The biggest opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change`s Secretary General, Alice Alaso has strongly warned her party colleagues against undermining headship of their party president Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu.
Addressing Journalists at Parliament on Thursday Alaso said Muntu’s leadership style is unique and can never be equated to anybody else’s and that he must be given the chance to fulfill his five year term duty which the delegates democratically entrusted to him in 2012 to execute for the Party.
“Gen Muntu cannot go about his work just exactly like me or someone else but is doing his work in his own style. He was democratically chosen by the national delegates’ conference members to serve for five years and he should be given a chance, ” charged Alaso.
She added that Party members must know that every leader has got his/her talent, saying Muntu will not run the party like Dr Besigye or someone else “but as Muntu.”
Alaso’s warning comes after FDC top shots including former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nathan Nandala Mafabi and Jack Sabiiti recently resigned from their positions of Treasury General and deputy treasury general respectively saying Gen. Muntu has lost direction to State House which they were primarily aiming at and that he was now taking them to the political grave.
Alaso also last month blasted Aruu County Member of Parliament, Samuel Odonga Otto for ridiculing Gen. Muntu’s leadership saying the ruling National Resistance Movement party will win the coming 2016 general elections with a landslide victory since opposition and specifically the latter is doing nothing.
“Otto supported Muntu during the party presidential campaigns and he really campaigned for him. He became disgruntled when he was not appointed to the positions he wanted. We used to think he was still young and would act as an errand youth but he is now a grown up and should style up,” said Alaso last month.
Observers say the latest development underscore the growing rift within the top leadership of FDC as radicals (Besigye, Mafabi, Otto, Sabiiti) struggle to wrestle power from the moderates (Muntu, Alaso) ahead of the 2016 elections.
Gen Muntu’s first two years at the helm of the biggest opposition party have seen notable criticism from various party leaders who contrast his style of leadership to that of his predecessor Col Kizza Besigye.
The former army commander is accused of keeping a low profile and avoiding confrontation with national security forces, something they believe greatly popularized Col Besigye.
While many accuse Muntu of not doing being aggressive in challenging Museveni’s hold on power through civil disobedience, many herald his style of concentrating on building structures right from the grassroots.
On October 13, Muntu hit back at FDC top shots, MPs and all those opposed to his non-violent and underground campaign strategy, saying his style of governance is not populist in nature.
Muntu said he had no intentions of popularizing himself across the country as that was a secondary course of action.
“My style of management is that I focus first on things that will strengthen us as a party,” Muntu told press at party headquarters in Najjanankumbi.
Critics also claim that Muntu is not as good a resource mobilizer, as Col Besigye, which partly explains why party is reported cash-strapped.
Muntu said, however, that he intentionally ignored Besigye’s vigorous fashion for a more effective cohesion-building system of operation.
“I could have decided to go out and popularize myself and mobilize country support. That is easy; I could have channelled all resources to that. But I choose my options very carefully.”
“Popularizing myself isn’t the main issue, but building a stronger party. At this point as we prepare to choose our flag bearer, I am sure of one thing; whoever the flag bearer will be, they will have a formidable party behind them.”
His focus as party president, Muntu said, would be on establishing cohesion and values that bind all party members together, something that is lacking in the ruling NRM party and most other parties across the continent.
“This is what took me to the bush at the age of 23, in 1981. I believe in mind that there must be leaders who believe in something. That’s why we chose our party slogan ‘One Uganda, One People.’ You cannot be one people, when you are not comfortable within a party and there is no way you will bring comfort to the rest of the country. You cannot give what you don’t have.”