

The deputy party spokesperson, Mr John Kikonyongo, last week stated that the party is unaware of the delegates’ conference summoned by Mr Birigwa.

He said the party lacks the capacity to host both events.

 “We urge our chairperson to meet with other party leaders to harmonise these meetings. Funding his conference raises concerns about the source of the money. Raising funds illegally is a possibility,” Mr Kikonyongo said.



 This comes at a time when the party is grappling with internal disputes stemming from allegations of improper financial transactions raised by some senior party members against the party president, Mr Amuriat and the secretary general, Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi.