The High Court in Kampala has issued an interim order blocking the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party’s Extraordinary Delegates Conference, which was scheduled for September 19th. The decision came after a legal challenge from three FDC members who alleged that their party had excluded them from the conference’s planning and organization.
The petitioners, Arafat Ntale Mwanja, Jamal Wante, and Marlick Ssazi, argued that the hastily arranged conference was in bad faith and could harm the party. They contended that the conference failed to adhere to democratic principles outlined in the constitution and violated the Political Parties and Other Organizations Act of 2005. Additionally, they noted the absence of key party officials in the conference planning.
The petitioners, expressing concern about potential constitutional crises, pointed out that the party’s delegate register had not been updated in eight years. Consequently, they questioned the legitimacy of the conference.
During a court hearing, the lawyers for both the petitioners and the FDC reached a consensus that the party needed to address its internal issues before proceeding with the conference. As a result, an interim injunction was issued, postponing the conference until the main case’s resolution or further court orders.
The case is scheduled to return to court on September 18th for the main hearing.
In response to the legal challenge, FDC President Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi distanced themselves from the conference, stating that it was neither planned nor budgeted for by the party.
Furthermore, the Police’s Director of Operations, Assistant Inspector General of Police John Nuwagira, announced that the police would not provide security for the conference. Nuwagira cited conflicting requests for security protection from FDC Chairman Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa and Secretary General Nandala Mafabi.
The FDC is currently facing internal conflicts stemming from allegations of financial irregularities during the 2021 general elections. Despite an independent investigation clearing the party’s name, the accusations have caused a divide within the party. One faction is led by Amuriat and Nandala Mafabi, while the other is led by former FDC President Kizza Besigye, Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, and Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.