3 MPs Locked out of FDC Primaries
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has barred three legislators from Teso region from taking part in the ongoing nomination exercise until they resolve pending issues at the party headquarters.
The MPs include Elijah Okupa, Angelline Osege and Edmund Herbert Ariko.
Their troubles with the party are traced to the party elections held in 2017 where the trio supported Maj. Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu, against Patrick Oboi Amuriat. Muntu later broke away from FDC to form the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT).
Since then, the MPs are reported to have abandoned the party and all its activities.
Sam Olupot, the FDC district registrar in Serere says they could not nominate Okupa as the FDC flag holder in the Kasilo County Parliamentary race before seeking clearance from the party leadership.
Olupot explains that the MP has not been paying his dues to the party, a situation that requires clearance before his nomination.
In Soroti, Jane Acen, the party chairperson says they were given strict guidelines by the FDC top organ not to nominate the members until they are cleared.
She, however, explained that only MP Osege expressed interest in picking nomination forms while Ariko has remained silent.
“There is a time we went for a meeting at Najjanakumbi and we were given a list of members who were serving but were no longer remitting funds to the party, we were told that these members will first be handled by the party headquarters before we clear them,” Acen said.
Osege sounded unmoved and said that she will contest for the parliamentary seat with or without FDC.
She argues that since the government was funding party activities, there was no need to continue remitting funds to the party without clear objectives.
Ariko on the other hand hasn’t bothered picking the FDC forms much as he insists that he still belongs to the opposition party.
He downplayed concerns of not remitting membership dues, saying that he has been solely contributing to the rent of the party offices in Soroti until 2018 when he took leave.
So far, the party has nominated Moses Attan Okia, who lost to Ariko in 2016 for the Soroti Municipality Parliamentary seat, Anne Adeke Ebaju, the female youth MP now nominated for the Soroti Woman MP seat, while James Emaju has been nominated to contest in Kasilo County.
However, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC Spokesman told our reporter he is not aware of the developments.
“Those forms are for everybody, whoever wants to pick can pick and return if you are FDC member. You are bringing such things to me for the first time but will find out since I am seeing some of the members here,” he said.
He, however, hastened to add that the party cannot tolerate double standard members.