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Parties block FDC

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th December 2004 03:00 AM

THE Registration of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has again hit a snag after three parties filed objections against its registration.

THE Registration of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has again hit a snag after three parties filed objections against its registration.

By Milton Olupot and Jude Etyang

THE Registration of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has again hit a snag after three parties filed objections against its registration.

The Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM), the Movement for Democratic Change and the Women and Youth Party have challenged FDC’s slogan, name, symbols, and accused it of having rebel links.

In a letter to the Registrar General of Political Parties, Juliet Nassuna, UPM said FDC is a rebel group linked to the People’s Redemption Army (PRA)group.

UPM’s promoter Maj. Ronald said if Nassuna registered FDC, she would be registering a rebel group.

UPM also claims that their slogan: “One People, one country”, clashes with FDC’s “One people, One Uganda.”

The Women and Youth party says FDC was using their symbol of a key and a similar slogan.

The MDC said FDC’s name was similar to its own.

But FDC publicist Beti Kamya said none of the FDC promoters was a rebel.

“Those are cheap delaying tactics on behalf of Government. Those objections do not hold water. We see no conflict with any provisions of the law,” said Kamya.

She said UPM was fighting for a slogan which did not belong to it and that FDC was not similar to MDC. “Ours is a forum and theirs is a movement,” she said.

FDC’s registration application was gazetted on November 25, 2004. The public had 14 days within which to present reasons why FDC should not be registered.

FDC’s colours are red, yellow, green, blue, and black. Its symbol consists of the index and middle fingers, and the thumb folded for both the left and right hands.

Kamya said FDC’s symbol was a two-finger victory sign and not a key as claimed by the Women and Youth party.

Meanwhile, FDC promoters Sam Njuba and Jack Sabiiti yesterday filed the party response with Nassuna.

Another FDC official Chapaa Karuhanga said the objections were frivolous and meant to delay FDC’s registration. “Those objections are nothing to give serious thought to,” Chapaa said.

Nassuna said she would not register FDC until the objections were disposed of within 14 days. “I am going to handle it as provided by the Act,” Nassuna said.

Njuba told FDC’s weekly press briefing that he had written to President Yoweri Museveni, asking for a face-to-face meeting to explain why the opposition was being harassed. He cited eight cases of torture of FDC promoters.

“We have decided to meet him personally and put him to task, to explain to us and this country what he is doing in that office if he cannot guarantee the lives and freedom of all Ugandans, particularly when their violations have been brought to his attention.

“We shall demand that he makes a statement to the nation about intimidation and harassment and provide guidance to Movement overzealous albeit misguided activists that all political persuasions in Uganda have the same rights under our constitution and that the law allows indoor consultation until registration,” he said.

He said FDC would demand its political space and if Museveni could not guarantee God-given rights, he should resign.

Njuba said, “There is no more place in the world for leaders who cannot account to each of each individual citizen.

“He, personally, is overtly and covertly promoting and abetting this lawlessness by keeping quiet.

Surely if he can hear people who “insult” him on FM stations and can read about negative reporting, he must be hearing and reading daily reports of harassment and intimidation of FDC members,” Njuba said.

Museveni recently complained about what he called abuse on FM radios.

Flanked by Kamya and Wafula Oguttu, Njuba said rigging of the 2006 elections had already began.

“The NRMO party, masquerading as the Movement government, is using public funds to campaign, while frustrating efforts of opposition groups to carry out any mobilisation work,” he said.

He said they had advised Nassuna to register FDC speedily.

Parties block FDC

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