By Umaru Kashaka
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has said the actions of the former Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya that saw him publicly support an opposition candidate in the just concluded Luweero by-election are helping the opposition to weaken the ruling NRM party.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi Monday, FDC spokesperson John Kikonyogo said Bukenya is exposing the “dirt” within the NRM which will help disorient many from supporting the party come 2016 general elections.
“Bukenya is helping us to weaken the NRM party. It’s none of our business whether NRM disciplines him or not. He was the former deputy president and now it's good he is exposing NRM's wrongdoings in public,” Kikonyogo said.
While addressing journalists in his office at Parliament last week, Prof. Bukenya justified his actions saying as long as his party continues with injustices like intimidation and intolerance against opposition politicians, he will fight it.
“We don’t want our country to be turned into a police state. If a candidate is nominated by law, they are free to go to their constituencies and campaign. If you go and shoot at people, that is unwanted behaviour,” said Prof Bukenya, who is also the NRM chairman for Wakiso district.
The Busiro North MP dismissed reports that he is secretly talking to President Yoweri Museveni and vowed he would not give up on his plan to stand for president in 2016.
“The ongoing exercise of promoting Museveni’s sole candidature is illegal. It is only the Central Executive Committee and National Executive Committees that have the constitutional powers to recommend candidates for electing in the national conference,” he explained.
The NRM deputy spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said Bukenya’s actions are the least of their worries.
“We are less bothered by what he (Bukenya) says or where he goes. There is freedom of association. You come in (the NRM) and you get out. Let’s wait for 2016 elections and see whether his actions will add the opposition presidential votes or parliamentary votes,” Ofwono said.
NRM party said Bukenya would face disciplinary action for contravening the party constitution and the code of conduct by campaigning against the official party flag bearer.
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Bukenya’s actions good for opposition, says FDC