Uganda’s main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s efforts of uniting it’s members have been dealt a major blow following the defection of one of it’s senior members, Rtd Major Rubaramira Ruranga to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Rubaramira was part of the National Resistance Army (NRA) that brought president Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986. However, he fell out with the latter over political differences and joined the opposition.
Ruranga claims he has crossed to the ruling party to look for a way of mobilising people living with HIV and increase his awareness against the deadly disease.
Ruranga who is HIV positive has lived with the disease for over 20 years.
His defection comes days after a group of over 400 FDC supporters crossed to the ruling NRM and were received by president Museveni at his country home in Rwakitura, western Uganda. They were from Rukungiri district, home to former FDC president Rtd Col. Kiiza Besigye.
FDC has not been the same after last year’s presidential elections that were held to replace Kiiza Besigye.
Major General (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu emerged victorious even though his victory was contested by one of the contenders, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the Leader of Opposition in parliament.
This disputed election has split the party between two camps and as you read this, leaders within the party are struggling to hold their members together.
In a bid to restore the party’s unity, FDC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Wednesday ordered the party president, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, and Mr Nandala Mafabi the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, to hold a one-on-one meeting to discuss and iron out their differences.
Rubaramira used to be the Electoral Commission Boss in FDC until 2008 when he resigned and officially left the party to concentrate on advocacy work.
He has been working as an “HIV-AIDS” awareness activist. He said that he could not do that if he stayed in active politics, especially FDC, or opposition politics.
Ruranga re-surfaced last year prior to the party’s presidential elections much to the consternation of many of in the FDC after he startedhurling insults at Gen. Muntu, the current Party President.
Rubaramira’s defection will definitely come as bad news to the party’s faithful who have for a long time now sought to assure Ugandans that they are a better option than the current government.