Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] presidential candidate, Mugisha Muntu, has reiterated that he is not a mole of the ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM] as detractors have continuously insisted.
Muntu’s outcry comes as the opposition party votes for a new Party President at 7th National Delegates Conference Friday.
The contestants are Muntu, former MP Patrick Amuriat, youth activist Byamugisha Moses and Dan Matsiko.
Muntu says while some call him a mole, he remains among those who have insisted that retaining Article 102(b) is grounded in the desire to secure a smooth and stable transition of power.
“General Museveni would be best advised to avoid such embarrassment and disgrace,” Muntu said, citing the fall of Zimbabwe strongman, Robert Mugabe.
Denies being a mole
“I have heard some people spread rumours that I am an NRM mole in FDC.I am a founding member of FDC. In fact, I was one of the people that got the party registered. Once we had done this, we went around recruiting people. It was us that insisted on having Dr. Besigye as our presidential candidate in 2001. When people say I am an NRM mole, what extactly do they mean?”
Muntu says he has stood for party presidency thrice now and for the position of flag-bearer. “Each time I lost in the past, I not only accepted defeat, but convinced my fatigued supporters to put the party interests ahead of any personal interests and support the victor.”
Muntu noted that if his objective was to destabilise the party, wouldn’t the logical thing be to claim the elections were rigged and cause divisions and mayhem?
Instead, he has consistently sought to bring the party together and ensure that everyone can say what they believe without fear or intimidation.
“When people say that I am an NRM mole, what exactly do they mean? When I won the party presidency in 2012, there were some who urged me to stamp my authority by ignoring other opinions and only promoting my views. People kept saying, ‘It’s your turn and your agenda, ignore the rest’.”
He added: “But I insisted on inclusion and ensuring that all voices were heard. We sat in meetings and resolved matters democratically. When the majority held a view that was different from mine, I supported the meeting’s resolutions and made sure the resources of the party were deployed to implement them. When people say that I am an NRM mole, what exactly do they mean?”
Ironically, Muntu said, the same people accusing him of weak leadership would have been accusing him of favouritism and selfishness if he had shut down dissenting voices.
“How can I be accused of weakening the party by allowing those with dissenting views to thrive? How does a mole keep a party united even when some would want to see a clear split? When people say that I am an NRM Mole, what exactly do they mean?”
He said in this election, the choice for delegates has never been starker. “We must choose between having a party that will only listen to one line of thinking and completely ignore any other voices or a party in which the president listens to all views and uses different ideas to complement each other and achieve a common good.”
Muntu believes that democracy isn’t just about the majority having their way, but also about the minority having their say.
“All voices should matter. And if we listen to each other a little more, if we only paused long enough to hear what others are saying, we would realize that we are all on the same side. That we may speak different languages, but we are saying the same thing. That is who we are as a party and as a people.”
Okumu defends Muntu
Hon. Ronald Reagan Okumu, MP for Aswa county and commissioner of Parliament of Uganda, says when Gen. Muntu was removed from the Army Command, he was offered to go for training, he declined to accept this offer and asked the President to give the opportunity to the young people.
“He was given another offer of Minister of Defense which he also declined. One day he walk up with his wife and drove to Bombo Barracks, he had taken back the official car of the Army Commander!” said Okumu, a Deputy President FDC.
He said when Muntu was asked what car he would wish to use, he smiled and told them that he had come with his wife who had escorted him driving a small car.
“This left everyone shocked because even Generals who retire still drive UPDF cars. Gen. Muntu is an exceptional leader.”