Efforts Underway to Reconcile Differences as FDC President Amuriat Plans Meeting with Party Chairman Birigwa
In the latest development within the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), President Mr. Patrick Amuriat has announced his intention to meet with the national party chairman, Mr. Wasswa Birigwa, in order to address the ongoing disparity surrounding the National Delegates Conference. This announcement comes amidst reports of conflicting meetings being organized within the party.
Mr. Amuriat disclosed that he and Mr. Birigwa have agreed to convene on Thursday to seek common ground and align their perspectives on the upcoming conferences. However, Mr. Birigwa has refuted any knowledge of such a meeting.
The National Delegates Conference has been a point of contention within the Opposition FDC, with President Mr. Patrick Amuriat expressing his intention to engage with National Party Chairman Mr. Wasswa Birigwa regarding the matter. In a conversation with NTV, Mr. Amuriat stated that the scheduled meeting is planned for August 31st. He conveyed his assurance to FDC members that efforts will be made to resolve any inconsistencies and conflicts between differing factions.
The discord within the party escalated when news broke about two separate National Delegates Conferences being organized, each with differing agendas. One conference was called by Mr. Birigwa, while the other was initiated by the chairperson of the party’s electoral commission. Mr. Birigwa’s conference is scheduled for September 19, as per the notification from August 18. This is a mere 17 days before the conference summoned by Mr. Boniface Tuterebuka, the party’s electoral commission chairperson, set for October 6.
Despite their distinct purposes, both conferences require substantial financial allocations to accommodate over 1,400 delegates from various regions. This situation has left party supporters uncertain and puzzled about the concurrent events.
The agenda for Mr. Birigwa’s conference centers around receiving reports from key party figures such as the chairman, president, secretary general, and treasurer general. Plenary sessions, resolutions, and adjournments are also on the agenda. In contrast, the second National Delegates Conference aims to elect the leadership of the National Executive Committee, including the president, deputy presidents, and secretary general.
Mr. John Kikonyongo, the deputy party spokesperson, clarified that the party is not informed about the conference organized by Mr. Birigwa and raised concerns about the party’s capacity to host both events. He encouraged the party leaders to engage in harmonizing discussions, raising concerns about potential unauthorized funding for Birigwa’s conference.
Mr. Amuriat reiterated his commitment to reconciling the situation and expressed optimism that unity would prevail among party members. He confirmed that a meeting with Mr. Birigwa is scheduled to address the impending conferences.
Mr. Birigwa, however, conveyed his lack of communication with Mr. Amuriat and expressed his fatigue with the ongoing disputes.
Regarding grassroots elections, Mr. Amuriat emphasized the party’s determination to conduct residual elections even after the delegates’ conference. He underlined the party’s intent to ensure leadership across all districts, despite certain districts having boycotted the elections due to internal disagreements.
The situation within the FDC is marked by internal conflicts stemming from allegations of financial improprieties. Senior party figures, including Mr. Ibrahim Ssemujju, have accused Mr. Amuriat and Mr. Nandala Mafabi, the party secretary general, of improper financial dealings. This internal strife has raised questions about financial transactions leading up to the 2021 general elections. Another factor contributing to the party’s challenges is the existence of two power centers—one at the party offices in Najjanankumbi and the other at Katonga Road, where the influential founding president, Dr. Kizza Besigye, operates.