KAMPALA – Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu will seek to pursue his political aspirations inside the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, the party that has just replaced him as it’s topmost leader.
The former army commander announced at a morning press conference on Wednesday that he respected the outcome of the weekend party elections won by former Kumi Member of Parliament Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and will not seek to breakaway from the party as had been heavily anticipated.
“I respect the outcome of the elections,” he said at the press conference franked by a hoist of MPs including the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kiiza.
“It is also clear that there are significant differences, some feel these differences are irreconcilable but we intend to pursue a consultative process to talk about these differences,” he said at a press conference moderated by FDC spokesman Ssemuju Nganda, held today at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
On a possibility of leaving FDC and forming a new party, he said: “The consultations we are going to make are going to guide us, we don’t intend to do anything secret because there is nothing to hide.”
“There are certain dynamics that are developing in this country and we need to critically examine them. We want to make an informed decision through a carefully considered decision.”
He says that he will carry out the consultations under his capacity as a senior member of the party.
“Everything we shall do will be in the open… politics is not a private affair.”
On his relationship with the incoming party president Patrick Amuriat, he maintains he has no problem with him.
“There is nothing personal in all of this. I have no problem with Hon Amuriat…So in whatever I do, I will be looking at how FDC can be improved because at the end of the day, this country will be run by political parties. I intend to be briefing Amuriat of every decision we’ll be taking because politics is not a private business,” he added
Gen. Muntu, whose defeat by Mr. Amuriat during the weekend FDC polls left divided opinion within in the opposition party and the country had left everyone guessing on his next move, with some of his supporters encouraging him to quit the opposition party where he has been regularly reffered to as a mole.
Gen. Muntu did concede he felt worked up associating with people who “did not trust him” in his weekend concession speech but only said “I will be making some decisions in the next few days”.
Gen Muntu’s full statement
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support you showed our campaign over the last three months.
We travelled to all the regions of the country and were overwhelmed by the amount of passion and determination Ugandans have to change the political fortunes of our country.
During the course of the campaigns, it became very clear to all of us that the political culture that has been established by the regime is not only detrimental to our development as a nation, but also very unpopular.
People are tired of politicians lying, cheating, pretending and selling to them hot air. Ugandans are ready for change, and with a little more organisation and grassroot mobilization, we can all be a part of that change.
As I speak to you today, doctors have just called off a strike because of horrible working conditions, public prosecutors are on strike because of poor working conditions, the number of decent jobs available are declining, crime is rising and Ugandans are being plunged deeper and deeper into desperation.
In the midst of these challenges, the only thing General Museveni is interested in is changing article 102(b) of the constitution to allow him to stand in 2021 and changing the land laws to disadvantage the already disadvantaged Ugandans.
In light of these facts, I would like to announce today that starting next week, we will be going back to doing what we were doing before the campaigns began: joining hands with all like minded Ugandans and partners in building the structures and networks necessary to resist General Museveni’s attempts to change our constitution and to empower
Ugandans to take back their country. Specifically, we are going to be doing the following:
1. Mobilizing all Ugandans to participate in the election of LC1 chairpersons and women councils as and when these elections take place
2. Encourage, support and mentor pro-change Ugandans across party lines to offer themselves as candidates in these elections as and when they take place
3. Mobilize Ugandans across party lines to pressure government to drop their efforts of changing the provisions of our constitutional provisions on presidential age-limits and land
Lastly, I know that there are many among you that have been asking me about the recently concluded party elections. As I stated on Saturday morning, I fully respect the outcome of our party’s elections and congratulate the new party president. It is also clear that there are significant, undeniable issues and differences that exist within the party. Some emerged during the campaigns while others have been long-standing.
There are some who feel these differences are irreconcilable while there are others that feel they can be resolved. The only way to know what is true is for us to have a frank, open and exhaustive discussion about this not just with the newly elected FDC leadership, but with other stakeholders right from the grassroots to national level. We intend to pursue this consultative process and will have an opportunity to start it on Friday this week (1st December) when I officially hand over office at Najjanankumbi.
Regardless of the outcome of these consultations, I would like to reiterate this to Ugandans: let us all put the interests of the country ahead of personal or even party interests. Let us focus our efforts on doing whatever we can to build a Uganda we can all be proud of.
A country that truly offers each of her citizens the opportunity to prosper, access justices and be united in our diversity and just. This is a vision I have worked towards ever since I was 23 years old and by God’s grace, it will be the vision I work towards for all my waking days. God bless you and God bless this beautiful nation we all call home.
Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu