SPECIAL ANALYSIS: FDC Presidential Candidates Face Off In Debate Today

online geneva; font-size: small;”>Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, viagra 60mg Nandala Mafabi and Geoffrey Ekanya will at 3pm converge at the WBS TV auditorium in Naguru to lay to the public their plans to push the party forward in its quest for power.

generic geneva; color: #333333;”>The debate is a big test for FDC’s ability to convince the public that it’s not only a forum for disgruntled NRM leaders but a viable opposition with strong leaders capable of delivering change they have been promising for over a decade.

Ugandans will also rely on the performance of all the candidates during the debate to make a judgment on whom they should elect Uganda’s leader in case any of them opts to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in the 2016 Presidential elections.

According to the FDC Constitution, the party president does not necessarily become its flag-bearer in Presidential elections.

However, if Muntu wins this election, high chances are that he could replace Col Kizza Besigye as the party’s official candidate against the NRM candidate in 2016.

And, interestingly, insiders say Mafabi’s win is good for Besigye comeback and could literally mark the beginning of an end of Muntu’s political career.

There has been growing fears in the party that Besigye has missed several chances to change the statusquo due to failure to “mobilize and organize” the “undecided” voters.

A large section of the public, observers say, has always been hesitant to vote Besigye basing on three factors.

One is that they believe the FDC ironman dashed into politics out of a personal grudge with Museveni; the second being that if he won the presidency, the army would reject the Rukungiri-born politician because he appears bent on prosecuting high ranking security officials for abusing his supporters’ human rights.

Besigye has in the past clearly stated that he does not treasure “politics of retribution,” but his repeated threats against the army leadership have encouraged the officers to use excessive force to crush his political rallies and frustrate his presidential bid.

The third factor, however weird it might sound, is that Muntu is not only moderate but very handsome and charming – attributes necessary to win the hearts of majority women voters.

Proponents of this view say Nabillah Naggayi has been sweeping Kampala Women MP polls because of her attractive looks that endear her to majority youthful voters in the city.


Nevertheless, Ugandans expect the FDC presidential candidates to go beyond party politics and tackle biting issues of poverty, regional security, unemployment, decaying road infrastructure, regional integration, foreign policy, education and health among others.

During the debate, Muntu is expected to prove that he is a principled politician who left the army which he served as army commander at a young age for nine years without a stain of corruption.

He also intends to tell the nation that despite losing two FDC presidential elections to Col Besigye, he has remained an active member of FDC.

Muntu will also claim that his rise to presidency will not mean another era of military rule by reinforcing the argument that such attributes are strategic advantages for the realization of peace and security in the region which can spur development.

Mafabi’s biggest point will be strengthening party structures, which he has always claimed, were not well built during Muntu’s reign as chief mobiliser.

Muntu claims the party lacked ample funds to put in place and maintain structures, adding this was the party’s “collective failure.”


The debate comes at a time when Mafabi is doing poorly in terms of poll ratings.

A poll released recently by Research World International (RWI) showed Muntu was leading with a 49 percent margin. Mafabi came second at 25 percent and MP Geoffrey Ekanya trailed with a paltry 3 percent.

However, the campaign is not a bed of roses for Muntu, considering that 23 percent of FDC delegates, who are expected to determine the next party president on Thursday, are undecided.

That aside, opinion changes each day that passes.

Mafabi’s camp has since discredited the research firm’s findings, saying they were doctored in Muntu’s favour.

But RWI Director Patrick Wakida says they are professional researchers, adding, they did not expect Mafabi’s strategists to “whole-heartedly” welcome the poll results.


Truth be told, Mafabi has a tougher task ahead of him.

With the race tightening and just three days to go, the Budadiri legislator needs not only to show that he has been contributing a big part of his personal resources to the party but can as well fits in Besigye’s big shoes.

He needs to convince the public that he is better than Muntu in terms of mobilization of resources, building structures, resisting state oppression and “organizing” Ugandans to cause regime change.

FDC delegates want a leader who will in future be able to turn around the party’s performance in national election and subsequently remove Museveni from power.

Mafabi’s tent kicked off campaigns on a sad note with his strategists, whom he never reprimanded, launched personal attacks against Muntu – at times going tribal.

This cheap politicking worked in favour of Muntu, who carefully avoided a terrain of personal attacks thus settling for an issue-based campaign.

Mafabi also splashed over Shs1bn, according to informed sources, to woo delegates and demonstrate his ability to mobilize resources “for a cause.”

On the other hand, Muntu and Ekanya’s campaigns have seen a modest expenditure.

FDC sources say Mafabi’s rivals have not spent a half of his campaign budget.

They cite the luxurious launch of the opposition leader’s campaigns in Kasangati that cost over Shs100m and another massive rally in Mbale where he hosted over 100 delegates at a deluxe hotel.

They had access to unlimited refreshments and amenities the hotel could offer plus facilitation and transport refund.
Programme for the Debate
according to a programme which Chimpreports has seen, the debate will be anchored around the programme below and the moderator will be agreed before hand by the Conveners and all the 3 Presidential Candidates.

“The debate will be interactive and led by the moderator who will pose questions for all the leaders to respond to in a succinct manner. The wider audience will also be asked to participate and engage with the candidates in one of the sessions,” it reads in part.
3-3:30 pm
Arrival, Registration and Networking

Welcome and Introductions by the conveners/Partners

4:00-4:10 pm
Introducing the Candidates, Debate Format, Process and Ground Rules

4:10-4:40 pm
First Round of Questions and Conversation with the Candidates by the Moderator

4:40-5:10 pm
Second Round of Questions to the Candidates

5:10-5:20 pm
Questions from the Audience

5:20-5:30 pm
Concluding Points by the Candidates

Wrap Up and Closing Remarks by the Conveners


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