OPED: Turmoil in FDC; Is Besigye’s Chauvinism a Source Of Conflicts In the Party?

By Massa Abrahams

Kampala: The ongoing political wrangles in the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) have been instigated by selfish individuals in the party. The saboteurs include founder and first President Dr. Kizza Besigye, Waswa Birigwa, the national chairman, chief whip Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda, and political prostitute Erias Lukwago who only left his former party DP after he could not dislodge strongman Nobert Mao, DP’s president.

The four selfish individuals, Besigye from western Uganda and the three from Buganda are playing tribal politics. They are not happy that FDC, the once powerful and progressive political opposition party is being led by hard-working men from eastern Uganda -Nathan Nandali Mafibi [Bugisu], the Secretary-General and Eng. Patrick Amuriat, the party president from the mighty Teso Sub-region.

It should be remembered that Besigye resigned from the FDC leadership after being told by Nandala and Amuriat and a few others that they would not agree with his suggestion to support Robert Kyahgilanyi a.ka Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP)during the 2020/2021 presidential elections.

Besigye was annoyed and would later come up with the so-called People’s Government platform where he hoped to work with other self-seeking politicians like Lukwago who enjoy political chaos, thinking that by using chaos, they can dislodge the mighty National Resistance Movement (NRM) from leading the country. Remember Nandala and Amuriat are people of diplomacy, and they have on several occasions disagreed with Besigye on the use of violence to gain political power.

There is no doubt that Besigye today has set up his office at Katonga Road in Kampala where he continues to hurt FDC for his own political good. He is like a father who does not want his sons to mature so he remains controlling them in whatever they do.

Remember that General Mugisha Muntu and others moved from the FDC to form Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) to escape from the violence of Besigye, Ssemujju, and others who were much interested in seeing people die of gunshots on Kampala streets and other major towns. They accused Muntu and others of being moles of the NRM in FDC. Now it has turned out that they are also moles in the FDC. To take into account that as ANT is building its structures, Besigye, Lukwago, Birigwa and Ssemujju want to kill FDC because they don’t like its leaders who don’t belong to their tribes.

Enter the money issue

Not long ago, Ssemujju overstepped his powers [as party spokesperson and chief whip in parliament]and organised a meeting of greedy and disgruntled FDC members to accuse Nandala and Amuriat of receiving Shs 157 billion from President Yoweri Museveni so that they could fight NUP during the last parliamentary and presidential elections. Unfortunately, Ssemujjua, a habitual liar has failed to provide evidence for this. The NRM big men have asked him to give this evidence.

Nandala and Amuriat on the other hand claim that FDC has funders that provide it with some money to run programmes. Indeed they say during the last presidential campaigns they gave Besigye Shs 300 million to do party work, but that Besigye only returned it after he was told he must account for the money. In fact, there is a claim that Besigye as a founding member of the FDC wants to be given 30 per cent of any money that comes into the pockets of the party. This Nandala and Amuriat have refused to honour, one of the reasons he is fighting the two.

Ssemujju’s lies continue

However, much as Ssemujju and Lukwago claim Nandala and Mafabi got money from Museveni and failed to account for it, the men from Buganda are also the biggest beneficiaries of the Museveni government where they have been given billions of shillings through political and legal processes.

As Ssemujju and Lukwago go against Nandala, the man from Bugisu is one of the major funders of the party. He is one of those FDC leaders that got loans to buy the headquarters of the party. Nandala has funded different FDC candidates across the country during the elections and even supported those with court cases. On the hand, Lukwago and Ssemujju, Nandala said, are stingy with their money when it comes to party activities.

The Winnie Byanyima factor

There is a section of FDC members who say Besigye is intentional in trying to disorganise the FDC. He would want his wife Winnie Byanyuma of UNAIDS to take over the leadership of the party and probably contest for the presidency after retiring.

Food for thought

Those who have seen the greed of Besigye, Ssemujju, Birigwa and Lukwago say the four should move away from the FDC and form their own tribalistic political party. FDC members, supporters, and others from Bugisu and Teso are not happy that the four political opportunists are tarnishing the image of their sons based on tribal lines, especially, Ssemujju and Lukwago, who they must chase away Nandala and Mafabi so that they lead the party based on sectarianism.

In fact, sources say Ssemujju and Lukwago are not happy that the young Bobi Wine, NUP’s president, has overshadowed them in Buganda and Uganda. They would want also to be seen as popular leaders in Buganda and Uganda. And they think they can achieve that selfish interest by doing away with Nandala and Amuriat in FDC. Should FDC members side with these two, the party will lose its national outlook, and it will become another Kampala or Buganda political party. The four will never be welcomed in other regions of the country.

By Massa Abrahams
mabranick@gmail.com

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