“FDC leadership should apologize to President Museveni for maligning his name”- Says Faruk Kirunda

The Deputy Presidential Press Secretary, Mr. Faruk Kirunda has tasked the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leadership to apologize to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for maligning his name.

Mr. Kirunda’s request follows a report by FDC’s Special Elders’ Committee appointed to resolve disputes among some of the senior party leaders that exonerated the party’s Secretary General Nandala Mafabi and President Patrick Amuriat Oboi of any wrongdoing as far as receiving funds from President Museveni is concerned.

Of late, the opposition political party has been engulfed in a multitude of disagreements one of them being financial affairs.

On 17th July 2023, the party spokesperson and Kira Municipality Member of Parliament Ibrahim Semujju Nganda accused Mr.Mafabi and Mr. Amuriat of trying to sell FDC to President Museveni.

He challenged them to declare the origin of a sum of money which he alleged is in billion Shillings that was brought into the party during the 2021 general elections from an unknown source, even unbeknownst to top party leaders.

“The party president and the secretary general have not explained to the satisfaction of their known loyalists and new subscribers the source of the money. But unfortunately for them, FDC is made up of many people, they all must be satisfied that the money didn’t come from Museveni like it is believed,” said Semujju at a consultative meeting at Nsambya Sharing Hall.

However, in their report, the committee has since established that the alleged money was legitimately borrowed from Stanbic Bank and not received from President Museveni as claimed by Hon. Semujju Nganda.

“The Committee found this issue a sensitive one and responsible for the dispute between Dr. Besigye and Hon. Mafabi as already highlighted. The disagreement stemmed from the fact that Hon. Mafabi asked Dr. Besigye to keep for him Uganda Shillings 300 million for the agents. In turn, Dr. Besigye was allegedly contacted by a source from State House saying there was some money received by some FDC Party leaders from State House. This made Dr. Besigye cause a meeting with some of the leaders who were directly concerned about the matter but that meeting and other subsequent meetings did not yield results. Dr. Besigye stated before the Committee that money released from the Bank of Uganda is dispatched to three entities i.e. commercial banks, security agencies, and the State House. He further averred that he also took the initiative to find out and the serial numbers on the new notes he received pointed to State House,” the committee chaired by Mr. Frank Nabwiso stated in their report.

On the other hand, Hon. Mafabi while appearing before the Committee denied that he ever received any money from the State House. He contended that towards the 2021 General Elections, the Party was in a financial crisis as it needed close to shs2.7
billion, excluding the cost of printing posters and financing candidates. The National Executive Committee authorized him to borrow funds to run the Party activities during that period and he produced an extract of the minutes where he was authorized.

“He further averred that in the process of looking for money, they approached Dr.
Besigye to help them raise the money. Instead, Dr. Besigye asked them to prepare the budget which they did but he never got back to them. The account of Hon. Mafabi aligns with the submission of Hon. Ekanya, Mr. Kyambadde, and Eng. Amuriat confirmed that NEC authorized Hon. Mafabi to borrow money but also averred that they knew the money was obtained from legitimate sources. Hon. Mafabi tendered
before the Committee a bank statement from Kyambogo Stanbic Bank where the money that was delivered to Dr. Besigye was withdrawn,” the committee added.

The Committee further noted that it’s a long-standing practice in the FDC not to disclose all the sources of its money.

“This is also the practice in many political parties across the world. It is therefore difficult to abandon it given the little income which can be raised from the FDC members. Therefore, there is a need for the Party to review how it will continue to work with its private funders Vis-à-vis covert sources and public image.”

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