Other Amuriat appointments included; William Nzoghu, Busongora County North, as a representative in the Pan-African Parliament, FrankaAkello, Agago Woman MP, as the new head of the committee on Local Government, Gilbert Olanya of Kilak South, as her deputy and Kaps Hassan Fungaroo, Obongi County MP, the new head of the Public Assurance committee. Some of Amuriats appointees were rejected as ultra vires, but his cards had been revealed and his intention exposed.
For critics, one factor characterized Amuriat’s changes—he used the changes to reward loyalists, also known as the `defiance camp’ with allegiance to FDC stalwart Kizza Besigye’s radical if not militant faction and a purge of those opposed to them – even if not loyal to the perceived rival camp of Muntu which are called the ‘Organisation camp’ because of insistence on building party organs and institutions.
The pro-Muntu camp accuses Amuriat’s camp of high level intolerance.
But Amuriat told The Independent that he was guided by party loyalty in picking the new group. The other factor, he added, was contribution to the party financially.
The perfect trigger
In whatever case, the reshuffle has been seen as the perfect trigger for an exodus.
Former FDC Secretary General Alice Alaso said on WhatsApp: “The best thing to ever happen to our cause is this reshuffle or blunder. The sooner we build our outfit the better for us and for this country.”
“I will be shocked if some members of this family are bothered by what has happened,” another members of the WhatsApp group of Muntu supporters said following the reshuffle. “We should all celebrate this reshuffle. It presents the greatest opportunity to redefine Uganda’s politics.”
Kabweri County MP Francis Gonahasa added: “We need to go to Arua and bring back Kasssiano (Wadri) to the house to continue building sources of sanity following victories in Kyadondo East, Jinja East, Rukungiri and recently Bugiri. Together with such truly patriotic individuals, the opposition coalition or alliance currently called “third force” will evolve into a mighty force which will make Uganda rise and shine again.”
Abdu Katuntu said he would be reaching out to other founding members of the FDC. This appeared to confirm reports that the Muntu camp has been reaching out to other senior members of the party who had become alienated by the divisions in the party.
Some of these include; AmanyaMushega, Augustine Ruzindana, Maj. John Kazoora, among others. Katuntu is seen a major political cog in Muntu’s camp having nominated him for the party’s presidential flag bearer race against Besigye in 2015.
Apart from the legislators and senior leaders, the Muntu camp has also formed alliances with other politicians. Kyadondo East legislator, Bobi Wine and AsumanBasalirwa, who recently won the Bugiri by-election are some of these.
Aparently, Muntu’s camp has had engagements with Bobi Wine, who could potentially support them. Muntu and Bobi Wine have supported and campaigned the same candidates recently including Basalirwa and Wadri. In these contests, Amuriat, Besigye and the entire defiance camp have been opponents.
In both Kyandondo and Bugiri, the party refused to support opposition candidates and influential comrades in the struggle—Bobi Wine and Asuman Basalirwa—and instead supported the party’s flag bearer.
In both these races, the party lost with Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi aka BobiWine and JEEMA’s Asuman Basalirwa sailing through. This has put the party and these opposition stalwarts and their supporters on a collision course.
Amuriat’s camp has even gone as far as calling for disciplinary action against Muntu and his supporters. He will certainly not get that when, not if Muntu pulls the trigger first.
Two groups better, says Muntu
Muntu has in the past toyed publicly with the possibility of quitting FDC. He says it is mainly because the party leadership has failed to handle issues maturely and pursue a common objective.