The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has officially nominated 77 candidates for its upcoming party election. This list includes current FDC president Patrick Amuriat and secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi, who are at the center of a party divide.
On Thursday, Patrick Amuriat, the incumbent FDC president, asserted that his faction remains in control of the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, just outside Kampala. He made this statement shortly after being nominated to run for re-election as president in the contentious election scheduled for October 6.
Amuriat’s remarks were directed at the interim party leadership chosen on Tuesday at Katonga Road in central Kampala, where the party’s founding leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye, is believed to be influential. According to Amuriat, his refusal to be controlled by this faction has led to the current discord within the party.
Amuriat was nominated alongside Nathan Nandala Mafabi, who, along with Geoffrey Ekanya, was removed from office during a national delegates meeting on Tuesday. Mafabi served as secretary general, and Ekanya as treasurer general.
Amuriat expressed regret over the involvement of Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, the deputy president for Bugandan region, and the National Chairman Wasswa Birigwa in FDC affairs. Lukwago was chosen as interim party president during the extraordinary national delegates conference convened by Birigwa at Katonga Road.
Amidst allegations and claims of constitutional violations, Amuriat criticized Lukwago, stating that he has a history of disrupting political organizations. However, he did not provide evidence to support this claim.
Lukwago, who joined FDC three years ago, dismissed Amuriat’s comments as baseless. Birigwa expressed sympathy for Najjanankumbi’s shock after the events of Tuesday.
Jack Sabiiti, a party veteran, was nominated unopposed for the position of national chairman. The nomination deadline has already passed.
It remains uncertain how the October 6 meeting organized by FDC-Najjanankumbi will proceed, as under the party’s constitution, only a national delegates conference convened by the national chairman can elect members of the party’s National Executive Committee. Birigwa, the current national chairman, has disassociated himself from this meeting.
Additionally, no candidates came forward to contest the positions of deputy president (western) and vice chairpersons (western and northern). Insiders suggest that the October 6 meeting is aligned with FDC-Katonga Road, leaving out the faction that supports FDC-Najjanankumbi.
In total, over 100 individuals expressed interest in leadership positions within the party across various roles and regions.