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.