FDC rift deepens as Katonga faction gears up to form new party

FDC rift deepens as Katonga faction gears up to form new party
The President of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Patrick Amuriat (Right), has threatened to take legal action against Dr Kizza Besigye (Left) and his FDC Katonga Faction group for "misusing" his party instruments.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Ms Proscovia Salaamu Musumba, the former vice-chairperson of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has urged Patrick Amuriat to refrain from engaging in theatrics and making threats against the FDC Katonga faction.

Patrick Amuriat is the leader of the FDC party headquartered in Najjanankumbi, Kampala.

Following a significant number of party members aligning with the FDC Katonga faction after disagreements, Amuriat has expressed frustration as the new faction holds national consultative meetings.

The FDC Katonga faction aims to gather input from supporters on the establishment of a new political entity. However, Amuriat recently accused his former mentor and FDC leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye, of misappropriating FDC symbols and threatened legal action against Dr. Besigye and his allies.

The FDC, established on December 16, 2004, emerged from the Reform Agenda, which united dissatisfied members of the National Resistance Army liberation struggle and the subsequent Movement system.

Although Amuriat, as an MP, is considered a founding member, he was not part of the party’s top leadership during its inception. His involvement in politics dates back to the 1996 presidential election, where he served as an interpreter for Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere. He later won the Kumi MP seat in 2001 and joined the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO).

In 2017, Amuriat, leveraging Dr. Besigye’s confrontational approach, secured the FDC presidency by defeating Gen Mugisha Muntu. However, tensions arose between Amuriat and Dr. Besigye, leading to a rift.

For the better part of last year, conflicts between the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi and the Katonga faction, led by Dr. Besigye, have persisted without resolution.

The Katonga faction has accused Amuriat and the FDC’s general secretary, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, of accepting questionable funds from the government.

In November, Dr. Besigye openly criticized the leadership of the FDC at Najjanjumbi, labeling them as “enemies of the nation” due to their perceived cooperation with the incumbent regime.

In February, Amuriat announced efforts toward reconciliation aimed at restoring order within the party.

“We’ve been actively working towards reconciliation, and we’re pleased to see tangible results as many former members have returned to the fold,” said Amuriat.

However, the reconciliation efforts seem to be fruitless as the feud between the two factions continue to deepen.

Amuriat is now adamant about preventing Dr. Besigye from using FDC symbols or gestures, such as the V-finger salute.

Amuriat has cautioned the “Katonga masqueraders” that legal action awaits them. He and Jack Sabiiti, the FDC national chairman, have advised their supporters nationwide to disregard Dr. Besigye and his faction, whom they perceive as disgruntled and seeking to fragment the FDC.

“It’s okay for the Katonga faction to form a party but they should not do so by ripping FDC apart,” Amuriat said.

Amuriat further accused the group of using the FDC instruments such as slogans and flag, saying their actions violated the party constitution, thus triggering legal action.

“We are going to take legal action against this group (Besigye) not because they are running around the country but because they are misusing and abusing the instruments that are portraying the FDC,” Amuriat said.

“They are misusing our flag, our colour, our motto, our slogans and going around the country masquerading as the FDC. They are not the FDC. In fact, in what they are doing, they are violating the constitution of the FDC,” he added.

Referencing Gen Muntu’s departure from the FDC to establish a new party, Amuriat asserted that Muntu’s exit did not fracture the FDC.

Also Read: Museveni’s arch rival, Besigye shaking up Ugandan politics ahead of 2026 polls

But Salaamu Musumba says it is high time Amuriat left FDC Katonga faction to consult Ugandans without throwing threats at them.

According to Musumba, the FDC Katonga faction will soon unveil symbols, colors, anthems, slogans, flags, and various other insignias for the emerging party they are in the process of forming.

“The trust that the people of Uganda placed in the FDC Katonga faction to establish a party is what we are doing; Musumba said, adding that their consultation meetings are within the ambits of the law.

Salaamu Musumba stated that Amuriat owed Ugandans an apology for “disappointing the party and leading us to our current situation.”

“Amuriat, kindly give respect to people of Uganda who are yearning for change and let us be,” she added.