New Vision (Kampala)

19 November 2012

Uganda: FDC Presidential Contestants Face-Off

The Forum for Democratic Change will today hold a public debate for all its candidates for the seat of party Presidency.

The Parties Information Secretary confirmed that the debate was on. "The public debate by our Presidential candidates is on. The venue is still the challenge," he said.

Wafula said most hotels were scared to give them venues. "Two have already declined the booking. We are now trying to see whether we can go to Makerere University."

The party will conduct elections for its Presidential candidates on Thursday (November 22) and the race has attracted three candidates including Mugisha Muntu, Nandala Mafabi and Geoffrey Ekanya. The public debate will be the first of its kind in the political party history in Uganda.

Meanwhile each of the candidates camps is now carrying out its last minute campaigns to woo undecided delegates. Over 800 delegates are expected in Namboole.

Over 18 Members of Parliament have thrown their weight behind Muntu and are scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow. Seven support Mafabi while the others have not openly declared their favorite candidate. The party has 33 MPs in Parliament.

Those that have publicly supported Muntu include Paul Mwiru, Odo Tayebwa, Abdu Katuntu, Ochola Stephen, Cecilia Ogwal, Alice Alaso, Odongo Otto, Kasiano Wadri, Osegge Angeline, Bako Christine Abia, Nagayi Nabillah, Kizza Winfred, Beatrice Anywar, Atiku Christine, Ibi Ekwau, Epetait Francis, Akello Frank among others.

Those in the Mafabi camp include Betty Aol, Hassan Fungaroo, Jack Wamanga, Kevin Taaka and, Semujju Nganda. MP's allied to both camps will address a press conference in Parliament to drum up support for their candidates.

Meanwhile the Muntu camp has petitioned the head of Electoral Commission Dan Mugarura accusing Mafabi of political irregularities after his actions denied them access to the delegates. Last week Mafabi is accused of having invited delegates across the country to Mbale where they are said to have wined and dined for two days. The move is said to have infuriated the other FDC camps.

Sources at the party say the Muntu camp had already lodged in a complaint to the Head of the Electoral Commission.

"We were supposed to meet to meet the delegates in various districts and each candidate had forwarded their campaign programme to the EC to that effect. However one candidate invited delegates from everywhere for merry making in Mbale," says Mwijukye Francis.

Mwijukye maintained that the guidelines issued by the Party only provided for district and regional meetings for campaigns and then the final National Delegates conference in Namboole.

Mafabi will hold his last rally in Kireka -Kyadondo county East in Wakiso District on Tuesday 20th November but will first meet Kampala and Wakiso Districts delegates.

Muntu on the hand will be winding his Western tour today and will be in Kampala to meet the delegates from Buganda in his final push to woo them to vote for them.

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