Lukwago named interim FDC president as Birigwa faction suspends Amuriat, Nandala

Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago arrives for the FDC delegates meeting called by national party chairman Wasswa Birigwa at Katonga Road in Kampala on September 19, 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kampala, (UG): Kampala Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago has been named the interim president of the war-torn Forum Democratic Change (FDC) after the party faction led by Wasswa Birigwa unanimously agreed to suspend Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi as the party president and the Secretary-General respectively.

At the delegates conference convened yesterday at Katonga Road offices in Kampala, Mr Birigwa, founding party president, Dr Kizza Besigye, and other top leaders in the party also resolved to suspend the party’s national treasurer, Mr Geoffrey Ekanya.

According to FDC Spokesperson Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Lukwago takes on the mantle of party leadership on an interim basis, while Nandala and Ekanya will be replaced by their deputies in the meantime.

“..their deputies Harold Kaijja (secretary general) and Francis Mwijukye (treasurer) will perform the duties of these offices,” Ssemujju told the media on Tuesday afternoon.

The conference, according to Ssemujju, resolved to put in place an interim Electoral Commission “to organize free, fair and transparent internal party elections,” describing the elections organized by the party’s electoral commission boss Mr Boniface Toterebuka Bamwenda as “fraudulent.”

The delegates also agreed to set up a disciplinary committee to expeditiously investigate all the suspended leaders.

The breakaway delegates conference was initially to be held in Busabala, Wakiso before it suffered security blocks a day after Monday’s court ruling.

On Tuesday, supporters of rival factions in FDC clashed in Busabala amid heavy security deployment before the conference was shifted to Katonga Road which houses a major power centre and offices of Besigye.

As the party braced for a chaotic day, some delegates were held inside the Katonga premises as police fired tear gas at arriving FDC supporters with access cut off by midday.

In his earlier address to the media, Ssemujju accused the leadership of both Amuriat and Mafabi of “using police in attempts to capture the party.”

“The FDC people want to rescue their party from Mafabi and Amuriat who are paid agents of President Museveni because how can they fear that party members are meeting,” he said.

Meanwhile, the faction led by Amuriat maintains it will hold the official national delegates conference in October 2023, although they have yet to respond to the outcomes of the parallel faction at Katonga Road.

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