The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has asked the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to find a neutral person or group to help them resolve their internal issues. In a letter dated August 31, 2023, Sadam Gayira, the Acting PPP Chairperson, requested FDC’s President, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, to involve respected religious and cultural leaders with no political interests to promote unity within the FDC.
Speaking at the PPP headquarters in Bukoto, Gayira emphasized that unity, reconciliation, and cooperation among political parties are essential for the country’s progress.
Over the past two months, the FDC has faced allegations of dishonesty, poor accountability, and disloyalty among its top officials. These issues originated from claims made by the party’s founder, Dr. Kiiza Besigye, accusing the party’s Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, of introducing questionable funds into the party in 2020, just before the 2021 General Elections.
These allegations, initially disclosed by the party’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda in July, have led to significant divisions within the party, with some members supporting Besigye and others siding with Nandala. Gayira stressed that regardless of the veracity of these allegations, FDC’s leadership should find a solution to maintain party unity. He pointed out that the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM government benefits from internal party conflicts.
Gayira further noted that when opposition parties have internal conflicts that create factions, it becomes challenging for them to unite and form coalitions. He cited the example of the 2016 attempts to establish The Democratic Alliance, which occurred when the Democratic Party-DP was divided between the mainstream DP and the breakaway Suubi and TJ pressure groups.
These internal disputes within the FDC have disrupted party activities, including elections and the delegates’ conference. Although the party organized elections last month, many members boycotted them, demanding that the Party Secretary General clarify the source, amount, and purpose of the disputed funds before proceeding with the elections.
Nandala, the party president, and his supporters went ahead with the elections, while Besigye and his followers dismissed them. Additionally, the extraordinary Delegates Conference, scheduled for September 19, 2023, and authorized by the party’s National Chairman, Waswa Birigwa, has been affected. The party’s Secretary General has denied Birigwa funds to support the meeting, arguing that it is not an official party event as it was approved without the consent of various party organs.