A crisis within the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has been ongoing for several months, and it escalated last month with the revelation of two separate national delegates’ conferences being planned. The FDC party has announced its intention to prevent the delegates’ conference organized by party chairman Mr. Wasswa Birigwa, as it was not officially authorized by the party’s governing bodies.
In an interview with the local press, FDC President Mr. Patrick Amuriat stated that they would advise their delegates not to attend the conference, as it would violate party rules.
“We will recommend that our delegates do not attend this conference. Participating would be a breach of our constitution, which outlines consequences for leaders who defy party regulations. We have the authority to refer such cases to the disciplinary committee,” he added.
The party’s crisis deepened further when it was revealed that two separate national delegates’ conferences were being organized, one by Mr. Birigwa and the other by the party’s electoral commission chairperson. Both conferences will require substantial budgets to accommodate over 1,700 delegates from across the country.
Mr. Birigwa’s extraordinary conference agenda includes receiving reports from the party chairman, party president, secretary general, and treasurer general, followed by plenary sessions, resolutions, and adjournments.
In contrast, the second National Delegates Conference aims to elect the National Executive Committee leadership, including the party president, deputy presidents, the secretary general, and treasurer general.
Efforts to persuade Mr. Birigwa to cancel his conference and consolidate into one have been unsuccessful. Last month, the party president proposed a meeting, but Mr. Birigwa did not attend, citing unclear meeting objectives.
Mr. Birigwa recently confirmed that his delegates’ conference will proceed as initially planned on September 19. He stated that he had invited party delegates to attend the meeting and would raise the required funding of Shs635m from the general public after the party declined to finance it.
Mr. Amuriat also mentioned the possibility of suspending Mr. Birigwa if he proceeds with the controversial meeting, citing authority granted by Article 28(3), (b) (lll) of the party constitution. This article allows the president to recommend disciplinary action against any member who neglects party duties and absents themselves from party activities and meetings without a reasonable excuse. In such cases, the president can appoint someone to act in their place until relevant approvals are obtained.
Mr. Amuriat highlighted that while the party constitution grants Mr. Birigwa the authority to call for an extraordinary conference, he is not supposed to operate independently. He questioned the absence of consultation with his office and raised concerns about how the conference would be funded without the involvement of the treasurer.