Why I will not vie for the FDC Presidential Flagbearership (2021) but nonetheless run for President of Uganda – Moses Byamugisha

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A number of my friends and well wishers especially those who know me to be FDC at heart have continued to suggest that I should pick FDC forms for Presidential flag bearer given the fact that am mobilizing to run for President on my own and yet even after FDC extended the deadline to 30th July, no body has openly at the moment expressed interest in the flag.

First of all I thank all of you my friends for that high level of confidence you have in me and the support you are giving me since we begun this journey 7 years ago. It is because of this genuine love and trust you have expressed in me that I have found it compelling to share with you my thoughts about this matter.

In FDC party, when we are looking for national leader to steer the party forward on positions like Party President or President flag bearer, there are about three major factors that influence that decision.

(1) Financial muscle:- Some few years ago the Museveni regime took deliberate steps to stifle and limit fundraising initiatives by opposition political parties in Uganda. Government introduced strict limitations on donors who previously directly funded political parties and today parties generally depend on the little that is allocated through IPOD and few contributions raised from selling membership cards. This money is not enough to run a national party like FDC and on top of that fully sponsor a presidential candidate together with thousands of other lower candidates from districts .

Therefore, in choosing a candidate for president, members will be more inclined to such a candidate who has a big financial muscle and won’t be a burden to the party. One who can considerably support him/herself . Here we are not talking about millions, we are talking about billions of shillings that a contender should have on the account. Am aware that currently my party FDC is in the process to identify such a candidate and when they get him/her, all of us members will be so proud.

(2) Experience in Government or Management . As a party we would be more pleased to have a presidential candidate who has demonstrable experience in matters of governance and management of public affairs, surely not someone who is going to learn on job. Our fdc candidate will not be running alone in the general election , he or she will be competing against very many others and so its very important that the party fronts its best because that’s what we are. The oblivious here is that at my young age, I have not yet had the benefit to work with any government previously to certify that requirement.

(3) National Stature:- The most suitable person to carry the FDC presidential flag in such a general election should be one whose name the party will not spend a lot of time to popularise in the country side.

The campaign period is in itself short so the party doesn’t have the luxury of time to pick a little known personality whom they have to struggle to market around the country and yet actually such a candidate should be the one who is rallying support for our other lower candidates in districts. Please note that actually for the 2021 election things are worse, there are meant to be no public rallies where ordinarily the party would introduce its candidate so we need one who is already a household name.

This therefore means that we have to identify someone who has a proven national stature and preferably whose face can easily be recognized on the ballot even without ever meeting the voter. This makes members in the current top party management and some of the MPs more suitable to be candidates since most of them regularly interface with the media and they are considerably known nationally.

Considering the above major factors, you will notice that as a young party cadre recruited as a student and have at best been an activist , am at a big disadvantage if i want to aspire to be a party president or even the party’s candidate for president of Uganda.

These are the challenges we as young leaders face rising up in these political organizations. Please note that we can’t blame such a situation on our parties, we blame it on our young democracy generally,the junta politics which does not provide enough space for political parties to function normally and set a base that gives everyone advantage.

As you can see above, even if you give Byamugisha moses 20 more years in the current situation, I cannot raise those requirements especially the one for the financial muscle. Actually if I now head to the FDC headquarters and I pick forms for president, I will have thrown a spanner into the internal party search process and yet I fully understand the interests of my party. My expression of interest will unnecessarily draw public attention and put the party on spot to prematurely conclude the search process.

But this doesn’t take away my inherent right as a Ugandan to vote and to be voted for if I so wish.

Amidst all this , I have taken a decision that I will be running as an individual for President of Uganda this 2021 general election; I can’t say that am going to run as an independent because clearly I have side. Through out this election,its my responsibility to mobilize support for the FDC party and its candidates around the country in the spirit of One Uganda One People.

Although I may not be suitable for the FDC flag given the factors I have listed above, I love my country and I wish to collaborate with other patriotic Ugandans and make my contribution in nation building.

Looking forward after 2021 general election no matter how the process goes, I will be a better leader and a big resource for my party FDC because I will have built a robust foundation which the party can rely on to mobilize Ugandans in the near future.

In the coming days I will be reaching out to particular individuals in my party FDC to seek their understanding of this strategy,let them appreciate that I mean well for FDC and our struggle but above all listen to their guidance.

Thank you!