By Moses Mulondo & Patrick Ogwang
KAMPALA - Charismatic Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi has been elected the new FDC secretary general, and Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa the party chairman.
At a delegates' conference inside the UMA exhibition hall at Lugogo on Friday, Mafabi got 809 votes, Terego county MP Kassiano Wadri got 161 votes and Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Nagayi Sempala managed only nine votes in the race for the position of secretary general.
In a tight contest for party chairman, Biriggwa won with 434 votes. Wandera Ogalo was his closest challenger with 385 votes, and Moses Kasule tailed with 53 votes.
Political street activist Ingrid Turinawe also overwhelmingly defeated Anita Among, Justice Juuko, Ibrahim Kasozi, Obongi MP Kaps Fungaroo, Meddie Musisi, and Alfred Okech to become the FDC secretary for mobilization.
Turinawe got 497 votes, Among 162 votes, Fungaroo 113 votes, Kasozi 101 votes, Musisi 25 votes, Juuko 41 votes, and Okech 36 votes.
Other winners include Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda as party spokesman, Geoffrey Ekanya as treasurer general, Patrick Baguma as deputy president for the western region.
Joyce Ssebuggwawo was elected deputy president for the central region, Reagan Okumu as deputy president for the northern region, and Alice Alaso as deputy president for the eastern region.
Earlier, Mafabi looked on course for victory, going by the reaction of the delegates after his speech.
No sooner had he finished speaking than majority of the delegates gave him a standing ovation amidst lengthy ululations.
Some supporters carried him around the hall, causing a dramatic standstill.
FDC electoral commission chairman Dan Mugarura had to intervene to have the situation normalized and the program resumed.
Mafabi’s candidature received more boost when outspoken Aruu County MP Odonga Otto stated he had stepped down for Mafabi to resurrect optimism and activism within the party.
On his part, Mafabi promised a modern telephone to each district FDC secretary general and to immediately make all party district offices active.
Meanwhile, MP Nabilah Nagayi was duly nominated for the same position but her eventual absence hours to the election was a clear sign she had withdrawn from the race.
Kassiano Wadri, also vying for the same position, gave a last-minute fight by trying to woo support in his direction.
The last to speak, Wadri said voting Mafabi as the secretary general would cause the party to crumble.
“There is no way a person who doesn’t recognize the leader of the party can take over the office of secretary general and the party does not collapse,” he told members.
But his attack on Mafabi made him to be heckled by Mafabi’s supporters.
Ever since Gen. Mugisha Muntu defeated Mafabi in an acrimonious contest for the presidency of the party, the two leaders have never reconciled.
(Additional reporting by Nicolas Wasajja, Alfred Wandera)
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