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FDC elders advise Muntu to leave FDC for Besigye

Dr Kizza Besigye congratulates Gen Muntu upon winning the FDC party presidency at Mandela Stadium. FILE PHOTO

They are concerned that Muntu spends all his energies on calming the incessant crises in the party which does not leave him time to promote himself around the country.  The controversial proposal was first moved by one Wilber Seryazi, a known Muntu die-hard.

“My strategy is so radical,” said Seryazi, “MM (Muntu) doesn’t run for PP (Party President), that would create a bloody war between NM (NandalaMafabi) loyalists and KB (Besigye) loyalists.”

Seryazi’s idea was immediately supported by many members of the group, including the Hoima Chairman Wabyona who argued that being at the helm of the party for an extra five years will deny Muntu time to strategise for 2021.

“FDC is wearing down MM,” he said, “Managing crisis after crisis and he is left with no time to organize but just engrossed in keeping the pieces together.”

Wabyona says Muntu has been forced to fight so many battle fronts that he has no time to mobilise for his individual support.

“He is fighting four fronts; NRM-FDC, Besigye front, Nandala front and Museveni front,” he said.

But the strategy might be more radical than many thought. They do not want Muntu to just withdraw from the party’s leadership but to also withdraw from the party. Apart from the crises that they say have drained Muntu, they do not think Muntu’s Presidential ambitions can be realised within FDC.

They are concerned that Kiiza Besigye, who has been the party’s Presidential candidate since its existence will not allow Muntu to carry the party’s flag. This view implicitly concedes that Muntu  is very unlikely to defeat Besigye in party elections. It also assumes that Muntu, who until now has always fallen into line behind any party decision, is unlikely to oppose any dully elected flag-bearer of his party. The movers of the proposal assume that with Muntu out of the race, Nandala Mafabi will most likely win the party presidency.

“Whoever wins PP most likely NM, we (Muntu camp) withdraw from the radical FDC and prepare for the formation of a new political force uniting all progressive people from across the political spectrum; civil society, corporate, business community, academia, etc towards 2021,” says Seryazi.

He adds: “We plan forming a political party and we persuade MM to come and lead it and we give him our flag. In other words, we have to do everything to make sure MM is on the ballot in 2021 backed by an organisation.”

Wabyona agrees with Seryazi that Muntu can only be Presidential candidate in another party but not FDC where he has been fought from all corners. He suggests that Muntu stays in the party and moves out towards 2021 to be the flag bearer of the party his supporters will have founded.

But Seryazi’s worry with Wabyona’s idea is to leave Muntu behind “surrounded by wolves.” He thinks the best way is to persuade Muntu to abandon the party now and he leads an organisation of people who appreciate his sacrifices and his strategic leadership skills.

But not all the members of the Muntu camp are convinced about the idea of defecting. Others seem to think the victory of the November Party Presidency elections will be important in Keeping Muntu visible for 2021.

Yet others seem to be concerned about the message defecting will send to the public about Muntu as a person and the opposition in general.

“But what signal would that send to the public? Scramble for power or lack of capability to contest with other viable contestants?” asked one member of the camp, Moses Nkalubo.

Others like former Terego county MP KassianoWadri also seem to be skeptical about the grand plan of Seryazi and company. They think that defecting is not the solution and it will divert them from the main objective of ousting Museveni from power.

“Members, while I agree with you on the difficulties MM is facing at the helm of FDC,” Wadri said, “we should strive to enable him have space rather than thinking of forming another party.

“We made a lot of individual and collective contributions at a difficult time to found FDC that we cannot just leave. Our first priority should be to work hard and make MM get a second term as PP then we can take it from there. I am afraid a decision to form another political party will make us loose the public’s favour. Let us fight from within to create space.”

Seryazi does not buy Wadri’s reasoning. He thinks efforts and contributions are nothing if they cannot achieve the targeted objective.

“Some of us are willing to put in a lot more effort to start a more meaningful organisation that can actually take us to power and manage this country,” he responded to Wadri.

