Former President of the FDC, Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu who recently quit the largest opposition political party has announced that he is forming a new party.
Muntu revealed at a press briefing on Thursday in Kampala that he and other like-minded colleagues have begun a process to form a new political organization. In the interim, he termed it as a ‘New Formation’.
He said that his departure from the FDC is in good faith and that his political grouping will keep dialogue with the leadership in the FDC if there is will.
Muntu said that by December 25 this year, the name of the new political party will be unveiled as well as its colors, symbols and the ideology it stands for.
Unlike other political parties which have previously been formed along religious and ethnic lines as well as around individuals, Muntu stated that the new formation will be formed based on deep ideological reflection, clear policy positions and consultations.
“Over the next few weeks, we are going to embark on a participatory process of defining what this new formation stands for ideologically, our core values and our policy position on various issues,” Muntu told reporters at Hotel Africana.
“We shall do this through public engagement, engaging sector experts and ordinary Ugandans on the kind of country we want”.
He announced an online portal (newformation.ug) which will be used for purposes of connecting with citizens interested in joining the party. Volunteers will be a critical link to reach out to those who can not access the internet while other mechanisms for recruiting members are being created, Muntu said.
“We hope to launch the new formation before the 25th of December 2018”.
Former MP for Serere, Alice Alaso who has also crossed to the New Formation with Muntu outlined some of the values on which the new party will be hinged.
Among them is; Democracy and Good Governance, Protection of Rights (for both the majority and minority), Gender Equality, Justice for all, Transparency, Ethics, National Cohesion among others.
Cooperation with opposition parties
Going forward, Muntu places the issue of working closely with other actors and institutions within the opposition top on his agenda. Such cooperation will also include the FDC with which he has parted ways.
“No single party acting on its own can rescue the country from the dangerous path that we currently tread,” he said.
“Our commitment to a united opposition is real. We have communicated to the FDC leaders a possibility of setting up a joint team to keep the dialogue and an open door policy between us and FDC,” he added.
His new formation will not be party to mudslinging or acts that undermine other opposition parties as has been the culture in Ugandan politics, he said.
“For us to deescalate the mounting tensions, we must be willing to reach out beyond our parties, communities and faiths. We must be willing to recognize that One Uganda, One People can not be achieved without Truth and Justice; that Peace Unity and Transformation can not happen without People’s Power being Our Power,” Muntu noted, stressing the importance of cohesion among the larger opposition.
The new party will join the list of some 34 political parties already registered in Uganda. But Muntu says having many parties isn’t a problem but rather offers choice to Ugandans.
“That’s what democracy is all about. At the end of the day, what determines growth of a party is whether it is able to attract people, leaders and its management capabilities”.
He repeatedly stated during the press event that time will be the best judge for what he and his new formation stand for.
Muntu appealed to those who have already joined the new formation and those willing to, to differentiate themselves. He urged them to learn to control their emotions as that is the only way they will present a credible alternative political force.
“Don’t be sucked into cat fights even under the most intense provocation,” he said.
Several MPs, some from NRM, FDC and Independents were also present – among them, Gerald Karuhanga, Mbwatekamwa Gaffa, John Baptist Nambeshe, Paul Mwiru, Angeline Osege and Winnie Kiiza.