click http://continentalagra.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php geneva;”>But last evening, website it was Mafabi who failed not only to specify how he would build party strong structures but also delivered a strangely muted performance during the FDC presidential debate on WBS TV – reminiscent of Secondary School debates.
The Budadiri legislator was so intent on appearing Presidential material and in countering Gen Muntu’s question on why party leader Col Kizza Besigye had lost in what Mafabi described as the “Blue District” of Sironko, the latter quickly answered:
“If there is a bullet here, Gen. Muntu would be the first to disappear because soldiers fear bullets.”
Mafabi’s statement shocked the WBS auditorium, considering that Muntu joined the NRA bush war immediately after campus. He was shot during the struggle and brought to Kampala for treatment.
Interestingly, he returned to the bush after receiving treatment. He later led the triumphant NRA as army commander for nine years where he battled dozens of rebel groups in Eastern and Northern Uganda at the age of 29.
Analysts say accusing Muntu of cowardice was not just shooting oneself in the foot but the least expected from Mafabi.
On Uganda’s foreign policy, Mafabi exhibited the highest level of naivety, saying Uganda’s decision to deploy troops in neighboring countries such as Somalia, under the UN and African Union mandate, was to “overthrow governments and installing people we believe are our friend.”
He added: “Parliament never authorised troops to go to Somalia. We don’t even know how many soldiers went to Somalia and we don’t know how families of soldiers who die in battle would be compensated.”
While there have been cases of swindling salaries for Ugandan soldiers in Somalia, Mafabi does not appear as a progressive thinker and ignores the fact that allowing Islamist extremists to train and export terror from Somalia is a national security threat that harms trade and gives a boost to regional piracy.
The fact that regional insecurity harms economic growth appears to elude the former Parliamentary Accounts Committee boss.
Asked whether Uganda should leave Somalia, Muntu confidently stated: “Uganda has done its duty in Somalia. There needs to be more work to ensure the countries that made pledges to move in now. It will be disastrous for Uganda and Burundi to leave without adequate replacement.”
Regarding Uganda’s ability to stand on its own legs without support from donors, Tororo MP Geoffrey Ekanya appeared more knowledgeable, saying “The major question in the country is about leadership.”
“We were ready 20 years ago. By 1960 how much did we get from donors. Half of the budget today is stolen. We need to manage effectively the little resources. We also need to account for what we have. We need to be accountable to ourselves,” said Ekanya.
Muntu and Mafabi also backed Ekanya that independence can only be realized if “current leaders who are immersed in corruption” are defeated and removed from power.
There were murmurs in the auditorium when the candidates were asked whether they had received funding from any political party.
While Ekanya and Muntu denied getting a hand from any party, Mafabi answered: “I have not received any funding from any party. But if I receive any funding from NRM or DP, I will acknowledge.”
This raised fears that Mafabi could be expecting funding from the ruling party.
All in all, Muntu displayed a cruelly intimate knowledge of Mafabi’s inability to explain foreign policy issues, right from deployment of UPDF troops in Somalia to dealing with donors.
“Donors have brought Uganda problems. They cannot speak about Uganda’s corruption now when we have been warning them all along,” said Mafabi.
Yet, the international community has been supporting development projects such as road infrastructure, military and defense, health, education and other social services.
Mafabi also flip-flopped on what needs to be done to enable FDC take a giant stride in mobilization of resources and further exhibited a sense of skepticism about the party’s ability to seize power in case it was well funded.
“The FDC is the only party that has been fully accountable to the Electoral Commission. My experience in accountability is unquestionable. Even with Shs 100 billion, FDC cannot win and election now…” said Mafabi, before contradicting himself: “We should agree that we need to fundraise from other sources.”
In his conclusive remarks, Muntu urged for the recognition of “what our colleagues have done,” a veiled attack against Mafabi who has been heaping blame for the FDC losses on the party’s chief mobiliser’s shoulders.
He said FDC should ensure that “we disintegrate the NRM strongholds, build skills for the youth and tap into their inner resources.”
He further stated that there was “need for a population with skills to lift Uganda out of poverty” which would be possible through “focusing on developing the human capital like Japan.”
While this is an FDC election, passing the “commander-in-chief test” is evidently crucial to electability on Thursday when delegates converge in Kampala.
Muntu assured the nation: “I am a democrat, experienced, steady under all circumstances. I have been tested and I am honest. I have got integrity. These are things we need as a party because you cannot give something you don’t have. The crisis of credibility is in the country. Delegates should put their trust in me. We should capture power to put our country back to track.”
Despite boasting a wealth of experience in political economics, Mafabi didn’t disqualify himself, but in the TV debate moderated by Kibazo and Angelo Izama, he did nothing to cover himself in glory either.
Ugandans speak out
A one Moses Karugaba posted on his Facebook page: “Just fell in love with Gen. Mugisha Muntu all over again. Mafabi looked like he so badly wants to be party leader at any cost regardless of what he can do for the countr,” adding, “Ekanya looked like he was debating for HP (head prefect) or Head Boy or guild president elections -humorous and naïve.”
He added: “Gen. Major Gen Mugisha Muntu kept calm, brief and well informed and confident. I liked the way he talked on Somalia, very presidential and I know many in the NRM are wondering why he was not standing on their ticket and when they can just give him the votes, isn’t it…?Follow @chimpreports