By Vision Reporter
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential elections are hanging in balance as the party struggles to raise funds for the exercise.
With six weeks remaining for FDC delegates to elect their president, an inside source says the party has not yet got the money needed to run the November polls.
According to the source, who preferred anonymity, the party needs sh800m to pay for the venue (Namboole Stadium), buy foodstuff, fuel to run generators and transport refund for the delegates.
The Namboole Stadium administration has told the party to pay sh50m for the two days it had asked to use the venue.
Three contestants are vying for the party’s top job. They include Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Nandala Mafabi and Geoffrey Ekanya. The real competition is between Muntu and Mafabi. About 900 members are expected to vote.
Asked how much money the party has so far raised, party spokesperson Wafula Oguttu declined to mention it.
Like other opposition parties, FDC has been relying on Deepening Democracy programme, a consortium of donors, to finance most of its activities, which include organising elections and national council meetings.
Party officials accuse the Government of asking the donors to stop financing FDC on grounds that the party might use the money to engage in activities that undermine security.
However, Presidential Press Secretary, Tamale Mirundi, says parties do not get permission from the Government to receive donor money.
He attacked FDC, saying it is suffering from the image problem. “They chase away donors. There is no organisation that can associate with individuals who want to destabilise national security,” he said.
Ibrahim Kasozi, the FDC youth mobiliser, says there is no cause for alarm because the party has other sources of funding.
“We shall get the money for elections. We have wealthy NEC members who have been supporting the party. Sh800m is just peanuts,” Kasozi says.
FDC electoral commission chairman Dan Mugarura says the elections will be conducted as it is stipulated on their calendar and it will be successful.
Anita Among, the party’s fundraising secretary, however, said neither Mafabi nor Muntu would be allowed to donate big cash because that would compromise voters.