The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) national executive committee (NEC) has reached a consensus to recall the resolution that established the people’s government under the former party president, Dr Col (Rtd) Kiiza Besigye.
“With immediate effect, therefore, the FDC will no longer participate in any activities associated with the People’s government,” FDC party president, Patrick Oboi Amuriat said while addressing the media on Monday at Najjanankumbi in Kampala.
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) national executive committee (NEC) has made a significant decision to dissolve the People’s Government, a body initially formed under the leadership of former FDC President Dr. Col (Rtd) Kiiza Besigye. The announcement was made by the current FDC party president, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, during a press conference at Najjanankumbi in Kampala. This move comes as a result of ongoing internal conflicts within the FDC.
In February 2019, Dr. Besigye assembled a cabinet of 21 ministers and introduced the People’s Government and assembly, with himself as the president and Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor of Kampala, as the deputy president. Notable figures in the People’s Government included former FDC vice-president for Eastern Uganda, Proscovia Salaamu Musumba, who served as the prime minister, and FDC spokesperson and Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, as her deputy.
The People’s Government was primarily composed of dedicated FDC supporters and other opposition members who backed Dr. Besigye during the 2016 Presidential elections. Some of the key members of this body included FDC Secretary General Nandala Mafabi, Cyapaa Karuhanga (former presidential candidate), John Ken Lukyamuzi (Conservative Party president), and Wasswa Birigwa (former FDC chairperson).
The primary goal of the People’s Government was to reclaim what they perceived as an “FDC Victory” that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party allegedly deprived them of in the 2016 elections. They engaged in various activities, including mobilization efforts and the distribution of relief items and food to areas afflicted by hunger and natural disasters.
Patrick Amuriat Oboi, who was once a leader within the People’s Government, has expressed that they will only consider reinstating this entity when the internal conflicts between the FDC headquarters at Najjanankumbi and Dr. Besigye’s offices on Katonga road have been resolved. These internal conflicts are indicative of differing viewpoints within the FDC regarding their participation in future elections, with one faction feeling disillusioned about the prospects of electoral success, and the other believing in continued participation despite alleged rigging, violence, intimidation, and irregularities in past elections.
Elias Lukwago, who is associated with the “Katonga group” of FDC leaders, dismissed Amuriat’s decision to dissolve the People’s Government. Lukwago argued that the NEC meeting, which resulted in this resolution, was conducted unlawfully, violating the party’s constitution. According to Lukwago, the “Najjanankumbi group” within FDC, led by Amuriat and Nandala, has not participated in activities organized by the People’s Front for Transition (PFT), Red Card Front, or the People’s Government, thus questioning their authority to make such a decision.
Dr. Besigye, when contacted, asserted that the People’s Government cannot be disbanded as its original objectives have not yet been realized. He pointed out that those FDC leaders associated with Najjanankumbi who claim to have supported the People’s Government were not actively involved in its activities, particularly the Red Card Front, and therefore, lack the moral authority to dictate how it functions to achieve its goals.