It is November last year, time check 2pm: Location-Sheraton hotel-Kampala: Operation ‘Feed FDC’.
A young man in his 30s (an errand boy to state operatives) emerges from the hotel’s parking yard: he is carrying a bag. He moves straight to the lift which stops at the 11th floor. He knocks at a certain room and a very senior Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) honcho opens. There is no time for exchanging pleasantries.
The young man hands over the bag (whose contents sources told us were American dollars) to the FDC honcho; the latter in turn signs certain forms places them in an envelope and hands them to the young man with these words:” Take these to those who gave you this bag.”
Insiders intimated to us that people appearing to be working for the state had also been seen hobnobbing with this very FDC honcho in various parts of the country. In 2017, a meeting also took place in London between this FDC honcho and a top leader from a rival political party. Under this meeting, it was agreed the FDC should be weakened slowly so that the party seriously disintegrates by 2020.
The ultimate goal was to have FDC weakened to the marrow so that it becomes impossible for it to front a meaningful candidate to participate in the 2021 elections. The FDC was assigned two tasks: first, to ensure that all perceived strong leaders in the FDC are sidelined and weaker officials take up leadership positions in parliament and at Najjanankumbi. The targeted positions included that for FDC presidency and that of Leader of opposition in parliament. In exchange, the FDC honcho was promised and subsequently given sacks of money.
Consequently, this led to the fall part of FDC. Insiders say, this explains why the FDC worked hard to have dejected MP Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) scoop the position of FDC president. Gen Muntu who was then considered strong ended up frustrated and had to leave the party to form ANT. When this was done, sources said the next focus was on LoP. Though Winnie Kiiza’s term was still running up to December 2018, it was stated that the embattled LoP dug her early grave when she among other things suggested that she would drag some people to the International Criminal Court [ICC] over the Kasese raid.
“This angered many. She said this as if she didn’t know that FDC is made up of former soldiers! Though they are in opposition they still meet with their former colleagues. It was therefore natural that Kiiza had to leave prematurely because she was using her office to undermine those who were in the struggle,” a top source stated. FDC has since been facing defections up-to-date and it is considered to be on its weakest point.
WHY HIRE LUKWAGO
Political pundits now say, some FDC members knew the party was under state capture and it was being eaten from top to the bottom and there is a need to recruit a fresh.
According to analysts, after suffering all these defections, Lukwago had to be hired to show that the party is still strong and it can attract figures like him. Therefore, Tuesday 28th July, 2020 fanfare events at Najjanankumbi were much needed by FDC as PR stunt and more so an optical specter.
Analysts further add that in hiring Lukwago, FDC is now trying to survive but not thriving. FDC will soon also bring in other new catch and whispers point to (Betty Nambooze, Allan Ssewanyana and Moses Kasibante), and later on the maestro—Kizza Besigye will be unveiled as their 2021 presidential flag bearer.
Just like he has been feigning in previous elections, Besigye is just playing hide and seek for the party to beg him as the only bull in the kraal.
For FDC to risk fronting Lukwago as a presidential flag bearer, according to insiders, it will be a dead on arrival deal, why? Lukwago lacks a national appeal and exposure—and FDC is aware.
However, with him in FDC, the LordMayor position which was ring fenced for him after kicking out Nabbillah, will help FDC consolidate her Kampala and central region base.
Analysts also say, with Lukwago helping FDC consolidate Kampala and the central region at large under FDC, the threat of People Power on swallowing FDC will be minimal.
Now, Lukwago cannot easily be bulldozed. People Power is going to turn their guns on Lukwago. It is a showdown that should be watched unless Bobi Wine is now willing to sit down with Lukwago and iron out things.
Insiders also opine that FDC is not looking at 2021 polls but beyond. They are now running a marathon not a splint. Therefore, they need young blood like Lukwago who can be polished for national appeal at a later stage.
Insiders say, for some years, Kampala Lord Mayor has been undecided on the decision of which political party he would call home.
In Democratic Party, where he has life membership, Lukwago had reached a deadlock since his fall out with Ssebaana Kizito and subsequently Norbert Mao presidencies.
It was however clear that Lukwago although he was an independent Lord Mayor, his politics was more inclined towards the Forum for Democratic Change.
And all along opposition strongman Kizza Besigye was accused of overstaying on the Frontline, he always looked behind himself and saw Lukwago as a loyal follower and friend he would pass a mantle of leading the opposition.
And this is what is happening in FDC.
The unveiling of Erias Lukwago as FDC member has not therefore shocked anyone.
Lukwago’s time has finally arrived. He is Besigye’s blue eyed boy. His City Hall is also home to Besigye’s diehards, and he has proved his willingness to groom young FDC cadres such as Doreen Nyanjura,a key player in FDC’s radical wing.
Lukwago is arriving at Najjanankumbi, not as a stranger but one legitimizing his marriage with a girl he has been in Cohabitation.
He currently deputizes Besigye, the self-professed president of the “People’s Government.” “I have been here at Najjanankumbi on many occasions, I have flashed the V sign and shouted the FDC slogans in the capacity of visitor and comrade in struggle; but today I feel elated and exited to do so in the capacity of a fully-fledged member of the mighty FDC,” he said.
“I want to reiterate that Najjanankumbi is my home; I am at peace with my consciousness, my heart and my soul.” The Lord Mayor Lukwago and his wife Zawedde Lubwama were initiated into the FDC by the party President Patrick Amuriat Oboi.
In his maiden speech, Lukwago termed his cross over as a huge milestone in his journey. “We have had a good working relationship; we have been members of the same family,” he said. The Lord Mayor also took time off to thank his former party DP, who he said had shaped and contributed to his career from when he was a university student.
“Trials and tribulations notwithstanding, I will forever treasure that roller coaster journey I have had in the DP. They offered me a solid platform to showcase my potential, to explore the horizons and make a contribution to the progress of this country in the areas of rule of law, constitutionalism and good governance.”
Regarding the DP card which was awarded to him by former President Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere in 2004, Lukwago said he would keep it in his archive as a memento.
As to why he decided to join the FDC, Lukwago said he was drawn among others by the party’s “philosophy of defiance and conviction to empower the citizens to subdue the gun culture that subjugated the country since colonial days” “Bringing the gun under control; that is a mission we want to continue here. It is the unfinished business that Dr Besigye has been talking about and our responsibility together with our commander in struggle. The Lord Mayor promised to “drudge on” with the FDC, through all hardships including teargas, arrests and humiliation.”
On his part, Col Besigye welcomed Lukwago to the party, noting “We have been united by blood and now we are united in our home” FDC President Patrick Amuriat termed Lukwago’s entry as a dream come true. The event carried on to the end at the party offices at Najjanakumbi amid heavy police deployment at the gate.