Uganda’s main Opposition Party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) on Monday afternoon made a huge statement on Uganda’s political stage by holding the party’s first Presidential debate.
It was an over-packed gallery, filled with excitement as supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change gathered to witness the debate between the three Party Presidential candidates Mugisha Muntu, Nandala Mafabi and Godfrey Ekanya held at WBS TV auditorium.
The three are vying for the party’s top job with elections slated for Thursday 22nd November and this debate provided a platform for the candidates to table the vision they have for the party.
The issue of corruption in the country as expected became a topic and Gen. Mugisha Muntu reasoned that Ugandans need to elect new, clean leaders into office.
“The Uganda population, between now and 2016, needs to know that what you sow is what you reap. If they elect people who are corrupt, only corruption will be the outcome,” he said.
He also urged the security forces to be part of the transformation process in Uganda. “Those in the security services, they need to understand although they are part of the political atmosphere in Uganda, they need to play their part responsibly. Change is inevitable,” Muntu advised.
On the issue of aid to the country, the three had divergent views with Godfrey Ekanya saying the problem with Uganda is leadership and not donor aid while Mafabi saying that donors have instead brought problems to the country.
Ekanya was asked if Uganda is ready to be independent of donors, to which he replied, “Uganda’s problem is leadership. The major question in the country is about leadership. We were ready 20 years ago. By 1960 how much did we get from donors. Half of the budget today is stolen. We need to manage effectively the little resources. We also need to account for what we have. We need to be accountable to ourselves.”
When asked about party financing that has been a problem to the opposition, Nandala Mafabi answered, “FDC is the only party that has been fully accountable to the Electoral Commission. My experience in accountability is unquestionable. Even with Shs100 billion, FDC cannot win and election now. You can only fund-raise when our people don’t understand what FDC stands for.”
“We should agree that we need to fundraise from other sources. The only party that can account is FDC which we have done to the Electoral Commission. What is important is to start within ourselves before we think of anybody else,” he added.
The three however denied receiving funding from any political party when the question was put to them.
The one hour thirty minutes debate passed successfully despite the glitches in the sound system that seemed to irritate both viewers and those who attended.
The opposition party has set the pace for other political parties as the country as the country tries to attain political maturity where the issues are central in choosing national leaders.