A group of supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change – FDC party loyal to Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi have announced a breakaway from FDC and plan to form a new political party.
The group mostly from Bugisu sub-region is angered by the sacking of Mafabi from the position of Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
On Friday, FDC leader Major General Mugisha Muntu removed Mafabi as Leader of Opposition in Parliament and replaced him with party publicist, Bukhooli Central MP Wafula Oguttu. In the changes announced in a charged party management meeting in Kampala, the Chief Whip Winfred Kiiza was also removed and replaced by veteran politician Cecilia Ogwal.
Now Mafabi’s supporters say they can no longer work with the FDC, a party they claim has been infiltrated by people from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). They accordingly announced a drive to form a new political party ahead of 2016 general elections.
They are being coordinated by Alfred Namaasa, the Mbale District former FDC Publicity Secretary.
In a press briefing in Mbale on Monday afternoon, Namaasa said after a number of consultations with the FDC supporters in the Elgon and Bukedi Regions, they have decided to painfully abandon the FDC and form a new political party.
They said they realized that FDC party can no longer take over power under what they described as weak leadership of Major Gen. Mugisha Muntu who they accused of failing to address very serious pertinent party issues.
Among these issues include failing to form party structures in preparation for the 2016 General Election as was agreed during the FDC delegates’ conference held in November 2012.
Others are failure by the party leadership to get guidance from the Ladislaus Rwakafuzi’s Commission and also failure by the leadership to constitute the National Executive Committee and election of other party leaders among others.
They also claim that Nandala Mafabi is being frustrated by his rival Mugisha Muntu yet he spent a lot of his personal funds on the party, something which the party should have rewarded him for.
Mabanya Nasuru, Mbale District FDC vice chairman who is also FDC District celectoral commission chairperson, says their defection was prompted by the sacking of Mafabi from the position of Leader of Opposition.
Mabanya says they can embrace any other changes in the party but that of Mafabi was done in bad faith.
He says they are now on a mobilization tour of the country to sensitize the public on the new party so as members from other political organizations and the general public across the country can embrace and give their input.
Polly Mogoya, the FDC chairman for Sironko district, says he and his team support the idea of a new party yet to be formed. He says the manner in which Muntu is handling party issues is frustrating.
The group said they are yet to confirm the name and care takers of the new party within a month’s time. But an inside source who declined to be named told local media that Mafabi has been consulted to take the party chair.
Attempts to get Mafabi for a comment were futile as he was addressing a public rally in Butesa sub county headquarters in Sironko by the time of filling this report.
Since Friday last week when he was replaced, Mafabi has been addressing public rallies in his constituency in which he is calling for calm among his supporters.
The FDC party leadership has not yet commented on the latest development. However, Alice Alaso, the FDC Secretary General is quoted by in the local media as saying efforts will be initiated to reach out to Elgon area supporters to explain the changes.