Critics say he is entrenching FDC contradictions he seeks to cure
Kampala, Uganda | IAN KATUSIIME | Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Maj.Gen. Mugisha Muntu is growing more resolute in his pursuit for a solution to what he calls internal contractions in the party despite criticism that his approach is making the situation worse.
“If we are not able to resolve those contradictions,” he told The Independent on Feb. 15, “we shall not be able to manage power.”
Muntu who says his main focus is on the political management of change, notes that Uganda is in a state of crisis because of the constitutional amendment last year that gave President Museveni carte blanche to a potential life presidency.
“We want to develop consensus, the beauty is that the atmosphere is always good and people are voicing their concerns,” Muntu said, “we are also dealing with actors at a national level.”
At the time, Muntu said his team had just covered Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Yumbe and other parts of the West Nile region. They were headed for Kitgum after a day in Gulu.
In these places, he explained that his team conducts town hall meetings with leaders of FDC and those who are independent minded. Their aim, he said, is not to propose what direction they should take but to gather views and do an analysis of these views once the consultative process has ended, and then engage the party leadership on the issues that would have been raised.
This sounds fair enough to his supporters and a few of his opponents. FDC President, Patrick Amuriat, who beat Muntu to the post, for instance, prefers to be cautious about the issue.
“He is consulting as any other citizen and he is on his own,” Amuriat told The Independent emphasizing that anyone in FDC is free to consult. “Dr (Kizza) Besigye goes and does his consultations and there is no problem. As far as we are concerned, Muntu is doing it as a free citizen. To consult is not a problem.”
Amuriat prefers to be diplomatic perhaps because now that he is in charge of the party, it is in his interest to ensure that he doesn’t amplify the tensions that already exist. He told The Independent that it would be unfortunate if Muntu eventually leaves the party after the consultations.
But Amuriat’s ardent supporters and members of the defiance camp, who are unencumbered by the same obligations, have no kind words for Muntu.
One of them, Brian Atuheire, says that while consultations are okay, Muntu’s motive is suspect given the timing—after he had lost an election.