Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu has asked FDC delegates to re-elect him such that he entrenches democracy in the party and continues with his fight against the vice of individualism that has crept into the party.
In a powerful speech interrupted with foot stamping and thunderous applause, he said it is not the individuals that matter but the collective will of the organisation.
“This [electing leaders] process is the most critical. I hear people who say Muntu has killed the party. Why do you think there are these journalists here? Because we have positioned ourselves as a party that is doing things which have failed in other parties,” he said.
Muntu said Ugandans had killed one another in the 60s, 70s, 80s because of weak and individualistic tendencies of some leaders.
“Even if we take power without a process like this, we would also oppress people,” he said
He said he had sacrificed his own individual interests to the collective interests of our people.
I don’t concentrate on promoting myself, I concentrate on promoting the party,” he said, sounding emotional.
Some analysts said this remark was a veiled attack on Dr Kizza Besigye, the former FDC leader.
He said FDC’s intention is that within the next three years the party achieves 100% presence at village level, parish level and sub county.
He said his first term had been partly derailed by infighting but that many of the internal contradictions had been resolved.
“I want to know for sure that leaders of FDC trust me or not. I am a military man if there is no trust in a commander, you cannot win a war.”
He said he spent all his youthful years fighting for justice and equal opportunities such that all people irrespective of social or economic status enjoy similar opportunities.
He said FDC must be careful not to fall in the trap of MDC, the biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe which has build its identity on opposing Robert Mugabe.
He said for this reason, when Mugabe resigned, MDC was not in position to take power because it had failed to build an independent brand.
“Dont put feelings in politics. Politics is about interests. We are well positioned to build this country but we must build our own identity not around Museveni. We should focus on building FDC as a strong viable party,” Muntu said.
Muntu, a former army commander, has been party president since 2012 when he defeated Nandala Mafabi during an election that left the party deeply divided.
He has been accused of being very soft and less assertive compared his predecessor, Dr Kizza Besigye.