There was cinema as Wasswa Biriggwa, the National Chairman of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), escaped by jumping over a fence at the party’s offices in Najjanankumbi after being kept there for hours.
A planned press briefing by the National Chairman at the party headquarters was thwarted after a group of bouncers and some party members barred journalists from entering the building where Biriggwa was due to address the media at 11 a.m.
A detailed video of how Ambassador Waswa Birigwa, the @FDCOfficial1 National Chairman, obtained ladders to climb out of party headquarters after being held captive for about 6 hours by his party president @PatrickAmuriat and secretary general @NandalaMafabi and their henchmen #OhUganda pic.twitter.com/eMBfr1Lrqv
The entrance to the party headquarters was closed as media arrived one by one. When Biriggwa arrived, he was given permission to enter the premises alone, while his car was left parked outside the gate. Biriggwa’s briefing was supposed to address issues with the party’s elections, but it did not take place.
The postponement of the party elections, which were initially slated for July 21, 2023, has resulted in internal party conflict. On July 14, Biriggwa suspended the polls following allegations that the Secretary-General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, had introduced questionable money into the party. Members of the party, including Ibrahim Semujju Nganda and Erias Lukwago, accused Nandala and party president Eng. Patrick Amuriat of financial mismanagement.
The party’s National Council decided to form a committee to investigate the claims and provide a report during their meeting on July 28, 2023. Semujju and others have urged that the elections be postponed until the money issue has been resolved and a report has been published.
However, Amuriat told journalists at the party headquarters on July 19 that the National Chairman lacks the ability to halt party elections. He emphasised his commitment to upholding the constitutional rules for election administration and proclaimed that the party electoral commission would hold elections on July 21.
One of the FDC party members, Paul Kisambira, informed journalists that they sought in vain to get entrance to the premises.