"The High Court has excluded Erias Lukwago, the Vice
President of the Buganda Region for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), from
the proceedings involving three members of the party who are seeking a
declaration that the upcoming National Delegates Conference is irregular and in
violation of national laws.
The three individuals involved in this case are Arafat Ntale
Mwanja, Jamal Wante, and Marlick Ssazi. Initially, scheduled for tomorrow,
September 19th, 2023, the extraordinary National Delegates Conference was
halted on Friday by Civil Division Judge Lady Justice Esta Nambayo. This halt
is pending the determination of the main case challenging the conference.
The petitioners brought the case to court, alleging that the
responsible offices have been excluded from the preparation and organization of
the said extraordinary National Delegates Conference. They argue that the
rushed scheduling and organization of the conference were done in bad faith,
intending to embarrass the party and cause irreparable damage and loss.
The petitioners named the FDC party, President Patrick Oboi
Amuriat, and Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi as respondents to their
case. This challenge is in response to the communique issued on August 15th,
2023, by the party's Chairman, Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa. However, the main
case was brought up on Monday afternoon for further hearing, held in a closed
Lawyers led by Lukwago entered, claiming to represent the party
chairperson Birigwa, who is not a party to the application. This led the Judge
to remove them from the proceedings. Lawyer Julius Galisonga presented
instructions indicating that he was representing all the respondents in the
This move, however, angered Lukwago and the party's Chief Whip,
Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, as they had prepared submissions from Birigwa for the
court. Both Lukwago and Nganda explained to journalists outside the court that
the order to halt the Extraordinary Delegates conference does not apply to the
conference called by Birigwa for the following day because he is not a party to
the proceedings and cannot be condemned unheard.
//Cue in: “Zona ensonga tubadde…
Cue out: … nebiguvudemu nabitya bwetulina,”//
//Cue in: “Unfortunately reaching here….
Cue out: .. said are aah,”//
They have vowed to attend the conference and have called on
other delegates to do the same at Nature's Green Beach in Busabala.
Justice Nambayo has directed all parties to file written
submissions starting from September and continuing until October 4th, 2023,
when they will return for a mention.
The party's President, Amuriat, and Mafabi have distanced
themselves from the conference, stating that it was not planned or budgeted for
by the party.
This halt of the conference comes at a time when the party is
divided into two factions. One faction is led by Amuriat and Nandala Mafabi,
while the other is led by former FDC President Kizza Besigye, Kampala City Lord
Mayor Erias Lukwago, and Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
Trouble and confusion within the party started when Birigwa,
believed to have sided with Besigye's group, accused the Mafabi-Amuriat group
of receiving what they describe as 'dirty state money.'
This alleged 'dirty
money' is said to have been used by the party in the 2021 elections, and since
then, the factions have been engaged in mudslinging as they vie for supremacy
in the party, which will turn 20 years old in December 2024.
Last week, Birigwa stated that the conference would proceed as
planned. However, the police have indicated that they will not provide security
for it and have advised FDC to seek a resolution from the courts to avoid