What you need to know:
- Issue. "Once people who are in the party start acting against others, quite often those who are in power tend to revert to the state to protect them against their members, this is a likely trajectory if leaders don’t step back,” Dr Kizza Besigye, Former FDC president
Party elders at the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) yesterday appealed for talks to end the crisis in the party.
The FDC is in the spotlight following the explosion of long-simmering tensions with the party spokesperson, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju, taking the dramatic decision to publicly accuse Secretary General, Mr Nandala Mafabi, of conniving with the party president to allegedly secretly sell off the party to President Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement.
The party chairman, Mr Wasswa Birigwa, yesterday told this publication that the top leadership has already scheduled a national council meeting where the matter will be discussed, and hopefully settled.
“We have already scheduled the national council meeting next week to discuss these issues and the council will give direction on the way forward. Both sides will be given a chance to pronounce themselves on the matter,” he said.
“The national council decision will be final, then anyone who will go against the council’s decision will be subjected to disciplinary action in line with the party constitution.”
Equally, Mr Jack Sabiiti, one of FDC’s founding members, said: “Now that everybody has exposed themselves, we shall talk as a party to propose a way forward on how to resolve this issue. However, there is no need for alarm, these are minor issues which can be found in any political party or organisation.”
However, Prof Ogenga Latigo, who was once leader of the Opposition in Parliament under the auspices of FDC, said that the conflicting leaders must be helped to resolve their dispute.
“The current leaders of FDC cannot resolve this matter because none of them is currently representing the party. Let them call the delegates’ conferences and select an independent committee of leaders to weigh and investigate these accusations,” he said last evening.
“Secondly, FDC should reflect on the realities because a party cannot have two centres of powers, that is very wrong. And, if it is not solved the power struggles within the party will never end,” he added.
During a media briefing yesterday, the FDC founding president, Dr Kizza Besigye said that the current crisis in the opposition party can only be solved if the party leaders calm down, and agree on the way forward to end the crisis.
“Once people who are in the party start acting against others, quite often those who are in power tend to revert to the state to protect them against their members, this is a likely trajectory if leaders don’t step back,” Dr Besigye said.
At a parallel press conference held at FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday, the FDC president, Mr Patrick Amuriat noted that whereas the accusations against himself and Mr Mafabi may appear new to the public, the party through its structures has been trying so hard without success to resolve the same issues. He said Dr Besigye first brought them up during a party meeting in 2021.
He proposed that “the party elder’s committee be given an opportunity to present the findings from the concluded investigations on the matter instead of creating a crisis in the party by leaders who are supposed to defend it.”
At the same media briefing, Mr Mafabi said: “The FDC has got a robust conflict management system through which such issues are resolved without necessarily affecting the party cohesion.”
On Monday, Mr Ssemujju, and Kampala Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago who is FDC vice president for Buganda, convened what they called a consultative meeting at Nsambya in Kampala where they alleged that Mr Mafabi received money allegedly from President Museveni ahead of the 2021 elections.