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Former FDC Deputy President for Western Uganda has attacked presidential hopeful Dr Kizza Besigye’s contradictions, information pills adding the latter is an ungrateful man.

Mushega, ed an NRA historical and former Education Minister, is known for speaking his mind even when he knows his views will annoy his colleagues.

In an open letter first published by The Observer, Mushega traces the roots of Besigye’s rise to greatness which he said was a result of collective efforts by the FDC leaders.

He also poked holes in Besigye’s narrative that he had never promised to quit the presidential race if President Museveni was still in power, saying the ex FDC leader’s comments were well captured by the media.

Mushega said he disagreed with Besigye because “You turned on your word as recorded live on NTV and many other forms of media…you had not supported your successor Gen. Muntu and you had set up parallel structures and centers of power.”

Observers say Mushega’s remarks could pose problems for Besigye ahead of the September 2 National Delegates conference where he is expected to tussle it out with Rtd Maj Gen Muntu to represent the party in the 2016 elections.

Below is Mushega’s letter in full:

Dear Col (rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye,


In your interview with The Observer, you insinuate that in my earlier interview with the same paper, l was trying to speak on behalf of FDC president Mugisha Muntu, yet I am not his spokesperson and Muntu can speak for himself.

I am writing this letter to you directly to let you know that l gave my views in my personal capacity.

I hold no position in FDC but l have views based on experience in leadership, on a fairly long period of reading and observing, and in some cases on practice.

You stated that in 1999, you approached some of us to leave the movement and when we failed; you decided to start the work of ‘heavy lifting’ to remove the dictatorship and that you left the movement for that purpose. For how long will this ‘heavy lifting be a personal obligation and mission?

The fact is that you did not leave the movement; you just ran for the office of the president under the movement system. There were some members who moved a motion that President Museveni be declared a sole candidate in 2000; some of those movers are now victims of that thinking.

Some of us openly opposed this move and argued that you were free to stand. We even advised against the efforts to have you arrested and victimized. You are entasiima [ungrateful].

And remember, just 10 years earlier in 1989, you led a team to draft a resolution for a constitutional amendment to extend NRM rule and hence the leadership of President Museveni for an extra five years which was passed.

Then, you were the most trusted confidant of the NRM leadership. Only a one sole voice, Omulongo Waswa Ziritwawula opposed this move and resigned his seat in Parliament in protest. If you had joined him to fight the nascent ‘dictatorship’, perhaps the course of history of this country would have been different.

We may recall that when the Constitution was being amended to remove term limits, there were many clear voices in and outside Parliament who opposed it and some paid and are still paying a price. Not everyone succumbed to money offers. This was before FDC was formed. And FDC was not founded by a single individual or group.

It was a culmination of efforts by several groups and tendencies, to forge a common home for a common effort and purpose. You may recall my long discussion with you in South Africa in 2004.

Many others did visit you. Learn to appreciate that there were other strugglers before you then and there are many others now.

The issues that concern you that I raised in that interview and which l still hold were;

You had turned on your word as recorded live on NTV and many other forms of media.

That you had not supported your successor Gen. Muntu.

That you had set up parallel structures and centers of power.

I can now add that you don’t easily tolerate different points of view and you don’t genuinely welcome and accommodate those who hold a different point of view. Case in a point: during the Namboole delegates’ conference in 2010 that elected you for the second term as President, Hon Martin Wandera was publically announced that he had been appointed unopposed as secretary for labour.

Later on, at the first NEC meeting at party headquarters, a meeting you chaired, it was raised that actually there were other people who had been nominated but papers not presented. To cut the long story short, Hon Wandera was dropped and replaced by another person. The real reason? He had supported Muntu. Hon Wandera is alive.

My brother Dr Besigye, you are free to change your mind and entitled to run again; but if you do, say so and explain why, rather than attacking people who raise that issue as you did in the interview referred to above. You actually state in the same interview that you stood because of the trust voters have in you that is not transferable to another candidate of the same party.

You also said there was a deficit in that trust in your absence and that there was insufficient resolve by leaders in your absence to fight for reforms. Did you really think through this?

If you did and it’s true, then your style and content of leadership raises concern. Please learn to respect and appreciate the contribution of others however small or insufficient from your point of view. If it’s personal to you as if new voters have not come on board and some in the old voters register passed on, then this is in itself failed leadership.

When you stepped down, I told some leaders at that time that you had stepped down tactfully in order to come back with a bang as flag bearer. So your coming back was not a surprise to me; what surprised were the spurious reasons you advanced.

You started a parallel sect dubbed ‘activists’ from the top to the districts level. I will not delve into its activities. My view is that a leader’s role is to reconcile and harmonize different points of view in order to advance a common goal and purpose.

Different Styles of struggle will always be there in any organized society. We should also learn to tolerate different points of view and respond to them without insinuations.

Finally, let me make it clear to all concerned that whoever gets elected and in spite of the attacks and labels put against me by some of your ardent supporters and campaign handlers, we shall support the party and its leadership at all levels.

The author is a former FDC vice president
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