Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor of Kampala, has undergone a significant political journey from his early days in the Democratic Party (DP) to his current position as interim president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Katonga faction. While some, including FDC’s founding president Kizza Besigye, view Lukwago as a potential presidential candidate for Uganda, there are contrasting opinions within FDC, especially in the Najjanankumbi faction, which sees him as a source of confusion due to his involvement in previous party disputes.
Lukwago’s journey within FDC began when he left DP, his childhood party, where he held card number 11, and joined FDC with card number 616,417. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming FDC’s deputy president in charge of the Buganda sub-region.
However, Lukwago’s tenure as interim president has not been without internal conflicts. FDC’s Najjanankumbi faction suspended its party president, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, and criticized Lukwago as a “machinery” from Katonga, where his faction is headquartered.
Lukwago’s history of intra-party disagreements is not new, as he previously clashed with DP leadership, especially during the 2010 Mbale delegates’ conference, which resulted in Norbert Mao becoming DP’s president general. Lukwago, then DP’s legal advisor, opposed the conference due to irregularities in the election of the secretary-general and issues with the conduct of grassroots elections.
Throughout his political career, Lukwago has aligned himself with various movements and pressure groups, including supporting Besigye’s presidential bid and being a key member of the Activists for Change (now For God and My Country – 4GC) group.
In 2020, Lukwago officially joined FDC, leading to endorsement from Besigye, who praised his consistency and clarity in pursuing political goals. While Lukwago is viewed favorably by Besigye and some FDC members, others within the Najjanankumbi faction regret his entry into the party.