“The declaration that the defendant’s actions of convening and or organizing a National Delegates’ conference scheduled for 6th October to elect members of the National Executive Committee are unlawful and illegal…A permanent injunction restraining the defendants his agent's servants and or employees and anyone acting under him from holding the office of the Chief Electoral Commissioner of the FDC without the express mandate of the National Delegates conference of the FDC,” the suit reads in part.
As the crisis within the opposition Forum for Democratic
Change widens, members of the National Executive Committee have rushed to court
to stop next week’s delegates’ conference that was called by the party Electoral
Commission chairman Boniface Toterbuka Bamwneda.
In a suit filed at the High
Court in Kampala on Monday, the 23 NEC members headed by Salaam Musumba, the party vice
chairman for Eastern region the party contend that Toterebuka who is the sole respondent
in the case is acting illegally by convening the October 6th, 2023 meeting. They therefore want the court to issue a declaration that Toterebuka’s actions
of holding the position of chief electoral commissioner of FDC and purporting
to conduct internal elections for the leadership of the structures of the party are
contrary to the constitution of the FDC and therefore, unlawful, and illegal.
that the defendant’s actions of convening and or organizing a National Delegates’
conference scheduled for 6th October to elect members of the National
Executive Committee are unlawful and illegal…A permanent injunction restraining
the defendants his agent's servants and or employees and anyone acting under
him from holding the office of the Chief Electoral Commissioner of the FDC without the express mandate of the National Delegates conference of the FDC,” the suit
reads in part.
The leaders also want the court to issue a permanent injunction restraining
Toterebuka his agents, servants, and or employees, and anyone acting under him
from further holding and presiding over the internal elections for the
leadership of the structures of the FDC and also convening the National Delegates
The leaders argue that the last party delegates’ conference that
convened in 2017 appointed Yusuf Nsibambi as the head of the Electoral Commission
and he has never formally stepped down from the position and
Toterebuka assumed the same without going through the formal constitutional
processes or having any instrument or resolution passed by the national
The plaint further shows that the aforesaid situation
enlisted concern and spirited protest from a number of bonafide party members
including the applicants and it was resolved in some of the NEC meetings held
in May and June 2023 that this issue be part of the agenda of the NEC retreat
that was intended to address the internal party differences before rolling out the
party elections roadmap.
before the NEC retreat could be held to consider the Defendant's illegal
occupation of the office of the Chief Electoral Commissioner, the defendant
unilaterally rolled out a purported election roadmap culminating into a delegates’
conference slated for November 2023," reads the petition.
It adds that
the applicants vehemently opposed the said roadmap but to no avail. And in a
dramatic turn, of events, Toterebuka allegedly decided to abandon the said
roadmap and instead allocated himself powers to convene the delegates’
conference on October 6th, 2023 to elect members of NEC, and a notice to that
effect was published in the newspapers under his hand.
the petitioners, the said conference was not sanctioned by a
resolution of NEC and the office of National Party Chairperson Ambassador
Wasswa Birigwa. The
petitioners through their lawyers of Lukwago and Company Advocates now argue
that during the hearing, they will tell the court that the actions and conduct of
holding the position of the Chief Electoral Commissioner without the Mandate of
the Delegates Conference under Article 29 (1) of the FDC constitution are
They say the
actions amount to usurping the powers of the party Chairperson enshrined in the
constitution of FDC and the same actions contravene the Democratic principles
required of a political party under the constitution of Uganda and the
provisions of the Political Parties and Organizations Act.
to the foregoing, the purported current electoral processes superintended over
by the defendant/Toterebuka have posted disastrous and boisterous outcomes and
indeed have turned out to be a sham which is a negation or antithesis of the
known values, philosophy and impeccable record of the party of being a vanguard
of free, fair and credible election and have been rejected by majority of the
aggrieved party members," reads the petition.
As a direct
consequence, the applicants say that Toterebuka's said actions which they
describe as illegal have caused them to suffer mental anguish, ridicule,
insurmountable odium, ridicule, agony, and severe inconveniences. The
applicants say, unless Toterebuka is restrained by the Court, he is hell-bent on proceeding
with his illegal actions which they contend that will lead to the disintegration and
eventual demise of the party thereby causing irreparable damages and injury to
them yet they have immensely contributed to the development of the party and
that the advancement of their respective political careers is pegged on the
Other than Salaam
Musumba, the applicants include; Betty Aol, Denis Onekalit Amere, Ssemujju
Ibrahim Nganda, Roland Kaginda, Francis Mwijukye, Doreen Nyanjura, Mubarak
Munyagwa, Harold Kaija, Michael Kabaziguruka, Atkins Katusabe, Harold Muhindo,
Asinansi Nyakato, Samuel Makhoja, Dominic Wakabi, George Ekwaro, Nicholas
Kamara, Amon Rubarema, Hajji Obedi Kamulegeya, Plan Virginia Mugenyi, Moses
Tugume and Kennedy Okello.
FDC descended into chaos after a section of the party
accused the president and Secretary General of picking money from President
Museveni that was used during the 2021 general elections. They called upon the
two leaders to step down to allow for the election of new leaders; a demand
that was flatly rejected.