Deputy Spokesperson says FDC Delegates Conference Intented to Oust Amuriat, Nandala
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party deputy Spokesperson, John Kikonyogo, has accused colleagues pushing for a Delegates Conference of having ill intentions toward the party president and the Secretary-General. Addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala on Monday, Kikonyogo stated that the proponents of the extraordinary delegates’ conference do not have clear objectives for the conference other than their desire to remove the party president, Eng. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and the Secretary-General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi.
“I wish you could put a lie detector on all of them; it will show red because their aim is simple: they want Amuriat out of the party, they want Nandala out of the party, maybe all of us. We have to acknowledge,” argued Kikonyogo, dismissing reasons that the conference is intended to discuss issues of internal elections, governance, and allegations of “dirty” money said to have been brought into the party by the Secretary-General Nandala.
The FDC National Chairperson, Wasswa Birigwa, called for an Extraordinary Delegates Conference to take place on Tuesday, September 19, at his home in Busaabala. He stated that the aim of the conference is to discuss various issues in the party, including contested internal elections, allegations of “dirty” money, and concerns about poor governance.
When allegations of financial impropriety surfaced and generated public debate nearly three months ago, a group of FDC members called for the suspension of elections until the allegations were resolved. However, the party president and the Secretary-General declined the proposal, arguing that they wouldn’t suspend a party activity passed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Council. The elections, which were highly contested, were reported to have taken place in different parts of the country.
By July 28, when FDC held its Special National Council, several areas had chosen their leaders from the village level. Kikonyogo stated that the National Council resolved that the areas that had not elected their leaders work with the electoral commission to organize elections there. He dismissed Birigwa’s statement that he had received petitions against the election, arguing that election petitions should be addressed to the party Electoral Commission and the elections tribunal for appeal, not the office of the National Chairman.
“What does it mean in simple terms, that they okayed whatever had taken place, the National Council under the chairmanship of Ambassador Birigwa,” said Kikonyogo, emphasizing that Birigwa, the convener of the Extraordinary Delegates Conference was the chairperson of the same National Council meeting that validated the election process.
Kikonyogo said that Birigwa was misled by some elements of FDC when they convinced him to call for a delegates’ conference. He stated that as a secretariat, they are not involved in the plans for the conference he “doubts” will take place. Kikonyogo likened the conference to a coup against the National Executive Committee (NEC) and other organs of the party.
“The people who are driving him (Birigwa) are driving him so fast that when he gets any problem, all of them will abandon him…There are some people who are not as straight as they look,” the deputy spokesperson said, calling on Birigwa to rise from the mistake he is being led into. Kikonyogo stated that those who want to change leadership in the party should join the ongoing election process, garner support from the delegates, and get them to vote out those they no longer deem worthy of the positions they currently hold in the party.
Hajj AbdulKareem Molli, one of the Commissioners of the FDC Electoral Commission, says that the commission has presided over elections in several places that had earlier missed out and that the party shall have further elections on October 6th when delegates meet. Meanwhile, the FDC National Chairman, Wasswa Birigwa, and other members insist on having the extraordinary delegates’ conference. Last week, the police informed him that they would not provide security during the conference unless the party reconciled their position on the same.
The chairman had requested the party for funds to the tune of 638.2 million Shillings to facilitate the conference, but his request was turned down, prompting him to fundraise for funds. By the end of last week, Birigwa reported to have raised more than half of the money. Kikonyogo said the fundraising was not sanctioned by the party, although he added that Birigwa shall at one point be asked to account for it.