Why FDC Katonga Faction Is Opting for a New Party Other Than Joining NUP

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The split of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) into the Katonga and Najjanankumbi factions has sparked a wave of political changes in Uganda. With the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Najjanankumbi faction, led by Kampala city Mayor Erias Lukwago, deciding to break away from the FDC and form a new political party ahead of the 2026 general elections, questions arise as to why they are not joining forces with the National Unity Platform (NUP).

Prior to the split, there were discussions of a coalition between FDC and NUP, initiated by FDC founding member Dr. Kizza Besigye and NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi. The intent was to field a joint candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. However, the rift within FDC dashed these hopes.

The Katonga faction accused the Najjanankumbi faction of accepting funds from President Yoweri Museveni, dubbing them as “dirty money.” In response, the Najjanankumbi faction alleged that the Katonga group had ulterior motives and was planning to hand over the FDC to the NUP by nominating Kyagulanyi as a joint presidential candidate.

Initially, it seemed likely that the Katonga faction would align with the NUP, as both parties share a common stance of defiance and civil disobedience in their pursuit of regime change. However, insiders have revealed that a segment of non-Baganda members within the Katonga faction adamantly opposed the idea.

These members labeled the NUP as a reincarnation of the Baganda-only party called Kabaka Yekka, which was established in the early 1960s. They claimed that the NUP had discriminated against non-Baganda members and argued that joining a Buganda-based party would be detrimental to their political careers. As a result, they opted to move away from the FDC, which they consider a nationalistic party.

According to insiders, the concerns raised by the non-Baganda members were presented before the FDC Katonga Central Executive Committee. Consequently, the committee made the decision to form a new party, pending approval from the National Delegates Council.

However, the spokesperson for the Najjanankumbi faction, John Kikonyogo, cautioned the leaders at Katonga against tearing the FDC apart during their departure. He urged them to take inspiration from General Mugisha Muntu, who peacefully disagreed with the FDC and subsequently formed his own party, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), without causing unnecessary internal strife.

The political landscape in Uganda is undergoing significant transformations as rival factions vie for support. The decision of the FDC Katonga faction to create a new party instead of joining forces with the NUP showcases the complexity of political alliances and the divergent interests that shape Uganda’s political landscape. The forthcoming National Delegates Council meeting will shed more light on the future direction of these factions and the broader implications for the 2026 general elections.

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