Smear Campaign Scandal Hits Mafabi Camp

order geneva; font-size: small;”>Mafabi’s campaign manager Rubaramira Ruranga accused Muntu of being in bed with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

“People in NRM have been saying that Museveni wants Muntu to lead FDC. Do you want somebody who has access to UPDF Generals?” said Rubaramira.

“I am advising Muntu to step down today. We need the young generation to take over not tired generals,” he added.

The FDC electoral guidelines bar candidates from engaging in washing their dirty linen in public.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, outgoing FDC president Col. Kizza Besigye sternly warned candidates against using disparaging language during the campaigns as it would harm internal cohesion.

However, this did not stop Rubaramira and Rukiga County MP Jack Sabiiti to pour scorn on Muntu during the launch of Mafabi’s campaign at Kasangati grounds on Thursday.

Sabiiti said Mafabi was a better candidate because of his ability to mobilize resources for the party, a veiled attack on Muntu who is blamed for failing to use his vast connections in the international community to pull funds to support the party’s projects during his reign as Chief Mobiliser.

Sabiiti further said FDC should elect “somebody who will not just sit there waiting for money to find him where he is.”

At this rate, Muntu will have a long way to go to convince FDC supporters that if elected, he can turn around the party’s fortunes to seize presidency in 2016.

Chimp Political observers say Mafabi’s strategists are attempting to turn Muntu’s strengths (untainted and successful military career) into a weakness by comparing him to the likes of President Museveni who should retire from politics.

Rubaramira said he fought alongside Muntu in the NRA war and time was ripe for the general to take a rest and leave politics for the young generation.

Sources say majority of Col. Besigye’s right-hand men which includes Sabiiti, Rubaramira, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda among others intend to support Mafabi for presidency with the view of weakening Muntu’s political muscle ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

“If Muntu loses to Mafabi, it will be a hard nut to crack for him to successfully contest against Besigye as the party’s flag bearer for the 2016 presidential elections,” said a source.

The second aim of the smear campaign is to put Muntu on the defensive over his alleged links with Museveni.

This means he will spend more time defending himself than selling his message to the FDC electorate in the 3-months campaign.

However, our experts say the smear campaign against Muntu might backfire and popularize the former army commander’s candidature and also attract a sympathy vote from the FDC delegates who look at him as a uniting factor and strong candidate capable of removing Museveni from power.

In a strategic move, Muntu has concentrated his campaign on what he intends to do for the party in its pursuit for power such as consolidating party structures and mobilizing funds.

Addressing party delegates from Busoga region during a consultative meeting at Kakindu stadium in Jinja town on Thursday, Muntu said he would form committees right from the village level in a bid to build structures that will kick NRM out of power in 2016.

He, however, cautioned against disrespect of candidates during the campaign season: “We should exercise political maturity by respecting each other. This is internal politics which should not divide but rather unite us. Let us be at the forefront of promoting democracy in this country.”

He maintained that democracy should start from within the party thus creating more opportunities for the party to grow stronger.

“I have served the party diligently, please vote for me, I need this opportunity from you to lead the party, it is the right time to test me and you will not regret,” Muntu appealed to the delegates.


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