NEWS

FDC candidates tussle it out in maiden Presidential debate

FDC Presidential candidates on Sunday evening faced off in the first party presidential debate of its kind. File photo.

KAMPALA–Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) supporters on Sunday afternoon gathered at Nsambya Sharing Hall for the party’s first presidential candidates debate that featured four contenders who are vying for the party’s top seat.

The candidates laid down their manifestos and what they intend to do for the party once they assume office. The FDC presidential candidate rate attracted four candidates including the incumbent Gen Mugisha Muntu. Others are Patrick Oboi Amuriat, Moses Byamugisha and Dan Matsiko.

Gen Muntu warned against internal squabbles in the party and explained how he intends to strengthen the party’s structures, mobilize resources and attract more Ugandans to it.

“We must continue working on internal contradictions. When we mature in handling internal contradictions, we build trust in the population,” the former army commander said.

He said he is ready to work with other political parties, noting that while Ugandan laws provide for inter-party collaborations and coalitions, this has been made difficult by the ruling NRM government.

Muntu’s main rival Patrick Amuriat when tasked to explain how he plans to separate his interests from those of the party said: “I have always isolated what is personal and what is common good. For instance in my campaign, we have been consulting in people’s homes; this shows how selfless my candidature is and how I can be trusted by the FDC.”
Candidate Byamugisha stressed that leaders who front their own interests exploit loopholes in the party that they themselves have created.

“You can only undermine the interests of the party, only when the institutions of that party are your making. But if I am a product of the systems of the party, I cannot have the power to disregard party interests,” he said.

Byamugisha also committed to reconcile rivalling factions of the FDC, one at Katonga Road and the others at Najjanankumbi.

The two factions, one led by former President Col Dr Kizza Besigye and the other by Mugisha Muntu have often times disagreed sharply on the method of operation with the former preferring a radical approach while the latter choosing pacific methods of operation.

Byamugisha noted that both factions’ tactics are needed.

“My role as president will be to sit at Najjanankumbi and rally the FDC infrastructure and support base behind the people’s government and its activities to do its work,” he said.

All candidates were tasked to give some of the aspects that they respect about each other, and on this, Gen Muntu hailed the two young candidates, Matsiko and Byamugisha for their courage.

“They are young and for them to come up and contest for the highest office is something that we need to respect. It shows their boldness and commitment to lead,” Muntu said.

The FDC delegates will be convening next Friday November 24 at Namboole to elect the party’s next president.

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