NUP in Panic as Besigye’s FDC Moves to Reclaim Leading Opposition Party Spot

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Tensions are high in the Makerere Kavule-based National Unity Platform (NUP) following the resurfacing of the four-time presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye on Uganda’s political scene under the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Katonga faction, a move that is likely to sway support from NUP and its president, Robert Kyagulanyi.

The FDC Katonga faction, led by Besigye, recently launched national-wide campaigns to reclaim its position as the leading opposition political party and blamed the NUP for failing to steer Uganda’s struggle for regime change. The Katonga-based faction also labeled NUP a regional party with all its support only existing in Buganda, stating that the struggle for regime change is national-wide and can only be delivered by the FDC, which has supporters across the country.

It is against this background that NUP has decided to resume countrywide mobilisation drives, worried that FDC is overtaking them despite having earlier cancelled all local mobilisation campaigns, with the party leader concentrating on foreign trips to enhance relations with the LGBTQ community in Europe and the USA, who are the NUP’s biggest funders.

However, leaders in the FDC Katonga faction have criticized NUP’s plan to launch a country-wide mobilisation drive, saying it is a panicky move aimed at countering Besigye’s ongoing campaign but will not deter their efforts.

They further alleged that the recently paraded new recruits into NUP on April 16, 2024, were not new members of the party as claimed, but they were the ‘foot soldiers’ who have been carrying out the party’s mobilization campaign dubbed Kunga in Greater Masaka. They added that this was done to show that the party is growing stronger, but the reality is that infighting has shattered and derailed it from the struggle, leaving FDC as the only hope for Ugandans yearning for regime change.

With the ongoing internal turmoil in NUP, where DP bloc members led by Mathias Mpuuga are wrangling with Robert Kyagulanyi’s Firebase faction, analysts have projected that the Besigye-led FDC will most likely regain its position in 2026, given its reputation of having led the opposition for over 15 years.

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