In a tumultuous turn of events, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) held an extraordinary meeting that concluded yesterday amidst confrontations with security forces.
The gathering led to a unanimous decision to remove the party president and secretary general.
During this dramatic session, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the party president, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the secretary general, Geoffrey Ekanya, the treasurer general, and Boniface Bamwenda, the FDC electoral commission head, were declared suspended by the national delegates conference.
The conference was convened by FDC national chairman Waswa Birigwa, defying numerous challenges.
The party had been deeply divided due to a fierce leadership contest.
Despite a court order and a stern police warning not to proceed, delegates from various regions arrived in large numbers to address the pressing issues within the party.
However, Patrick Oboi Amuriat contested and rejected their resolution, claiming the coup attempt had failed.
The turmoil on Tuesday marked the culmination of months of infighting and a dispute over whether to hold grassroots elections before resolving internal issues.
Tensions escalated when party founder Dr. Kizza Besigye, party spokesman Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago accused Mafabi and Amuriat of receiving ‘dirty money’ from State House ahead of the 2021 General Election.
The accused leaders consistently denied these allegations.
Those leveling accusations claim that the alleged scheme aimed to eliminate political opposition by 2021, echoing President Museveni’s earlier declaration.
They cited similar incidents in the Democratic Party and the Uganda People’s Congress as evidence of a pattern.
Efforts to reconcile the party’s differences behind the scenes, including the formation of an elders’ forum, proved fruitless.
The report by Dr. Frank Nabwiso, who chaired the committee that cleared Mafabi and Amuriat of wrongdoing, was adopted but dismissed by the opposing faction.
Amuriat defiantly responded to his suspension, asserting that those who gathered lacked the authority to make such decisions.
He considered the coup unsuccessful due to the composition of the assembly.
Waswa Birigwa, the FDC national chairman, expressed jubilation over the meeting’s success, announcing it as a recognized FDC extraordinary delegate’s conference.
Dr. Kizza Besigye, the party’s founding president, emphasized the critical moment the party faces, battling internal and external threats.
The conference appeared to harden positions within the party rather than fostering unity.
Amuriat criticized Besigye for his role in ousting elected leaders, eroding his respect within the party. He hinted at seeking legal recourse.