KAMPALA–At the press conference organized by Gen Mugisha Muntu, the outgoing FDC president, at Hotel Africana this morning, many expected the former army commander to announce that he was breaking away and forming his own political party. But the reserved former army commander did not.
Accompanied by more than 20 FDC legislators and some NEC members, Muntu instead said he will engage in consultative meetings to iron out ideological differences his team has with the defiance team led by the new elected president Partick Amuriat and Dr Kizza Besigye, the former party Presidential candidate.
“Forming another political party is of no use since politicians are products of bad culture sowed in 1962. The most important thing is to solve the contradictions within our parties,” Muntu told journalists amid a heavy downpour.
Immediately after the press briefing, PML Daily had a lengthy discussion with Muntu’s political aides.
They assured this website that the former bush war hero will be on the ballot paper come 2021.
“Part of the reasons why Besigye came out this time openly to fight Muntu he knows that we cannot continue moving in circle. For Besigye, he uses defiance to excite the population but for us we want a candidate who is ready to capture power,” one of Muntu’s aides revealed their next step of action to PML Daily.
The aide also revealed that the statements Muntu aired out at the press conference are for public consumption.
“As a military man, Gen. Muntu cannot quickly tell you his next step of action. But as someone who is closer to him, business will not be as usual,” the aide added.
Asked why they don’t contest for the party ticket in 2020, the aide said Besigye and Ingrid Turinawe, the party mobiliser, don’t allow any other alternative views to be adopted at Najjanakumbi, the party offices.
“In the next three years, Turinawe and Besigye will be running FDC but not Amuriat. They will force him to make changes including dropping those against defiance especially at Parliamentary level,” the aide explained.
But Besigye on Friday said it was unfair for Muntu to blame him for their defeat, adding that he used Amuriat’s campaigns as a platform to fight lifting the Presidential age limit and land amendment bill.
“They never invited me to attend their rallies. Also, I never entered halls, where Amuriat was meeting delegates,” Besigye said.
Pondering next move
In his concession speech at Namboole, Muntu said in the next few days, he would reveal his next move.
“There are decisions that I have got to make because while I congratulate you [Amuriat] for your victory, I also recognise that within the party there might be irreconcilable, either ideological differences, or methods or approaches. I’m an honest man, I’m always honest to myself I would like to be honest to you as well,” Muntu said.
Today, Muntu said he will set up a business office but did not reveal whether it will handle politics or trade.
When Besigye left FDC presidency, he went and established offices at Katonga Road, where he has been operating with other activitists to engage in civil disobedience.
This is the same method Muntu might adopt, according to his aides, to fight lifting age limit. Muntu also hinted on mobilising the masses to block President Museveni from amending Article 102(b) of the Constitution and also mobilize the population to vote FDC for LC positions.
Fate of Parliamentary positions
There is growing fear among Muntu supporters that Amuriat will drop Winnie Kizza as Leader of Opposition in Parliament, PAC and opposition chief whip, among others, in the next few months. Nandala Mafabi is tipped to replace Kiiza, according to sources from Amuriat camp.
Also before the nominations, it is alleged that a meeting was held between Amuriat and Mafabi and the later agreed not to contest for party presidency on the condition that he will bounce back as Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
Mafabi served in his position during Besigye’s tenure, replacing Prof Ogenga Latigo. Kizza took over the office from Wafula Oguttu in 2013.
When Oguttu failed to win the Parliamentary seat, Muntu appointed Kizza. Today, Kizza said she is afraid of being dropped because she occupied that office, knowing that she is supposed to serve for only two-and-half years.
“That office is not personal. As FDC, we make changes and if the new leadership extends my term, I will be happy but I came to office knowing that I shall serve only two years,” Kizza explained.