Anger and debate has been raging among political circles following the alleged “Great Trek” of Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] supporters to the New Formation [NF] political party led by Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu.
The debate climaxed with a cartoon by Daily Monitor cartoonist Atukwasize Chris Ogon which has since gathered praise from FDC and NRM circles.
The cartoon shows Muntu donning a yellow builder’s cap and on overall, pushing a blue wheelbarrow full of FDC items.
FDC secretary general Nandala Mafabi has accused Muntu of leaving with the party items including cups and plates.
The cartoon shows Muntu leaving a damaged FDC building, heading towards a sign post of “New Formation” projects which he presides over.
Responding to the cartoon, Muntu said: “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
Muntu said his commitment to a better Uganda must of necessity consist of goals beyond individuals and objectives beyond power.
“We must always be as concerned about the least among us as we are about the greatest. Our greatest ambition should be to serve.”
FDC loses Ankole
The hullabaloo started with news of 63 FDC leaders in Ankole region defecting to the New Formation party.
FDC mobilisation secretary Ingrid Turinawe was quick to dismiss the claim: “Information that 63 Ankole leaders defected from FDC is a hoax.”
She added: “Its blackmail and an insult to patriotic Banyankole. Don’t be fooled! Please Ignore.”
Former Leader of Opposition in Parliament Hon Wafula Oguttu also commented saying he had known and worked closely with Gen Muntu for many years.
He is a comrade, a serious nationalist and a patriot, Oguttu said of Muntu.
“But his decision to leave FDC at this critical time in our efforts for national unity, although it is his right to do so and his targeting FDC members for recruitment into his new Party so as to weaken it, as recent news from Ankole say, instead of going for the NRM big pond, is a big disappointment to me. It was absolutely not necessary nor justified.”
According to Oguttu, Muntu should have fished from the ruling NRM party that has more supporters instead of encroaching on FDC supporters.
But Muntu wondered: “So, when it was reported that the party had different preferred strategies, was it assumed that it was just me on one side and everyone else on the other?”
“When we announced our departure did people assume it was just me? Let’s not pick fights where there are none,” added Muntu who wants everyone to put the country before themselves.
FDC not happy
Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye described the whole thing as foolery.
“When politicians decide to make fools of themselves. According to the recent so called FDC leaders from Ankole that crossed to the nameless new formation of General Mugisha Muntu, four were from Buhweju district.”
He said of the four; one is a district woman chairperson and three are district youth mobilisers.
The FDC structure has NO office called district youth mobiliser. The only office FDC has at the district is district youth chairman, Mwijukye explained.
“One wonders how then three leaders occupying offices that don’t exist crossed from FDC Buhweju to Muntus new formation. The district FDC Chairman, youth chairman, myself the secretary for mobilisation and publicity are shocked to read in the media a list of ghost FDC leaders crossing from Buhweju district.”
New Formation responds
Nyamugabwa Goldino, a youth leader in New Formation party and aide of Muntu, said they was no need for such clashes between opposition parties.
“We are not enemies, we are allies. The SG of FDC asked members to inform Najjanankumbi whether they are still with them or not. This Ankole team just did that,” said Goldino.
“But let me remind my senior leader Hon. Wafula and those who think like him that when FDC was formed, many leaders joined this party from other opposition political parties. Why didn’t Wafula, a founding leader tell these leaders to stay where they were?”
He said Arua MP Hon.Kassiano Wadri and Arua MP Hon. Odonga Otto joined FDC from Democratic Party [DP].
At a later time, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal joined from UPC. As recent as 2015, Hon. Mugati Gwa Batta joined from SDP.
“It is also an open secret that two prominent leaders of DP support FDC more than they support their own party. So, was/is FDC compromising the national unity the good honourable is talking about?”