On Wednesday, September 20, 2023, Patrick Amuriat, the current president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), revealed his intention to run for reelection as FDC president. This announcement comes at a time of uncertainty within the opposition party, which has been facing internal conflicts.
Amuriat urged members of the rival Katonga faction to challenge his leadership through democratic means rather than attempting to stage a coup. He emphasized that his leadership would continue until the scheduled National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting and election on October 6.
Furthermore, Amuriat expressed his willingness to confront Dr. Kizza Besigye, one of the founding members of the party, based on Besigye’s actions. While acknowledging potential differences, he expressed a desire for unity within the party.
In response to Amuriat’s statements, Francis Mwijukye, the interim treasurer general of the Katonga faction, criticized Amuriat for not effectively addressing the party’s long-standing problems. Mwijukye warned that the chances for dialogue were diminishing within the party.
FDC Party spokesperson Ssemujju Nganda and Francis Mwijukye, both prominent party members, shared their perspectives on the ongoing situation, with Mwijukye expressing disappointment in Amuriat’s leadership approach.
Meanwhile, Mwijukye dismissed the self-proclaimed bid for the presidency in 2026 by Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the FDC secretary general. He emphasized the need to address internal issues before discussing future presidential contests.
On a different note, delegates at a meeting led by FDC national chairman Wasswa Birigwa in Kampala had defied a court order and suspended Amuriat’s leadership, appointing Erias Lukwago as an interim replacement.
In a separate development on Tuesday, Amuriat voiced his readiness to challenge Dr. Kizza Besigye, another prominent figure in the opposition, following a decision by a rival faction to oust him as FDC president.
Amuriat criticized the Katonga meeting as a “big joke” and argued that the attendees were not recognized members of the party. He also claimed that the resolutions from the meeting were invalid, citing a court order against it.
FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda announced a National Executive Committee (NEC) probe into Amuriat’s leadership, as well as other elements of the party. However, Amuriat believed that these events were part of a long-term plan to destabilize the party over the issue of state funding.
Despite the challenges, Amuriat pledged to proceed with a parallel gathering set for the following month. He affirmed the party’s capacity to move forward, with or without Besigye’s involvement.
Amuriat also criticized Birigwa’s actions at the Katonga meeting and expressed doubts about his suitability as the national chairman, referring to him as “a comedian.”
Amuriat’s announcement of his candidacy for FDC presidency has added a new layer to the ongoing internal struggles within the party. The situation remains fluid as the party grapples with leadership disputes and ideological differences.