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No more rule of law: Lukwago, Ssemujju vow to defy court injunction on FDC extraordinary Delegates Conference

By Hannah Marion Namukasa

Kampala Lord Mayor also Vice President of the Buganda Region for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and the party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda have vowed to attend the Extra ordinary National Delegates conference organized by the party Chairman Ambassador Wasswa Biriggwa despite the standing court injunction stopping the same which was slated for 19th, September at Nature’s Green Beach in Busabala.

Their remarks followed the High Court has exclusion of Erias Lukwago from the proceedings involving three members of the party who are seeking a declaration that the upcoming Extra Ordinary  National Delegates Conference called by Birigwa is irregular and in violation of party and national laws. 

The three individuals involved in this case are Arafat Ntale Mwanja, Jamal Wante, and Marlick Ssazi. Initially, scheduled for tomorrow, September 19th, 2023, the extraordinary National Delegates Conference was halted on Friday by Civil Division Judge Lady Justice Esta Nambayo. This halt is pending the determination of the main case challenging the conference. 

The petitioners brought the case to court, alleging that the responsible offices have been excluded from the preparation and organization of the said extraordinary National Delegates Conference. They argue that the rushed scheduling and organization of the conference were done in bad faith, intending to embarrass the party and cause irreparable damage and loss. 

The petitioners named the FDC party, President Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi as respondents to their case. However, Lawyers led by Lukwago entered, claiming to represent the party chairperson Birigwa, who is not a party to the application. This led the Judge to remove them from the proceedings. Lawyer Julius Galisonga presented instructions indicating that he was representing all the respondents in the case.

This move, however, angered Lukwago and the party’s Spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, as they had prepared submissions from Birigwa for the court. Both Lukwago and Nganda explained to journalists outside the court that the order to halt the Extraordinary Delegates conference does not apply to the conference called by Birigwa for the following day because he is not a party to the proceedings and cannot be condemned unheard thus urging other delegates to join them at Nature’s Green Beach in Busabala.

 Justice Nambayo has directed all parties to file written submissions starting from September and continuing until October 4th, 2023, when they will return for a mention.

The party’s President, Amuriat, and Mafabi have distanced themselves from the conference, stating that it was not planned or budgeted for by the party. 

The halt extra ordinary Delegates conference comes at a time when the party is divided into two factions. One faction is led by Amuriat and Nandala Mafabi, while the other is led by former FDC President Kizza Besigye, Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, and Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party deputy Spokesperson, John Kikonyogo, however, has accused Birigwa nad the Katonga faction pushing for a Delegates Conference of having a sole ill intentions of impeaching the party president and the Secretary-General. 

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