More details are coming to the surface on the funding that the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) allegedly sourced from President Yoweri Museveni in the run-up to the 2021 presidential election.
In the just released FDC Elders’ Committee special report on the internal disputes in the party, Col Dr Kizza Besigye is quoted revealing how he got to learn of the funding that was received from State House by Party Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi.
The committee chaired by Dr. Frank Nabiswo presented their findings to the party officials on Friday, July 28, at the Najjanankumbi offices amid chaotic scenes.
Both Dr Besigye and Mafabi appeared last month before the 6-member committee which was appointed by President Patrick Amuriat Oboi in November last year, to look into the accusations and counter-accusations being traded by the top party leadership.
State House Source
Dr. Besigye, according to the report, told the committee that he had been contacted by a source from State House telling him that “there was some money received by some FDC Party leaders from State House.”
Around that time, Besigye says, Mr. Mafabi had come to him with a request to keep for him money amounting to Shs 500 million. But later on, only Shs 300 million was delivered. The balance it turns out, was given to President Amuriat for safekeeping.
Besigye says his alarm bells went off, and he immediately convened a meeting with some of the leaders who were directly concerned about the matter.
The meeting and other subsequent meetings, however, did not yield results.
Besigye says he also confronted President Amuriat who admitted that he indeed had received Shs 280 million from Mafabi for safekeeping and that it was intended for the Party during the electoral process.
Around this period, another senior party official reached out to Besigye on the possibility of a formal agreement with NRM to establish a Government of National Unity.
The colleague, Besigye says, reminded him of how they had suffered together, and how many FDC members are becoming desperate.
Besigye asked him whether he was advocating for terms of surrendering, and he answered in the affirmative. The colleague also told him that there were already some contacts with Museveni, and also requested Dr. Besigye to keep the information confidential.
Over the past weeks, it has been reported that at the heart of the unraveling bitter fight that threatens to split the FDC down the middle, is funding to the tune of Shs 7 billion that President Museveni dolled out to the FDC.
It is understood that President Museveni was keen on helping the FDC regain its lost glory to counter the threat posed by the National Unity Platform (NUP) led by Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.
The President, who in the 2021 elections vowed to destroy the NUP, sees Bobi Wine’s party as more radical and dangerous than the FDC, which has more reasonable, mature, elderly, and moderate politicians.
By helping FDC financially to reclaim several MP seats in Buganda and Eastern Uganda, insiders say, Museveni wanted to weaken the NUP in its stronghold areas.
Moreso, the possible collapse of FDC works against Museveni’s interests in weakening the NUP. This is because all frustrated opposition figures would shift from FDC to NUP for better political fortunes.
Meanwhile, when the Elders Committees quizzed Nandala Mafabi on Dr. Besigye’s concerns, the SG and former leader of the opposition in parliament admitted to receiving funding to support the party’s preparations for the last elections.
Nandala said the party desperately needed the fund. In the report, however, he neither confirmed nor denied getting the money for the State House.
Instead, the report says Mafabi “demonstrated to the Committee that the money was from legitimate sources.”
Story Credit- Chimpreports