KAMPALA – Forum for Democratic Change – FDC founding leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye has advised the party leadership to step back while wrangles within the institution are addressed.
On Monday the party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda convened a consultative meeting at Nsambya Sharing Hall in Kampala in which he accused the top leadership of soliciting resources from unknown sources and they failed to declare them to the party.
FDC president Patrick Amuriat Oboi and party secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri County West MP) are also accused of failing to implement key party decisions as were agreed by national executive council (NEC) members.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday at his offices on Katonga road, Dr Besigye noted that he believes that the party’s failure to adapt to “state capture” has led to the current wrangles within the institution.
“Everyone you see in parliament has paid his or her way there. I hear they paid about 500 million shillings at the time of the last election to get to parliament. I wonder how much it will be by the next election.”
Dr. Besigye says political parties that cannot raise money must depend on the government, either formally or informally. “If you have to conduct a meaningful campaign, you must adapt.”
He noted that he was convinced after the 2011 elections that elections can’t cause change or remove President Museveni. “I went and proposed to my party to change the structure of the party and also change engagement, but my proposal didn’t attract support.”
“I have continuously sounded the warning that if we continue the way we are as political parties, we will all be captured. In fact, Mr. Museveni was bragging that there will be no opposition by 2021. We must congratulate ourselves that at least we are still here,” he added.
Commenting on the allegations, Amuriat and Nandala denied the financial allegations and party undermining accusations made by senior members.
“We will not disclose and betray our funders. They could be in government, business people, or civil servants. This is meant to protect them from the Junta,” said Amuriat.
“The FDC has never received money from Museveni as we are being accused. The only money the party gets through the Electoral Commission is legal and accounted for,” he added.
Amuriat noted that the allegations of funds received from hostile groups by the party were made by their founding President, Kizza Besigye in 2020, in private.
“He said that he had received intelligence that money was obtained from the Museveni establishment. It has taken us 2 years to try, quietly, to resolve this matter without much success.”
He also attacked party vice president (central) Erias Lukwago, noting that, “The record of the Lord Mayor is clear; he is hopping from one institution to another for political experiences. He thought he would be a mercenary here, but we have no mercenaries here.”
Amuriat said that they received information about the funders of the Nsambya meeting from suspicious sources and all the people who contributed to that meeting have never contributed to the well-being of party. According to Ssemujju, the meeting was funded by party MPs and the Lord Mayor.
While Ssemujju says that internal elections are being selfishly bungled, Amuriat says that his accusers are simply fearing the elections.
Nandala Mafabi, believes that the Nsambya meeting was based on falsehood to destroy FDC leadership.
“Hon. Semujju’s clique has made accusations without evidence. If this is not malice, why don’t they bring evidence? You say that you saw us in the State House receiving money, but why don’t you share the evidence?”
According to him, the 2021 election was poorly funded with less than 3 billion shillings “because the funders ran away, only because it was Amuriat standing, he was abandoned.”
Speaking on his wealth, Nandala said, “I have declared all my personal assets with the IGG and how I have gained them. When I left the bank, I was being paid 20,000 dollars per month in 2001. When Semujju left journalism, how much was he being paid per month? So, if he has all those properties when he was being paid nothing, what about me, who is paid in dollars?”