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BIG STORY: Inside the Besigye-Bobi Alliance ahead of 2026 elections

In the aftermath of the ongoing wrangles inside Uganda’s once strongest opposition political party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Dr Kizza Besigye, the founding party president and his allies are rumoured to be crafting a coalition with the Bobi Wine (real names Robert Kyagulanyi)’s National Unity Platform (NUP) ahead of the 2026 elections.

ChimpReports quoting sources inside the embattled FDC allege that Besigye’s insistence on forming a coalition with the NUP is at the heart of the current political crisis which has seen the party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat and the Secretary General Nandala Mafabi at the centre of receiving purported money bags from the State House.

According to the source who preferred to speak freely on condition of anonymity, “Besigye believes that FDC has lost its stamina as a result of defections, infiltration by NRM moles, and failure to mobilise resources and new supporters to effectively challenge President Museveni’s hold on power.”

“So, Besigye has been speaking to Bobi Wine and international supporters to see how to unite FDC and NUP for a common cause in 2026, but this idea has faced resistance, especially among top FDC leaders from eastern Uganda,” the source added.

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Chimp further affirms that the information quoted from the source was corroborated by multiple officials in FDC, who said the SG Nandala Mafabi is aware of the move to form an alliance with NUP and is publicly opposed to it.

Recently on a talk show on NBS Television, Nandala revealed how his fallout with Besigye started during a party event at Namboole Stadium when the former presidential candidate asked him to attend a meeting at the home of ex-FDC top shot Joyce Ssebugwawo to discuss a partnership with NUP which he refused.

Fallout brews between Besigye – Nandala

In another instance, the online publication further reports that during the 2021 election campaigns, Besigye, who is FDC’s ironman met Nandala in Kyambogo, where the former discussed details of his quiet engagements with NUP.

“After we asked Besigye for the Shs 300m meant for our party agents across the country, he came to my office in Kyambogo and instead sold us the idea that he had met with members of NUP and that they had agreed that NUP was to pay for agents where it was strong and FDC should pay agents where they were also strong,” Mafabi revealed recently in an interview with a local daily.

“We then asked Besigye how we were going to gauge strength in those places. This did not go down well with him and he has never returned,” he added.

According to highly placed sources within the FDC, Dr Besigye has not abandoned the idea of the opposition pulling resources and conducting joint rallies in the upcoming elections to challenge the ruling party.

“Besigye wants to take our party to NUP, but we will not allow him,” said a close associate of Mafabi, adding, “NUP has no respect for FDC leadership, we will fight Museveni on our own.”

Meanwhile, FDC Elders, this week piled pressure on Dr Besigye to provide evidence to back up his claims that Mafabi received Sh300 million from the State House in the run-up to the 2021 elections.

Besigye has in multiple fora maintained having evidence pinning FDC’s leadership in the dirty money saga.

However, the Special FDC Elders Committee (SEC) says no “dirty money” was used in the FDC’s 2021 presidential election campaign.

The SEC says that there is no evidence to support Besigye’s claims.

Amuriat has defended the SEC report, saying that it is a fair and impartial assessment of the state of the FDC. He has also called on Besigye to accept the findings of the report and to move on.

“Dr Besigye never disclosed to us the name of his informant about the “dirty money,” so we could not interrogate such a person, whereas Hon. Amuriat admitted to us that he indeed obtained Shs 280,000,000 from Hon. Mafabi for election agents,” said the SEC.

Dr Besigye, the first president of the party, described the SEC’s report as “not worth the paper it was written on”.

He further asserted that he gave SEC the serial numbers of the new money notes of Ugandan shillings amounting to Shs 300,000,000 which Hon. Mafabi asked him to keep in his house for FDC election agents.

Besigye said the SEC neither resolved the unresolved dirty money issue nor inquired into the current accounts and financial records using forensic methods.

Besigye said in Mafabi’s statements to the SEC that he never mentioned the Shs 280,000,000 that he gave to Hon. Amuriat and that the elders “selectively and inaccurately recorded” what he told them.

No evidence of ‘Dirty Money’ 

In response, Dr Frank Nabwiso who heads the Elder’s Committee told journalists in Kampala that his committee conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations of “dirty money” and found no evidence to support them.

The former Kagoma Member of Parliament said Besigye’s claims are “baseless” and “malicious.”

Nathan says that if anything, it is Ssemujju Nganda and Erias Lukwago who should be questioned on the source of their funds, arguing that the duo used a lot of money for their re-election in 2021, yet they don’t have any known successful businesses.

He said the duo could be the real wrong agents getting money from the state.

The SEC’s dispute with Besigye is the latest sign of the deep divisions within the FDC.

The party has been struggling to overcome these divisions in recent years, and it remains to be seen whether the SEC’s recommendations will be enough to unite the party.

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