How Bugiri parliamentary election has divided Opposition

JEEMA’s Asuman Basalirwa

A meeting convened between FDC leaders and JEEMA party leaders over the forth coming Bugiri Municipality Parliamentary elections failed to yield positive results on Thursday.

The meeting was held at FDC party headquarters, Najjanakumbi and  was attended by the FDC president Patrick Amuriat, Salaamu Musumba and FDC deputy secretary general Harold Kaija, one side, with JEEMA’s, Hussein Kyanjo, the former Makindye west MP and other party members.

Sources who attended the meeting revealed that the forth coming Parliamentary elections is sharply dividing the two opposition parties, with each group claiming to have more support in the constituency.

JEEMA president Asuman Basalirwa and FDC’s Eunice Namatende are fighting to be fronted by the Opposition fraternity.

“I highly doubt whether they will agree. First of all, FDC thinks it has more support than JEEMA. But also Basalirwa’s group thinks he is a suitable candidate and more known at national level than the FDC woman,” a source said.

FDC’s Eunice Namatende

FDC not ready  

When contacted Mr Kaija didn’t reveal much but said more consultative meetings will be held between the two parties.

“I am hopeful that in the few weeks, the two parties will reach a consensus,” Kaija added.

But the reading on the walls shows that FDC is not ready to rally behind Basalirwa.

Mr Latif Waiswa, the FDC publicity secretary for Bugiri Municipality, thinks Ms Namatende has better chances of defeating NRM than Basalirwa. “I am not saying that Basalirwa is not fit for the seat but he is not on the ground like Namatende,’’ Waiswa said.

A repeat of Kyadondo East

Unless a consensus is reached soon, the country is likely to witness a replay of Kyadondo East by-elections which saw the Opposition was sharply divided between Robert Kyagulanyi (BobiWine) and   Apollo Kantinti. Kyagulanyi won the Parliamentary seat.

He got support from Democratic Party and some FDC members. The entire FDC leadership backed Kantinti, who was fighting to retain the seat.

DP announced that it would back Basalirwa, just as within FDC itself. Supporters of Gen Mugisha Muntu who lost the party presidency said they will support Basalirwa.

“Since university days, Basalirwa has been in the political struggle. I don’t know how many times Mr. Museveni has jailed Basalirwa because of opposing his Government. I am ready to finance his campaigns,” explained Mr Ibrahim Kasozi, the Makindye East MP.

Asked whether he will not face disciplinary measures if he drops, the party candidate, Kasozi said this political battle, is beyond political parties.

“We are busy organizing a team which will give Mr. Museveni headache. Don’t tell me about political parties,” he said.

Muwanga Kivumbi, the Butambala MP, who is also the shadow internal affairs minister said this time FDC should act in a sober way.

“Basalirwa has been in Opposition politics for very many years and he is a well-polished politician. He will add value on the Opposition team in Parliament,” Muwanga explained.

Besigye intervention  

A source from FDC said Basalirwa’s group last week approached Dr. Kizza Besigye, the former party leader to sweet talk his party not to front the candidate.

This is because the party leadership at Najjanakumbi led by Amuriat  is more loyal to Besigye than Muntu group.




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