AFTER 2010 FDC Delegates conference at Namboole Stadium, Maj. Gen. Rtd. Mugisha Muntu left the country and went first to Eritrea and later to United States. Muntu left a bitter man after Col. Rtd. Kizza Besigye had defeated him in the party elections for 2011 presidential flag bearer.
In fact, over the first weeks of Besigye’s 2011 presidential campaigns against President Yoweri Museveni, Muntu was conspicuously absent. It took the intervention and lobbying of FDC heavyweights and Besigye himself to convince Muntu to return home and participate in the campaigns. It has emerged that Besigye managed to convince Muntu to return after he promised to support him to become the next party president and presidential flag bearer come 2016.
That’s how Muntu joined Besigye on his Western campaign trail and campaigned vigorously for him. Muntu also mobilised cash from his European and American friends that bolstered Besigye’s campaigns. Shockingly, as FDC is yet again in campaigns for its new party President, Muntu’s camp faults Besigye for siding with Nandala Mafabi. This has infiltrated Muntu’s camp accusing him of failure to honour the understanding he had with their man before he returned from Eritrea and United States to campaign for him in the last presidential elections.
Besigye’s Game Plan
It has emerged that the main reason why Besigye made a u-turn over his earlier understanding he had with Muntu is the fact that the retired Colonel has greater interest in running for President of this country come 2016. His political calculation is that even if Nandala wins the FDC presidency, he is willing to let him (Besigye) run for the country’s presidency.
Even that notwithstanding, Besigye is confident that in his bid to secure an endorsement from his party as their 2016 presidential flag bearer he can easily trounce Nandala in the Delegates conference than it would be with Muntu. Besigye’s confidence is premised on the fact that his blue eyed boy, Dan Mugarura is the party’s Electoral Commission boss who is fully aware of the exact number of delegates.
Actually one of the main reasons Besigye doesn’t want Muntu to win the party presidency is because his primary objective when elected in November is to clean up the party register of alleged ghost delegates. Besigye camp often dismisses reports that Mugarura is manipulating the register in favour of Nandala even when on many occasions Mugarura has come short of explaining the exact number of FDC delegates.
On the other hand, the factor of President Yoweri Museveni is at play in the current FDC presidential campaigns. Insiders at State House say that Museveni is playing a reverse psychology strategy on the matter. During the Budget presentation in June and State of the Nation address, the big man from Rwakitura was critical of Nandala throughout his speeches to create an impression that he is scared of him. On the contrary, Museveni is more uncomfortable with Muntu because he has on several occasions tried to lure him back in the ruling fold but in vain.
The last time is when Museveni offered to sponsor Muntu for further studies in military and defense studies in order to recommend him for either Regional or International job but Muntu snubbed the offer. Museveni is also scared of Muntu on grounds that he is respected within the army and NRM party. With NRM polarized, there are fears that Muntu’s ascendance to FDC presidency may motivate some disgruntled NRM cadres to join him in FDC. At the moment, much as Muntu is in Opposition he is going on well with a number of NRM giants, a thing Museveni has a second thought over.
Meanwhile, more FDC giants are split over their support to Muntu and Nandala presidential bid. Those who are for Nandala include Besigye, Wamai Wamanga, John Kikonyogo, Wafula Oguttu, Sarah Eperu, Salamu Musumba, Dan Mugarura and Sam Njuba, Semujju Nganda. On the other hand, Muntu is strongly supported by Nabilah Naggayi, Cecilia Ogwal, Francis Epatait, Joyce Sebugwawo, Amanya Mushega, Christopher Kibazanga, Abdul Katuntu, Alice Alaso, Kasiano Wadri, Christine Bako Abia and Elijah Okupa.