National Resistance Army [NRA] historical and former Central and Mengo minister Owek. Israel Mayengo is shocked how advocates for change can defy change and cry foul.
He was commenting on Kasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza’s refusal to leave office after being sacked by Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party president Patrick Amuriat as the Leader of Opposition in parliament.
“I think we have to realise that we are at the stage of just development, a stage of contradictions,” he said on Tuesday while appearing on NBS television.
According to Mayengo, the same advocates of change are the ones crying about the changes, this is the time we should be developing the ideas of more than one leader.
He said the same people who are saying President Museveni has stayed long in power are the same people who don’t want to leave.
“Did Amuriat do it alone? There must be an organisation in the party that sits, votes and decides on who should lead various committees. If he didn’t do that then he is the wrong fellow to have as the FDC leader.”
Mayengo said if the FDC reshuffle is vindictive, it’s wrong but if it’s a regular change then there is nothing wrong with that.
“In any case, isn’t it desirable that you make changes every now and then? Hon Kiiza has been excellent but we need to develop our leaders more, we need to realise that we can have more than one leader.”
Mayengo said political parties are new to Uganda; it’s a new culture Ugandans are trying to adopt and Africanise.
“Changes are normal and as far as leading committees was concerned in my parliament days, two things were considered, ability and interest in the position.”
He added: “We have the poverty mentality that has taken over, people want more and this is led by selfishness, if an MP can’t buy himself a car, that one is too poor to be in parliament in the first place.”
Owek. Mayengo notes that Ugandans have the wrong view that someone is so good they can’t be replaced; “we must hold the idea that we have more capable people out there”. Owek. Mayengo:
“But how did Amuriat make these changes to the extent that Hon. Winnie Kiiza didn’t know about it, how come she is yet to get official communication? This shows there is improper working mechanisms in the party.”
Owek Mayengo on whether Hon. Mubarak Munyagwa will manage COSASE: “Who comes from Cambridge University and is branded a fool? Hon. Munyagwa is brilliant. He might act funny but I’m sure he has the intellect to lead.”
Henry Kasacca, a Senior programme Officer at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, says party positions haven’t been so coherent, “we are still grappling as a country to have procedures appreciated”.
He said this shouldn’t be termed as sacking because the legal framework allows for a leader to appoint, this happens in NRM was well.
“The most fundamental issue is, FDC should lead opposition in Parliament.”
Host: Can FDC survive this moment?
Kasacca: It will survive. The idea that you can have a breakaway isn’t Ugandan, people just step away, they’ll never attend a meeting, never contribute, they will talk negatively about you but can never break away.
Kasacca says the process of creating a new force is longer and hectic. These contradictions have never been tackled just that they take new directions every time, even Mugisha Muntu had the same challenges.
“FDC isn’t going down because of these challenges but it’s not going forward either.”
Host: Why is Munyagwa stirring conversation?
Owek. Mayengo: Because he’s new, I personally have never met him. Kasacca: He has come onto the political scene in a given way, most of the people are assessing him based on Abdul Katuntu.