FDC rift: Amuriat seeks meeting with Birigwa

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 said he has agreed with the national party chairman to meet on Thursday to harmonise the upcoming meetings, but the latter denies having any knowledge of the  meeting.

The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Mr Patrick Amuriat, has said he is set to meet the national party chairman, Mr Wasswa Birigwa, over the National Delegates Conference.

Speaking to our sister television NTV at the weekend, Mr Amuriat said the meeting is slated for August 31.

“I would like to assure the FDC members that we are going to reconcile these contradictions. We are going to have one meeting and not the two meetings,’’ Mr Amuriat said.

The crisis in the party deepened last week after the revelation of two upcoming and competing 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’s electoral commission chairperson, Mr Boniface Tuterebuka, 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 National Delegates 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 Kigonyongo stated last week.

Mr Amuriat said he has agreed with the national party chairman to meet on Thursday to harmonise the upcoming meetings.

“I am very sure that we shall restore harmony within our organisation. We keep hopeful that people will listen and come out with one voice as the party members,” Mr Amuriat said.

Mr Birigwa told Daily Monitor : “I have not spoken to Mr Amuriat. I have not heard from him. I am tired of these issues. I have been in the media so much and I am tired”.

Grassroot polls

On the issue of grassroot elections, Mr Amuriat said the party is determined to hold residual elections even after the delegates’ conference.

“We are determined to have leadership across the country and we shall be going to all districts that did not elect their leaders. We shall go to that district even after the delegates’ conference to ensure that we hold the remedial election,” he said.

The delegates who are slated to participate in the forthcoming delegate’s conference are the ones who were elected in the grassroots elections.

However, some districts boycotted the elections due to the fights in the party.


      FDC is grappling with internal disputes stemming from allegations of improper financial transactions raised by the party spokesperson, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju, and other senior party colleagues against Mr Amuriat and the party secretary general, Mr Nandala Mafabi.

    The situation has thrown FDC into upheaval, with the Ssemujju faction accusing the Najjanankumbi team of receiving billions of shillings from the State House in the run-up to the 2021 general elections, a claim they deny. At the same time, other party members partly attribute FDC’s troubles to the two power centre, one at Najjanankumbi where the party offices are, and the other at Katonga Road where the Influential founding president, Dr Kizza Besigye, has his office.