Mugisha Muntu launches new political pressure group

Two days after walking away from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu has announced the formation of a new pressure group named New Formation.

The group was unveiled at a press conference held on Thursday morning at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

Muntu announced his departure from Uganda’s biggest opposition party on Tuesday afternoon following three months of consultations in different parts of the country.

He said that the consultations revealed that FDC was severely divided between those who felt that the strategy should be defiance only and those who thought it was best to concentrate on party’s structural development.

“We feel that the only practical way to resolve this tension, is for those whose view was voted for by the majority of party delegates to be allowed the space to carry out their agenda unimpeded.This necessarily means that those of us that are not comfortable with this agenda are faced with two options. We can either keep within the Party and shut up about our alternative strategies, or leave the
Party and work with them from the outside to achieve common objectives using different strategies,” Muntu said.

He said that while there have been suggestions for them to remain in FDC and push their agenda from inside, he cannot be party to underhand methods of engagement.

“As someone who lived through that kind of internal friction first hand during my 5-year tenure as Party President, I can authoritatively say it is of no use to anyone. It neither advances the Party nor benefits any of the warring groups. All it does, is distract the entire opposition into
spending our energy on internal power struggles that only benefit those in government,” he said.

FDC EC chairman Dan Mugarura (R) and former MP Florence Ibi Ekwau arriving for the press conference

At the press conference, Muntu was joined by a number of FDC politicians notable among them are MPs Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East), Elijah Okupa (Kasilo), Herbert Ariko (Soroti Municipality), Angeline Osegge (Soroti Woman), Gerald Karuhanga (Independent, Ntungamo Municipality) and Anna Adeke Ebaju (National Female Youth).
There were also two NRM MPs Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Kasambya) and John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya).
FDC’s Martin Ojara Mapenduzi (Gulu LC 5 chairman) and the Party’s electoral commission chief Dan Mugarura also attended.

MPs Herbert Ariko, Gerald Karuhanga and Anna Adeke Ebaju at the press conference

“Our departure is in good faith. We believe that this action is mutually beneficial to both the FDC and those of us leaving. In fact, if handled well, this could be the beginning of greater cooperation within the opposition. Instead of fighting each other over strategy, our departure will allow the current Party leadership to pursue its agenda unencumbered while we also pursue the same objectives in
ways we feel better reflect our values,” Muntu said.

He said that in the coming few weeks, he is going to embark on a nationwide participatory process of defining what the New Formation stands for.