Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Maj.Gen Mugisha Muntu will continue serving Forum For Democratic Change (FDC) after he hands over to the new president Eng. Patrick Amuriat on Friday.
“In whatever I do I will look at how FDC can be improved,” he said at a press conference at Hotel Africana on Wednesday morning. ” We do not intend to rush anything and nothing will be done in secret. We are going to consult all stakeholders for most of December.”
He dismissed reports that he in informing a third force in FDC, and confirmed he will continue consultations on the best way forward with all stakeholders.
“People keep telling us to start a new party. Even if there is a separation, the dynamics in those parties will not be different from what we see in the parties today. What we need to build is a new culture within the parties.”
Muntu said his FDC camp will continue the programmes they had before the elections, including the fight against changing the Uganda constitution to remove the age limit for the presidency.
He also argued for a change in the political culture within the political parties and the country. “We need to build a new culture within the parties and act consistently,” he said, adding “If you cannot manage contradictions in a party how will you manage the contradictions in the country?”
He predicted a governance crisis that could suck in everyone unless the country’s politics improves.
“In two, three or four years there will be change, I’m certain of it and yet how it will be managed is not clear.”
Muntu was accompanied to the press conference by several FDC members including the Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza and opposition Chief Whip Semujju Nganda. (full statement below)
I have noticed that Uganda are ready for change with little level of organization- Muntu pic.twitter.com/L7w2B74Y8M
— Uganda Radio Network (@ugandarn) November 29, 2017
On Friday, Kumi Country MP Eng. Patrick Amuriat was elected new FDC president after he got 57.6 % of the vote (641) from the delegates, edging incumbent Mugisha Muntu who got 463 votes – 41.7%.
Muntu’s campaign was marred by accusations that he is an NRM mole in FDC, Uganda’s leading opposition party.
Soon after Friday’s defeat, Muntu lashed out at his critics in the party and said he was reflecting on his role and would come out with a statement on the way forward.
“During the campaigns, it became clear there was a considerable amount of distrust in me by some within our party. Indeed it was this mistrust that characterised my tenure. I hope Patrick Amuriat gets better support trust and cooperation than I was afforded,” he said then.
Amuriat’s candidature was heavily boosted by what many see as support from the party’s top honcho, former president Kizza Besigye. Another main Amuriat campaigner was FDC mobiliser Ingrid Turinawe, who is very close to Besigye and a key member of the defiance camp.
Another contender also seen as a Besigye loyalist, legislator Mubarak Munyagwa even stepped out of the race to throw his weight behind Amuriat.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support you showed our campaign over the last three months.
We travelled to all the regions of the country and were overwhelmed by the amount of passion and determination Ugandans have to change the political fortunes of our country.
During the course of the campaigns, it became very clear to all of us that the political culture that has been established by the regime is not only detrimental to our development as a nation, but also very unpopular. People are tired of politicians lying, cheating, pretending and selling to them hot air. Ugandans are ready for change, and with a little more organisation and grassroot mobilization, we can all be a part of that change.
As I speak to you today, doctors have just called off a strike because of horrible working conditions, public prosecutors are on strike because of poor working conditions, the number of decent jobs available are declining, crime is rising and Ugandans are being plunged deeper and deeper into desperation. In the midst of these challenges, the only thing General Museveni is interested in is changing article 102(b) of the constitution to allow him to stand in 2021 and changing the land laws to disadvantage the already disadvantaged Ugandans.
In light of these facts, I would like to announce today that starting next week, we will be going back to doing what we were doing before the campaigns began: joining hands with all like minded Ugandans and partners in building the structures and networks necessary to resist General Museveni’s attempts to change our constitution and to empower Ugandans to take back their country.
Specifically, we are going to be doing the following:
1. Mobilizing all Ugandans to participate in the election of LC1 chairpersons and women councils as and when these elections take place
2. Encourage, support and mentor pro-change Ugandans across party lines to offer themselves as candidates in these elections as and when they take place
3. Mobilize Ugandans across party lines to pressure government to drop their efforts of changing the provisions of our constitutional provisions on presidential age-limits and land
Lastly, I know that there are many among you that have been asking me about the recently concluded party elections. As I stated on Saturday morning, I fully respect the outcome of our party’s elections and congratulate the new party president. It is also clear that there are significant, undeniable issues and differences that exist within the party. Some emerged during the campaigns while others have been long-standing.
There are some who feel these differences are irreconcilable while there are others that feel they can be resolved. The only way to know what is true is for us to have a frank, open and exhaustive discussion about this not just with the newly elected FDC leadership, but with other stakeholders right from the grassroots to national level. We intend to pursue this consultative process and will have an opportunity to start it on Friday this week (1st December) when I officially hand over office at Najjanankumbi.
Regardless of the outcome of these consultations, I would like to reiterate this to Ugandans: let us all put the interests of the country ahead of personal or even party interests. Let us focus our efforts on doing whatever we can to build a Uganda we can all be proud of. A country that truly offers each of her citizens the opportunity to prosper, access justices and be united in our diversity and just.
This is a vision I have worked towards ever since I was 23 years old and by God’s grace, it will be the vision I work towards for all my waking days. God bless you and God bless this beautiful nation we all call home.
Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu