TOP
Thursday,October 22,2020 12:29 PM
  • Home
  • Archive
  • ‘Besigye tightens grip on FDC’

‘Besigye tightens grip on FDC’

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th February 2009 03:00 AM

THE new leadership of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has been stuffed with Col. Kizza Besigye’s loyalists, the NRM party deputy spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, has said.

THE new leadership of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has been stuffed with Col. Kizza Besigye’s loyalists, the NRM party deputy spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, has said.

By Milton Olupot

THE new leadership of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has been stuffed with Col. Kizza Besigye’s loyalists, the NRM party deputy spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, has said.

Opondo, however, explained that the FDC elections were their own business and said the NRM was ready to take on anybody in the next general elections in 2011.

“All I can say is that Besigye has managed to consolidate his grip on FDC. He has purged out parliamentarians and reduced their influence in the party. The power now rests on him,” Opondo added.

“This was driven by his fear of party members in parliament. He feared that he could be rendered powerless like Ben Kiwanuka in the 1960’s,” he added.

Kiwanuka was the leader of the Democratic Party.

Ofwono said the recent election for the FDC leadership was organised in such a way that critical members were kicked out. He named those left out as MPs Reagan Okumu, Patrick Amuriat, Beti Kamya and Abdu Katuntu.

“Besigye loyalists” like Alice Alaso, Prof. Ogenga Latigo and Sam Njuba were retained or even elevated, Opondo said.

He downplayed the entry of former EAC secretary general Nuwe Amanya Mushega into the party leadership. “We don’t see Mushega as a factor anymore in the politics of Uganda.”

Opondo said in 2006, Mushega supported Besigye but in his constituency, Dr. Richard Nduhura was elected unopposed for NRM. Mushega’s own sister, who stood against Karooro Okurut (NRM), was beaten hands down, he disclosed.

He also dismissed Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu as a non-starter. “We don’t read much in Muntu. Despite being the party chief mobiliser, he failed to put up a formidable challenge. How can you get 53 out of 800 votes?” he asked.

But FDC secretary general Alice Alaso dismissed the assertion that Besigye loyalists had taken control of the party. “The electoral process was so elaborate, done openly at every level. Those are NRM detractors who are unhappy about our achievements.”

“I don’t know about Besigye loyalty, but loyalty to the party. I am one of the people who pledge loyalty to FDC whether I am secretary general or not. I have an obligation to work with any member that has been chosen by the people.”

She said FDC had shown Uganda that it was possible to be democratic and to have free and fair elections.

“Once we get into power, we shall achieve much more than that,” she said, adding that Besigye had humbled himself to the electoral process.

“People came from the countryside and demonstrated that they still have confidence in him and the party by overwhelmingly voting for him.”

On the issue of kicking out MPs from the FDC leadership, Alaso explained that MPs who are on the party ticket were mainly from the east and northern parts of the country yet there was need to have the party run nationally.

Other political party leaders commended the election, saying the process showed growing democratic principles in the country.

People’s Progressive Party leader Jaberi Bidandi Ssali yesterday said: “The elections were a good sign of democratic principles setting into our country. I definitely congratulate Dr. Besigye and wish him well.”

He, however, declined to discuss more, saying the rest were internal issues. “I don’t know whether his re-election will strengthen the party or not but it is a good development.”

DP leader Ssebaana Kizito said it was good that the delegates conference had representation from all parts of the country.

“It is the feeling of the members of the party. They have spoken and I hope he will be able to lead the party to the expectations of the people,” he said.

Besigye was re-elected party president for the next five years during a delegates conference on Friday night at Namboole.

Mugisha Muntu did not seek any other position after losing. It is expected that Besigye will re-appoint him as secretary for mobilisation.

The conference disbanded the “steering committee” that was handing the day-to-day matters of the party.

The committee had reportedly usurped the powers of the party president.

Without the committee, sources said Besigye will have a freer hand to take decisions on the day-to-day issues of the party.

‘Besigye tightens grip on FDC’

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author