What Next for FDC Katonga Group as We Near 2026 Elections?

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The upcoming 2026 elections in Uganda have placed the FDC Katonga Group in a crucial predicament. A persistent rift between the Najjanankumbi and Katonga factions has hindered their unity, with each group organizing separate meetings and publicly criticizing one another. Although one faction holds legitimacy, it remains uncertain what lies ahead for those aligned with Kizza Besigye and the Katonga group.

With the official FDC party operating from Najjanankumbi, they will determine the candidates eligible to run on the FDC ticket. This raises the question of what will happen to those who pledge allegiance to the Katonga faction. It is noteworthy that some current MPs and political leaders have sided with Katonga, even attending NUP party functions under the banner of the United Forces of Change alliance.

The pro-Katonga politicians have a limited number of options to consider. Establishing a new political party seems impractical due to the time constraints leading up to the elections. Establishing new structures from the grassroots level would be a complex task. Another more feasible option would involve reconciling the two FDC factions, although this may prove challenging. However, some upcountry MPs on the FDC ticket will likely return to Najjanankumbi if they wish to remain aligned with the FDC.

Joining other existing political parties or running as independents are the other two alternatives. In the early stages of the internal conflicts, the Najjanankumbi faction accused Kizza Besigye, Erias Lukwago, and Semujju Nganda of attempting to sell FDC to the NUP. These allegations are slowly becoming a reality. The trio has openly declared their intentions to side with NUP, recognizing it as the means to oust President Museveni. Given that NUP dominates their regions in Buganda, it would be strategic for them to join NUP and consolidate their votes under its ticket.

However, this move would primarily benefit individuals like Semujju Nganda, Erias Lukwago, Doreen Nyanjura, and others whose strongholds lie in the NUP-dominated central region. Thus, it would be an erroneous decision for FDC politicians outside Buganda to join NUP since the party lacks popularity in their respective territories. Alternatively, they should consider joining the NRM or reconciling with the Najjanankumbi team to secure party tickets. The irony arises in how NUP politicians in Buganda would react to their FDC colleagues joining their ranks, knowing that some might snatch their party tickets, potentially exacerbating the ongoing internal conflicts within NUP.

As we approach the 2026 elections, Uganda is poised for significant political shifts. It should be noted that the constitution permits MPs to switch parties or leave their current party within one year of their term’s end. Already, NUP MP like Kagaba Twaha and Jimmy Lwanga have expressed dissatisfaction with NUP and announced that they will not contest on its ticket in 2026. The confusion and internal conflicts within opposition parties will undoubtedly favor the ruling NRM party, providing them with a smoother path to success.

The coming months leading up to the 2026 elections will undoubtedly be politically eventful. Both the Najjanankumbi and Katonga factions of the FDC must carefully consider their options and make strategic decisions to ensure their relevance in the political landscape. The fate of those aligned with the Katonga group hangs in the balance, and their choices will shape the future of opposition politics in Uganda. It remains to be seen whether unity or division will prevail within the FDC as they navigate these challenging times.

Steve Mungereza
Steve Mungereza
Sociopolitical Analyst. Coverage of National and Regional news stories.

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