POLITICS | Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu has officially announced a breakaway from the party he helped form in 2004 and set a tentative timeline for formation of a new political party.
Addressing journalists in Kampala to explain his Tuesday decision to walk out of FDC, the bush war General announced the rolling out of a new formation that he said will be announced before December 25.
Flanked by several Members of Parliament and a couple of FDC leaders from across the country, Gen Muntu said he respects Patrick Amuriat Oboi as the legitimate president of FDC but when it came to deciding between staying in the party and continuing to fight and breaking away to come up with another political formation, he chose the latter.
“Our consultations revealed that the party was deeply divided among those who believed in defiance and those who believe in caution and building structure,” he said.
On Wednesday, Muntu’s confidante Alice Alaso told NTV in an interview that they made the decision to leave FDC from back in 2015.
“I haven’t taken this decision yesterday night, I have made this decision from about 2015 but I was hoping that it could be resolved,” Alaso, a ‘former’ FDC deputy president for eastern region.
In 2015, Muntu was FDC president but lost the ticket to be party flag bearer in the 2016 presidential election to Dr Kizza Besigye.
Muntu also revealed that his decision was informed by the existence of a vacuum that the current political environment was not filling. He said his departure from FDC is in good faith and beneficial to the FDC and all those living in the country.
“When I was FDC president, there was a lot of internal strife which was not good for the party. Therefore instead of fighting over strategy, our departure will allow Amuriat to pursue his strategy unhindered,” Muntu said.
“Our commitment to the Opposition is more real. We will try as much as possible to keep the door open,” he added.
He said he will engage citizens, leaders and civil society to gather views about the new formation to be launched by December 25. He urged the public to visit a new web portal www.newformation.ug to share views as well as share their contacts.
When asked whether he has been a mole as many continue to allege, Gen Muntu said if he was indeed a mole, then he would have opted to remain in FDC and ensure it doesn’t gain stability.
“I was also called a mole when I joined the bush war against the then government of Apollo Milton Obote. I was put under strict surveillance by the rebel commanders who never believed that Munteyera’s son would join the bush to fight Obote,” Muntu said, adding that the commanders later proved that he was fighting Obote’s government.
“Time heals everything. That time will come when people will be shocked to know who the moles are,” Muntu said.
On allegations that he has been secretly meeting President Museveni, Gen Muntu clarified that he last met the President one-on-one in 2004.
“Integrity is one of my central pillars as a human being. There is nothing in my life that I have focused on like the building of character,” the bush war general said.
He recounted of how as a young army commander he declined a sack of money that had been brought to his office.
“I was the army commander and found no systems of accountability. At one time, a sack of money was brought to my office and I ordered it be taken back,” he said.
He said he was in touch with other opposition politicians, including Kyaddondo East MP Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi of the People Power fame, Hon Asuman Basalirwa of Jeema and Nobert Mao of the Democratic Party, among others.
Some of the MPs in attendance included Kasese Woman MP and former Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza, Ntugamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru, national Youth female MP Anne Adeke, among others.