What you need to know:
- Mr Kenneth Opoka, the party chairperson in Agago District, led a team of six delegates who arrived yesterday morning. He said most delegates from the Acholi Sub-region, including from Gulu City, Lamwo, and Kitgum districts, had already arrived, with others enroute.
Hundreds of delegates from across the country were arriving in the capital overnight ahead of an extra-ordinary delegates’ conference called by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party chairman Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa, whose status remained uncertain by press time.
Sources said delegates began arriving on Sunday evening despite uncertainty surrounding the conference due to a court injunction that was issued to stop it.
“The conference must proceed, regardless of the court order,” a party official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding: “Our delegates started arriving on Sunday, and more are expected [on Monday] ahead of Tuesday.”
Mr Kenneth Opoka, the party chairperson in Agago District, led a team of six delegates who arrived yesterday morning. He said most delegates from the Acholi Sub-region, including from Gulu City, Lamwo, and Kitgum districts, had already arrived, with others enroute.
However, Mr Opoka said they had not received the day’s programme and were unsure about where to go.
“We do not know where this conference is taking place, but I am confident that by 6p.m., we will be informed of the venue,” he said during the day yesterday. The official said he and his delegation were not aware of the court injunction that had been issued to stop the conference.
Mr Kennedy Okello, an official in the party presidency, confirmed that delegates were arriving at designated points for accreditation before today’s meeting.
“So far 800 delegates have arrived at different points, they are getting accredited, and they will be transported to Busaabala where they will stay,” he said.
“We had invited about 1,000 delegates, but we have received confirmation from 1,200. While around 800 have already arrived, others are still enroute,” he added.
Accreditation was taking place at Katonga, the offices of the former party president and founding father Dr Kizza Besigye, as well as at Busaabala, a resort on the shores of Lake Victoria, about 30 minutes from the capital Kampala.
Rival FDC party officials, including Party President Patrick Amuriat and Secretary-General Nandala Mafabi, have vigorously opposed the extra-ordinary delegates’ conference taking place.
Mr Mafabi said the party did not know about the event and took the extraordinary step of writing to the police requesting that they do not provide security for it and the delegates.
Last week, the police refused to offer security and cautioned the rival party faction against proceeding with the meeting, citing concerns of potential violence and chaos. However, Mr Birigwa remained resolute, asserting to the Monitor in an interview that the meeting would proceed, with or without police security.
The Lord Mayor of Kampala, who also serves as the Deputy President of FDC, Mr Erias Lukwago, affirmed that the conference would proceed as scheduled.
The crisis within the party, which has persisted for months, deepened last month with the revelation of two separate national delegates’ conferences, one called by Mr Birigwa and the other by the chairperson of the party electoral commission.
While the two conferences have different agendas, both require substantial budgets to accommodate more than 1,700 delegates from various parts of the country. The agenda for the extraordinary conference called by Mr Birigwa involves receiving reports from the party chairman, party president, secretary general, and treasurer general. This will be followed by plenary sessions, resolutions, and adjournments.
In contrast, the second National Delegates Conference aims to elect the National Executive Committee leadership, including the party president, deputy presidents, and the secretary general.