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6 comments

  1. “FDC elders advise Muntu to leave FDC for Besigye, explain alternative plans for him for 2021” There is an English metaphor that: “Kicks of a dying horse;- A dying horse’s last kicks may be dangerous but they don’t go on for very long and they get weaker before the animal finally succumbs. The “secessionism” exhibited by “The Independent” in the last couple of weeks should cause concern for its ultimate survival. The title to the story talks of elders in FDC advising Muntu to leave FDC for Besigye. However, in the entire story the only “quotable” persons are, Seryazi Wilberforce, Jackson Wabyona, Patrick Wakida and Wandera Ogalo. Among this list, and although Patrick Wakida is a renowned researcher, it is only Wandera Ogalo who fits the cloak of an “elder” in FDC. And in the entire story there is no quote that can allude to the fact that he “advises” Muntu to leave the party. The story quotes Ogalo as thus; “Muntu will never agree to defect and form another party.” “Muntu believes in organisation and fought hard to form PAFO ………, they would be more effective if they came together and fought as a united front.” To what extent do such quotes suggest or advise for Muntu to leave FDC? I do not know the latitude and therefore, the station of Jackson Wabyona but the quotable Seryazi Wilberforce is/was a very close friend of mine. I have known him since our campus days (Makerere) when he was the guild at LDC. We joined FDC the same day after paying Shs: 1,000 each in the office of Hon. Ogenga Latigo at Parliament. In 2006, Presidential campaigns, with his help (being son to Princess Rose Nadiope) we were able to host Dr. Kiiza Besigye at the palace. His loyalty to the FDC became questionable when he showed support to the defiant Kamya. In five years I didn’t have the chance to meet “Wilber” (as I fondly call him), however, during my holiday in late 2014 I bumped into him along Kampala Road. After our pleasantries, I decided to give him a lift- but lo and behold! As he was giving route directions to my driver his final destination was Okello House. As a friend I looked Wilber in the eye and asked him why at last we were at this place. He reply was to the effect that they were family issues related to saving his mother’s house in Entebbe and that such “issues” required the involvement of state house. That very year, Wilber organised for his wedding and on one wedding meeting on which I was present, I was introduced to so many people whose job tags ended with “state house.” Since then, I have never met again with my friend Wilber. I am rising two points here: That Wilber is my “age-mate” who is hardly 40 years of age to be referred to as “an elder in FDC” is alarmist to say the least. That the FDC has been infiltrated by NRM moles. I am not saying that my friend Wilber has switched alliances but maybe is being led on either by commission or omission.
    From my standpoint, I think these “thoughts” of Muntu causing a “splitter” is defeatist in both its call and formation and it should be shown all the contempt it so deserves even within a collapsing Magazine.

    • Wilberforce seryazi

      My dear friend Rajab, it has been nice reading your comment on this subject. I miss your articles, which usually found some space in the red pepper. I’m a bit disappointed that your writing has not changed ( rather improved) after passage of time which to me implies becoming more mature, with a better charity of mind and analytical growth. I’m not however surprised because I clearly understand the difference in our personalities and perspectives towards life. Your are still the radical person and I’m still the moderate person.
      I expected that you would at least try to analyse the issue why some of us would wish that Gen Muntu abandons the race for PP and Market himself for a national presidential contest. All I see in your commentis some kind of paranoia against the publisher and our idea. First you this article kicks of a dying horse by “the independent”. You seem to have some prejudice or hatred against the Independent. I think that is a week mind frame. Although I rarely read the independent, and usually disagree with it’s analysts, I have no reason to wish them bad, especially when I can rebutt their views in the media.
      Instead of responding to my ideas, you try to share our personal private relationship with an innuendo that I could have changed alliances became I engaged state house in protecting my mother’s house which was being grabbed by corrupt officials in this government. I would like to thank you for helping me deliver some of those letters to okello House (where we had our former classmate, whom you had known longer than me) and other government departments as we tried to save our mother’s (for she threats you like her own son) house. I’m sure she’s too proud of us for using our connections to protect her house. You are always welcome to her beautiful home and enjoy the cool breeze courtesy of our friends in okello House. My problem is trying to use these as blackmail when people have differences in political opinions. I find this immature and primitive and I’m very sure that is not your level of comprehension. First of all let me inform you that changing alliances is a legitimate thing and sometimes the right decision. It’s a manifestation of freedom of association, which I guess you still espouse. Unfortunately opposition politics has been so radicalised by selfseeking politicians who have brainwashed their followers to treat whoever doesn’t agree with them as enemies. Certainly I detest and disassociate myself with this primitive politicking. I sure you late grandfather, Abu Kakyama Mayanja, would discourage this kind of politics. I find it immoral and yet it yields no political dividends to the opposition. Why would I not work or talk to my old friends simply because they work for state house or with government? Why would I not invite my friends to my wedding simply because they work for government? Why don’t you mention that despite my state house friends attending my wedding, the FDC party president, the FDC deputy president and spokesperson also graced the occasion?
      Anyway it’s this opposition mentality (of polarising the country) that some of us are trying to change in Uganda’s opposition, because it does not attract many ugandans to us but even if it did, it will be extremely difficult to manage this delicate country with such irresponsible mentality.
      This explains why some of us believe that Mugisha Muntu’s type of politics and personality could help galvanize the moderate voices in the country side for a possible peacefully change of government. After all the radical approach of Besigye has been tried for a decade and has tailed. This approached has also been merred With so many inconsistencies that ugandans are loosing faith in it.
      What we were trying to do (in our small whatsup group) is to come up with strategies on how we can make sure this Military Gentleman gets on the ballot paper in 2021, because in FDC leadership he is undermined, sabotaged, black mailed, etc by forces who still want to front Besigye, despite he’s past performance. Unfortunately someone leaked it to the observer. May be this is a Good debate for the opposition.
      That said, I know you still (not was)a very good friend of mine and please look me out for a cup of tea one of these days.

