By Ian Katusiime
The Democratic Alliance (TDA), a coalition of opposition parties in Uganda is facing divisions among its members due to a sharp disagreement that has emerged over who should be its presidential candidate between Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi, two of its leading contenders in the presidential race.
Sources say Bishop Zac Niringiye, Director of the TDA Secretariat and Godber Tumushabe, another influential person in TDA structures are rooting for Mbabazi to be the TDA candidate during the 2016 presidential elections. However this move is being vehemently contested by Besigye and the bulk of FDC supporters who feel Besigye has sacrificed a lot and is therefore more deserving of the candidature and should not just cede authority to Mbabazi who has just walked in from NRM and several high ranking positions in government.
A member of FDC who preferred anonymity said “What if Mbabazi pulls out of the race after TDA has entrusted him with the flag of the entire opposition. Do we leave Museveni to contest against Abed Bwanika and Baryamureeba?
Other FDC supporters feel this pro-Mbabazi stance from sections of TDA was fuelled by the extension of the nomination deadline from Thursday 4pm (Sept 10) to have the former Prime Minister nominated late on Friday night (Sept 11) at around 9pm, more than 5 hours after the deadline extension. Besigye accused Mbabazi of a lack of commitment to TDA principles.
Mbabazi signed the TDA protocol which unites him with other opposition figures in their quest to unseat President Museveni, however he made a surprising revelation when he declared that he was still a part of NRM, the ruling party and added that he was its representative in the TDA.
TDA will vote its flag-bearer on Sept 18.