Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party president, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, says the public must understand that the FDC changes in Parliament happen, they are inevitable.
“I don’t actually understand why this has raised eyebrows; opportunity should be given to as many people as possible. If the positions are held by just a particular people, how do we measure the strengths and capabilities for the rest of the people in the party?” he said.
Appearing on NBS television Monday morning, Amuriat noted that this shouldn’t be viewed as an issue of individuals, “we are a group. If I was rewarding the POA loyalists, Hon Ssemujju Nganda wouldn’t have bound back”.
He explained: “If I was vindictive, maybe these reshuffles would have happened months ago. These changes were informed by a number of factors like loyalty, financial contribution, other details underground can be talked about but not for public consumption.”
He said FDC prides in having a membership of more than 10 million countrywide, “we just lead”.
Amuriat said he will deal with the repercussions but doesn’t expect these reshuffles to cause a divide because all knew this was going to happen.
Host: Do you feel a backlash coming with these reshuffles?
Hon. Amuriat: We shall weather the storm.
Host: Are you proud of the decision you made?
Hon. Amuriat: Yes, I’m proud of it.
In making these changes, Amuriat noted, the leadership is realigning the work of Parliament with the work of FDC, if the party and Parliament are walking in opposite directions, there won’t be a point on convergence.
“This is also in respect of what we plan to do as a party in the field. It has been proven that parliament might not be effective in bringing liberation, so we have to find another way.”
He said an MP rejected the position of Leader of Opposition, and he had his own reasons. He did not reveal who the said MP was.
“We have had a lot of consultation and work done in so many months. But it’s on record that we talked to everyone before a decision was taken to reshuffle.”
Host: What do you have to say about Winnie Kiiza?
Hon. Amuriat: She is a fine lady; I congratulate her publicly for the good work done for the party. When I meet her privately, I will let her know what I liked and didn’t like about her.
He added: “I have never been vindictive in my life and would never be. If I was, then Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda would not have retained his position as chief opposition whip.”
On July 10, 2017, The Observer published a story titled: “FDC alarmed as Museveni buys more of its members” in which it stated that cash handouts from President Museveni were softening the opposition’s defiance against his ruling NRM government and eroding the loyalty of individual members to their parties.
One FDC MP reportedly asked the president in 2016 for Shs 140m to complete his house in a Kampala suburb while some MPs on top of cash have received heads of cattle from the head of state.
Anita Among, the Bukedea Woman MP and former FDC deputy treasurer, is said to be the go-between.
Among, the sacked deputy chair of the opposition-led committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) in parliament, was instrumental in softening hardline opposition politicians.
In the past, she delivered Kasese MPs to Museveni on December 28, 2016 at his Kisozi ranch in Gomba district.