KAMPALA – The opposition’s bid to claim the Hoima District Woman parliamentary seat is in jeopardy after disagreement emerged between Forum for Democratic (FDC) Party and the People Power movement over the management of their candidate, PML Daily exclusively reports.
In a rare show of solidarity, a combined force of FDC, Democratic Party (DP), Alliance for National Transformation and People Power pressure group have joined forces to rally behind the FDC candidate, Ms Asinasi Kamanda Nyakato.
She is taking on NRM’s Harriet Businge Mugenyi.
However, it has emerged that two days to the election, which is due on Thursday, September 26, a rift has emerged among the opposition parties, with FDC accusing People Power of hijacking the campaign.
Sources close to the two camps have told this website that senior People Power activists on the campaign trail have accused the FDC of not doing enough to support Ms Nyakato and have reportedly asked her not to associate herself so much with the FDC party symbol, the key, if she wants to win the election.
Hoima and the entire Bunyoro sub-region is an NRM stronghold and People Power supporters have reportedly warned Ms Nyakato to stop associating with FDC if she wants victory.
“Currently, all MPs from Bunyoro are NRM. This shows that to win a seat here, we need another strategy, which the FDC is not offering,” a People Power activist, who preferred anonymity said.
As a result, Ms Nyakato has started donning the People Power red beret and not associated herself much with FDC to the chagrin of senior FDC members who accuse other parties of blackmail.
Analysts say this could play to the advantage of NRM.
People Power spokesman Joel Ssenyonyi was not available for a comment as he is out of the country. However, Mr Ronald Muhinda, an aide to Dr Kizza Besigye, described the people power claims as blackmail.
“Truth is FDC paid Asinasi Nyakato’s nomination fees and has facilitated financially part of her mobilisation. FDC is also budgeted extra 22M for the last final push in the next 3days, part of which, about 12M is strictly for Asinasi’s agents in over 200 polling stations,” Mr Muhinda said in an interview on Tuesday.
He added that a team of loyal FDC activists has been deployed in Hoima throughout the campaign to mobilise for Ms Nyakato.
“These guys share rooms at guest houses, eat cheap food and have no perdiem and neither do they get any facilitation from the candidate. Harold Kaija, who is the Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Administration, has been to Hoima multiple times to campaign for Nyakato. But he is blackmailed,” he added.
“Some other individuals in FDC have made personal financial contributions to the campaign, as much as others who are not FDC may have done. The blackmail against FDC and it’s leaders is a precursor to the outcome: if Nyakato wins, she will not be FDC like in Jinja East, and if, God forbid she is rigged, FDC will be blamed. It’s simply psychological blackmail,” he added.