NRM, FDC MPs light up DP re-union meet

Aruu County MP Samuel Odonga Otto shocked fellow FDC legislators when he announced during a re-union meeting for DP supporters that his time with Uganda’s main opposition party was up.

Aruu county MP Odonga Otto in company of Leader of Opposition in parliament Winnie Kiiza.

Otto went to the meet at Makerere University’s Rugby grounds in company of FDC MPs; the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza (Kasese Woman), Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East) and Robert Centenary (Kasese MP) plus UPC’s Santa Alum (Oyam Woman).

In the audience was former FDC president Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu who was among the political leaders invited from other political parties.

“I want to declare in front of this gathering that in the next election, I will stand on the card of the Democratic Party,” Otto announced, throwing DP supporters into a frenzy, some ran to the podium to decorate him with the white and green colours of Uganda’s oldest political party.

Muntu smiled sheepishly as Otto made an announcement that shocked his FDC colleagues.

Kiiza who gave Otto a chance to speak too looked on in disbelief as her party spoke about his DP roots and why he was opting to return to his childhood party.

“I was among the needy students at Makerere University and Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere hosted us and served us a good meal, I went on to become the [Uganda Young Democrats] UYD chairman for Lumumba hall, so, I am coming back home,” Otto said.

Former FDC President Gen Mugisha Muntu (c) and Abed Bwanika (L) of the Peoples Development Party.

His public declaration is likely to land him into trouble with his party though this is not the first time that the fiery MP from Pader district is courting controversy with FDC.

Earlier, NRM MP James Acidri (Maracha East) had accused his party leadership of failing to build a party ideology and resorted to using money.

“Where I am (in NRM), I’m still struggling to understand the ideology because you have to be paid to understand their ideology. DP has a good clear party ideology, FDC does and UPC. What these parties need to do is unite on a common front,” Acidri said.

Acidri is among the NRM MPs that defied the party position to campaign against the lifting of the presidential age limits during last year’s amendment of the Constitution.

Unlike Otto, Acidri was clear that he had not crossed to DP but said was ready to work with forces of change to return the country to a democratic path.

The re-union was used as a launch pad of DP’s countrywide mobilisation campaign intended to re-energise the party.

“It is not going to be business as usual, our failure to do what we are supposed to do means keeping Uganda’s political power in Museveni’s family,” said Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, the Butambala MP who is also leading the reconciliation efforts.

Mathias Mpuuga giving his speech at the UYD reunion. looking on is Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi. Courtesy Photo.

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga urged DP supporters to move from the politics of sloganeering to action based politics.

“Sloganeering doesn’t change governments, the call of our time is to confront the problem and deal with it,” Mpuuga said.

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine joined the chorus of urging opposition politicians to work together than turning opposition politics as a career.

DP Senior party officials, Chairman Nobert Mao (L) Former party president Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere (C)

“We must learn to put the country before self not just in words but even in action. If we know that the struggle is our life, we should not make it permanent, we should not be professional opposition politicians; don’t make it a career, we should know that we are here for a purpose,” Bobi Wine said.
“The noble duty of a leader is not to get followers but to create other leaders,” he added.
The re-union was addressed by Muntu, Ssemogerere and DP president Norbert Mao among others.