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Muntu presses on with consultations

Mugisha Muntu during consultations in Gulu. COURTESY PHOTO

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.

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  1. Muntu’s approach is not helping either in form or substance and in the end he would have embarrassed himself. I do like Muntu’s personality but I did detaste his managerial style particularly in a hostile environment such as Uganda’s. The wise counsel to him would be to eat his humble pie and sit down his ass and concentrate on how to improve the party from within. Muntu cannot and will never marshal a greater political muscle than what the FDC offers him. Yes, his departure hurts the image and objectives of the party but his departure doesn’t give him his ultimate objective of regime change that can only be united if we remain united. What Muntu refers to as ‘party contradictions’ are restricted to the methodology. If Muntu is hellbent on “organization” and building party structures, who refuses him from creating a department (if not already in existence) that deals with that? I want to think that Muntu is using the FDC as the “trajon horse” to deliver his own party. I wish him the very best.

  2. ejakait engoraton

    MUNTU is a SERIAL TRAITOR, so forming or joining another party will not be out of character.

    MUNTU grew up, was almost born into UPC, he in our African context was the son of OBOTE.

    HE went and joined the bush war, because he was joining ” his own” – abeitu- because he considered the northerners were not ” his enough.”

    MUNTU was and is today what he is because of what M 7 made him. There are no special individual qualities that one can attribute to him that lead him to be made the army commander at the time, over and above a group of about maybe 10 people, any one of whom could have become the army commander, some probably more deserving than him. THE only reason he was made the army commander is /was in line with M 7s style of picking someone almost from obscurity and elevating them so that they owe absolute allegiance to him, they too fully knowing that they would not be where they are if not for M 7 – ANITE style.

    AND yet when he was dropped as army commander and literally put on katebe, as was bound to happen, this is when he started to realise that things were not quite right . Others , like Tinyefuza and even Tumukunde have risked their careers and said what they think of the system, even when they are still serving officers.

    LET him go back to the party where he would be most comfortable, a party where his own brother NUWAGABA HERBERT is still a serving member , and is a political appointee in his current job.

  3. ejakait engoraton

    MUNTU is fancying himself a little too much when he says ” the country is short on a mass of mature leaders”


    AND it just so happens that you fall among that select group of mature leaders.

    MUNTU and quite a few others, but most especially him, have never overcome the fact that the person who was his junior/ subordinate , is now a head of state across the border. HE agonizes about what would have happened if at the time of the start of the war , he was not in the position he was.

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