The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in Uganda has suspended its president, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and secretary general, Nandala Mafabi, deepening internal divisions within the opposition party.
The decision was made at an extraordinary National Delegates Conference that took place on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, despite objections by police and heavy deployment. The conference also resolved to extend the leadership of the FDC party organs by another six months from October 8, 2023.
In a statement read by party spokesman Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC said that Amuriat, Mafabi, and Treasurer General Geoffrey Ekanya had been suspended and were being investigated over their dealings. Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, deputy treasurer Francis Mwijukye, and Harold Kaija, the deputy secretary general, will assume the roles of the suspended officials.
The conference also set aside elections organised by Toterebuka Bamwenda.
The Delegates Conference took place amid heavy police deployment, with several delegates blocked from reaching the venue. This came a day after the court halted the FDC Extra Ordinary Delegates conference.
The suspension of Amuriat and Mafabi is the latest development in the ongoing internal wrangles within the FDC. The party has been divided into two factions, one led by Amuriat and Mafabi, and the other led by Birigwa and Besigye. The two factions have been at odds over how to lead the party and prepare for the 2026 general elections.
The suspension of Amuriat and Mafabi is a major blow to the FDC party. The two leaders are the most popular and influential figures in the party. Their suspension is likely to deepen divisions within the party and make it more difficult for the FDC to unite and challenge the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in the 2026 elections.
The suspension of Amuriat and Mafabi is also a setback for democracy in Uganda. The FDC is the largest opposition party in the country. The suspension of its top leaders weakens the opposition and makes it more difficult for them to challenge the NRM party’s grip on power.