Uganda’s Leader of Opposition in Parliament Nandala Mafabi should have screened Major Rubaramira Ruranga before allowing him head his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) election campaign, a party official has said.
Major Rubaramira, who was Mafabi’s chief campaigner during the 2012 party presidential elections, last week announced that he had left the Forum for Democratic Change—FDC and rejoined the ruling NRM. Rubaramira gave the need to fight HIV/Aids as the main reason for accepting to work with President Museveni, a man he has opposed for over 10 years.
Ngora County MP Francis Epetait, a top FDC party official says that before the elections he thought Nandala had fully screened all party members and that is how he zeroed down on Rubaramira. Epetait adds that he expressed worry that Nandala’s campaign would get shaky with Rubaramira as its head, noting that his defection is good for the party.
Epetait says Rubaramira abandoned FDC in 2007 and returned in 2012 during the FDC Presidential elections where he led Nandala’s campaign team. The Shadow Agriculture minister says upon return he did not mention that he returned to get resources to fight HIV/AIDS as he is claiming now.
In December 2012, just weeks after the party presidential elections that brought Major General Mugisha Muntu into office, the FDC Electoral Commissioner Dan Mugarura in an interview with URN said Rubaramira was not a member of the party. He argued then that Rubaramira who had joined the Reform Agenda in 2003 before it was transformed into the FDC in 2005 walked away saying he was tired and needed to rest.
At the time Maj Rubaramira was starting up a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the National Guidance and Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/Aids.
The party EC chairperson said Rubaramira had never updated his party membership as stipulated by the party rules at a cost of 1000 shillings. The party had also carried out voter register updates for delegates in most districts during the period from 2008 to 2010 and Rubaramira did not register from any district. This is despite the fact that Rubaramira held a party corporate card which costs one million shillings.
Mugarura now says Rubaramira joined the FDC for all the wrong reasons and his destructive actions stem way back. He recalls meetings that took place ahead of the Kampala Mayoral elections in 2011 in which the Interparty coalition resolved to back current Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago as candidate. However, Rubaramira came out and instead backed Micheal Mabikke causing confusion and disunity within the coalition.