Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party presidential candidate, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, has urged members to look beyond taking the presidency and get involved in the leadership of their immediate communities as well.
On Thursday 31st August 2017, Muntu met delegates from Rwenzori sub region on his campaign trail of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Bunyangabu districts.
“Democracy is not simply an event. It is a process. Processes take time,” Muntu told the delegates.
He said these processes require effort and they require an unrelenting focus on building both structures and capacity.
“My promise to FDC and indeed to all Ugandans, is that I will always be fully committed to the process of building our democracy,” he said, adding, “Not for a day, not for a season, but for as long as I can breathe.”
Muntu urged members against marginalisation saying he has realised that some of their people marginalise central issues instead of centralising marginal issues.
“I centralise central issues. I have equally seen some leaders act to the centrally and that’s why we need to train our leaders. ”
Muntu who also took off time to congratulate Uganda Cranes for a hard-earned victory against Egypt at Namboole stadium, said moments like these remind Ugandans of just how much a people determined, organised and united can achieve.
The cost of democracy
While addressing a public rally in Kakumiro on Wednesday, Muntu said the forces of democracy are surging.
“Our party needs to position itself so as to provide effective leadership on this front, from LCs to the presidency. That is why I urged our people to participate.”
He said since the programme for electing LC I and II is out, all FDC leaders need to identify and encourage the people to stand for these posts.
“Where you don’t find candidates, offer yourselves. Our victory as a party will not come simply by taking the presidency, but by being involved in the leadership of our communities.”
“Our dear people of Kakumiro – Gayaza, what you see us doing today in FDC is what other leaders have failed to in the country since 1962,” he explained.
Muntu said in FDC, no position is ring fenced and that they change leadership everyone after five years.
“You can’t be a leader for thirty years. Ladies and gentlemen, join FDC where we have planted a seed of democracy. It’s this that we want to give to the nation.”
Muntu recalled that in 1989 when he was the army commander, some officers brought a sack of money in his home.
“I asked them what the money was meant for. They told me that that’s how the system was working. I asked them to take back the money to the office and account for whichever coin was being spent.”
He added: “That’s how we started building systems in the army. We build systems! We build what human beings cannot touch.”
Muntu said FDC is trying to build what people can’t touch citing a 2009 incident when he expressed interest to contest for FDC Party President against Dr Kizza Besigye only to be told that he was going to break the party.
“I told them that I couldn’t be party of another process where the values of democracy were not upheld. I told them that the party would rather break than hoodwinking Ugandans that we were a forum for democratic change.”
He said today the position of FDC Party President is not ring fenced like it is in NRM.
“We started planting a seed of democracy and today we have five candidates from previous three and two at the beginning. Any member of FDC can contest for this position.”
According to “TeamMuntu”, when he was in the bush, some people couldn’t imagine that a person connected as Muntu could fight a regime his father had served. Many thought he was a spy not a real fighter.
Six months down the road, he was shot in the chest, few centimetres from the heart in parts of Mukono. It was a bitter fight, he was transported to Kampala and he spent some months on treatment.
When Milton Obote learnt about his injury, he thought Muntu whom he regarded as disciplined, had learnt a lesson and would not go back to the Bush.
To the surprise of many including those in the bush, Muntu went back immediately after the treatment, those who thought he was a spy realised that he was committed to the cause.
After the bush war, he was made a director of intelligence and under him were people like Paul Kagame, the current Rwandan President.
In September 2015, Muntu said his leadership style is deliberate and conscious.
“If I choose to be aggressive, I can be aggressive, if I choose to use soft methods, I can use soft methods and there must be a reason and purpose for that.”
He added: “There are things which am not going to say here but I know as a leader you must be able to influence the thinking not only in the public but also in the security services such that you can build faith and trust, that even when there is change, those who would think of going to fight will just come on the surface and find ways of how to manage change.”