OP-ED

OP-ED: Is the mighty FDC headed for the graveside?

Former FDC Presidents Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu (L) and Dr Kizza Besigye (R), in center in the current President Patrick Omoi Amuriat (POA)

By Steven Masiga | Mbale

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is one of the most ‘fished political lakes’ in Uganda and the ‘hooked fish’ is after a while seen in yellow attires confirming the narrative that fishermen and fishmongers may have been dispatched by the man in the yellow cap or his proxies doing so with his permission.

There was a time when political pundits claimed that “the blue lake had run out of fresh fresh” after the exit of heavyweights like now Speaker Among Annet, deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa and ministers like Hon Alex Onzima, Hon Betty Kamya and most recently Hon Joyce Ssebugwayo among others. The second exodus was followed up by Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu who chose to move on due to certain intricacies bordering on many allegations ranging from stabbing in the back and others.

Unlike the National Unity Platform (NUP) which was formed alongside the Ghetto model with men in dreadlocks, FDC was seen as a party of strong ideological and intellectual character with men who understood statecraft and deontology and were now in the steering wheel of the party. The “death” of FDC actually began with the exit of its long-serving President, Dr Kizza Besigye who like former Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta did not go to head the herd but stayed around politically with a number of strategies in place meant to ensure his public political relevancy.

There was once the “Suubi” forum where Besigye and now Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago were top leaders, then the phase of walk to work and the infamous kisefuluya (saucepan) which all in a way put him in constant limelight. Even while out of defacto leadership of FDC, Besigye was arrested more times than those who were in the party themselves like Hon Nandala and Eng Amuriat the party simply because the retired col “knows” the streets of Kampala more than those engrossed in FDC.

Rtd Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntu also began a harmful exit when he and top leaders of the party like Hon Winfred Kizza and Paul Mwiru of Jinja Municipality also decamped. After the political demise of Muntu in FDC, the Budadiri West Legislator, Hon Nandala Mafabi took over as a defacto president of the party with Eng Amuriat playing the fiddle as opposed to the other way round. It was Eng Amuriat as the president who was reporting to Hon Nandala instead of the latter reporting to the former.

In political science, there is a doctrine of sovereign power model where allegiance is paid to the one who identified the successor and not the successor. Whereas Dr Besigye sought to nationalize FDC, those who took over from him like Eng Amuriat respectfully “Itesonized” the party or to its extreme “bugisunized” it. Despite Mugisha Muntu fronting the idea of building party strictures how far he went nobody knows, he may have experienced internal contradictions and perhaps that is why he exited and went into ANT or let’s say he was building ANT from within the FDC. All these are plausible reasons.

Many times the ruling NRM has distanced itself as not a bad wisher for the FDC, but everyone knows how FDC in the formative days especially in 2001 and 2006 gave NRM a run for its cash.

Recently the FDC party is being torn a party with leaders shouting openly against each other including throwing various superlatives and adjectives and not limited to calling the other poor and rich. To resolve this impasse the source of the infamous cash that FDC honchos at Najjanankumbi splashed during the 2021 General elections should be properly explained. Good political accountability begins from the party in developed democracies this would have a very serious crime and of immense punishment.

This, therefore, should  publicly be explained otherwise another exodus is in the offing and this time that decamping may not form another party, but if trailed closely the footsteps may end up in the yellow lake or at its extreme to the standby generator camp

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The author is a researcher and administrator from Mbale. Tel 0706655811.



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