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Tuesday,September 29,2020 18:27 PM

MP Centenary to go independent

By John B. Thawite

Added 21st July 2020 12:36 PM

Centenary accused Saulo Maate, the Kasese FDC chairperson and Rwenzori regional coordinator, of frustrating his move to register for the primaries.

MP Centenary to go independent

Robert Bwambale Centenary will run as an independent

Centenary accused Saulo Maate, the Kasese FDC chairperson and Rwenzori regional coordinator, of frustrating his move to register for the primaries.

ELECTIONS   POLITICS

All seems to be unwell in the Kasese camp of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) as two of the party's six MPs are showing signs of breaking away.

A few days after Kasese District Woman MP Winnie Kiiza quit active politics, her Kasese Municipality counterpart, Robert Bwambale Centenary, has announced he will seek re-election as an independent.

"Because of what is happening, I decided to take a decision not to participate in the FDC party primaries," he said.

Centenary accused Saulo Maate, the Kasese FDC chairperson and Rwenzori regional coordinator, of frustrating his move to register for the primaries.

Centenary said he picked the forms to seek re-election from the FDC headquarters at Najjanankumbi and took them to the district office, but Maate disregarded them.

"I picked expression of interest forms, but when I took a copy to the Kasese FDC office, Maate threw it away and went into an outburst," the MP said.

He also accused the district office of reconstituting the party structures.

"I was omitted from the party structures during that process of editing and it was done maliciously," Centenary said.

He added: "So, I will not subject myself to a fraudulent process and the manipulated structures."

"I have opted to come as an independent," Centenary said, maintaining he was still a member of FDC.

"That does not mean I am losing my membership in the FDC. I am on the national executive committee and I will support the party wherever possible."

He alleged that the chairperson had been compromised by one of the contestants for the municipality parliamentary seat.

"The other reason which is obvious are the internal contradictions within the party right from Najjanankumbi. I am not the only one," Centenary said. He claimed that Jackson Mbaju (Busongora South MP) had even bigger challenges.

Centenary said Najjanankumbi, which has given him a certificate of nomination, directed that he be removed from the database of nominated people.

He warned that the internal contradictions would be counter-productive to the biggest opposition party.

"It is now up to the leadership of the party to make sure they resolve or minimise them. Otherwise, if the party leaders are not agile enough, it will cost the party heavily," Bwambale said.

He also said his woes partly started when he started securing funds from State House to support various youth and women groups in Kasese Municipality.

The MP said his flight on President Yoweri Museveni's plane to attend a donors' conference for the Seventh-Day Adventist-founded Better Living Centre in 2018 had also earned him condemnation and suspicion within party fraternity.

"Our people do not want to come to terms with such management approaches. Our party is being run like a cult where people are not supposed to think outside the box," he said.

Centenary said he respected the move by the Kasese Woman MP to quit active politics much as the area MPs still wanted her to be on their team.

"She decided to walk the talk because she has been preaching against people who cling to power," Bwambale said.

On whether Kiiza would join Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu's Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) political party and Robert Kyagulanyi's People Power pressure group, Centenary said, "you cannot rule it out."

"The biggest disappointment for some of us has been that our colleagues in the FDC look at other forces of change in the struggle as adversaries, yet we are supposed to be complementing each other," Bwambale said.

He faulted the party for being "glued to one particular approach and looking at those who disagree with them as traitors."

The MP warned that if they do not allow all the approaches executed by different forces of change, "then we shall forever remain in the opposition."

He rubbished reports he was opting to seeking re-election on as an independent because the political ground was getting hot.

"That will be determined in the general elections," Centenary said.

FDC CHAIRPERSON SPEAKS

Maate said Winnie Kiiza was free to make the decision to quit politics.

"She has decided to pave way for other competitors, which I think is healthy," he said.

Maate dismissed reports that he had temporarily dismissed three MPs, including Kiiza, for allegedly undermining the party.

He, however, said the MPs in question had not been attending party meetings in the district.

"We have forged a way forward and opened the ground for everybody. It is upon individuals to make choices," Maate said.

ABOUT CENTENARY

Maate said MP Bwambale picked the nomination forms from Kampala and sent them to the Kasese FDC office.

"On June 23, we told him to go back to Najjanankumbi. He kept quiet until June 7," he said.

Maate said they waited for the forms until 5.30pm from Centenary but he never showed up.


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