I’m ready to challenge Besigye, says Amuriat

This photo combo created on August 8, 2023 shows former FDC party president Dr Kizza Besigye (L), current FDC president Patrick O Amuriat (C) and secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi. 

What you need to know:

  • Amuriat says FDC lawyers loyal to his faction are moving to open legal proceedings against organizers of the September 19 Katonga meeting. 
  • The leader of the Najjanankumbi faction, Amuriat, has also vowed a gathering parallel to Tuesday's Katonga meeting. 

A combative Patrick Amuriat Tuesday evening said he is “prepared to challenge fellow opposition figure Dr Kizza Besigye in any way possible,” hours after a rival faction resolved to oust him as president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.

Early Tuesday, an extra-ordinary delegates conference called by national FDC chairman Wasswa Birigwa and attended by Besigye- agreed to suspend Amuriat, naming his deputy Erias Lukwago as his immediate replacement.

“I had a lot of respect for our founding president (Besigye) but I am a man who cannot be a bootlicker of anyone,” Amuriat remarked, adding that the “code that brought us together as FDC has been broken today.”

Downplaying the resolve of the Tuesday meeting at Katonga, Amuriat branded the gathering a “big joke.”

“Nothing is going to happen. We know that the meeting in Katonga is a fallacy and a contempt of a court order issued on Monday,” Amuriat noted.

FDC president since 2017, Amuriat viewed that the delegates who attended the Katonga conference are not recognized members of the party.

“They do not have powers to decide even if there was no court order against their conference. Those resolutions of the so-called delegates are a nullity, and our lawyers are working on a case against the individuals who were prominent in today’s incident,” he emphasized while appearing on the KFM Hot Seat.  

FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda September 19 announced that FDC secretary general Nandala Mafabi and several other elements of the Amuriat leadership were a subject of a National Executive Committee (NEC) probe following their suspension.

But Amuriat claims that Tuesday events were a culmination of a long term written script intended to destroy the party, himself and Mafabi- over the issue of state funding.  

“Of all people, I can excuse Ssemujju and Lukwago because they are fairly new in the party. But people like Francis Mwijukye, Harold Kaija and Besigye…no I really think they have shot themselves in the foot by trying to kill their own party,” he added.

Now, Amuriat has vowed to progress with a parallel gathering set for next month.  

“We have the capacity to regroup and move forward with or without Besigye…and I can assure you that we are going to move forward. We are now progressing with the preparation for the election of NEC on October 16, 2023,” he highlighted.

‘Terrible mistake’

On Tuesday, Amuriat also slammed Birigwa for being “a comedian” after images showed the FDC chairman climbing over a wall amidst chaotic scenes at Katonga.

“I really wonder if this 75-year-old man will stop this comedy. I don’t know what his upbringing taught him but I think it is his nature. The wall in Katonga will not be the last for him to climb,” Amuriat lamented, going on to say:

“It was a terrible mistake to trust him with the role of a national chairman.”