      • I agree with u wilberforce some of us we are stack in NRM coz we cant join failed radical oposition of besigye. thank u for challenging so called yo friend.

  2. So you are hiding here Rajab?did you see how the issue of leased land played out in the Centenary park?

    After Bobi Wine’ win,KB was terrified he thought his word was final he is yet to recover.

    If Kantinti and Sebalu knew,they would have behind the scene agreed to share the salary Kantinti would get from Parliament instead of being humiliated by a drug addict.

  3. Thank you Wilber for your timely response. My sincere apologies to you if you found my comment personal. I should admit that to an extent it proves to be but that is due to the fact that I wanted to establish to the contrary what this writer was alluding to as “elders in FDC” yet again, quoting you. I want to rest this matter that you’re not an “elder” in FDC for proper usage of the term. I could be “stuck in time” but the cause isn’t mine, we (as a country) are still stuck with Museveni. (What goes around comes around).
    I will maintain, my fight is not with you or any other member of your thinking. I think it is very healthy to have “change” not only in the public arena but even in our private lives. My problem is the methodology being applied to bring about that kind of change. As a person who has participated in the leadership roles of the FDC, you should have the full grasp of the FDC leadership apparatus. The leadership of the FDC is “elective.” And I would wish to maintain my discussion on this single quality of our politics in the FDC. I would like to put it to you that issues you so raise of: being undermined, sabotaged and, or, blackmailed are symptoms of a weak leadership. Since 2012, Major General Mugisha Muntu has been our party president. You would recall that his campaign slogans was, “Massive fundraising & Building the party from the grassroots.” Going by the 2016 general elections, how many local councils did the FDC secure? What grand national party activities are currently ongoing? If Gen Muntu won by the majority against Nandala Mafabi, then what stops him from “influencing” the same party members for implementation of his policies? The very party members that elect Muntu are the members that vote for any leadership post including that of the “flag bearer.” What then should scare off those party members that are mooting the idea of Muntu leaving the party?
    Logic would demand, that if Gen. Muntu cannot wrestle power from Kiiza Besigye within the FDC, then, only a “subsidiary” and probably a smaller party will come out of those efforts. The question would then be,” towards what end?” Gen. Muntu is the best leader of our future not now. He talks tough but he will always end up referring to “the Grace of God.” We all seek to God but maybe sometimes we have to begin with our inner strength. I appeal to you as my friend and as a good lawyer that you’re, there’re established rules and regulations within the FDC that have been tested over some time now, instead of “jumping the gun” let us appeal to these party systems. It is these systems that brought up the man you so much admire. Fearing the unknown is the mother of anarchy.

  4. SSebunya Fredrick

    Well, elders of the FDC telling Muntu to quit FDC over Besigye is not good and l don’t agree with it. The

    following are my reasons.

    1. Mugisha Muntu as a leader in his mindset knows it that leadership is all about challenge solving and mind

    you no political party can let you lead on soft ground take the example of Mao and Namboze in DP (good DP

    and bad DP talk) should we ask Mao to quit DP for Nambooze no please.

    2.Muntu in FDC should stay nothing the organization can achieve without good structures,strategic

    planning,policy making,ideological orientation etc. Since Muntu has better organization leadership skills than

    his counter parts he has to stay if FDC is to realize success in its struggle but you have give him time.

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