FDC presser: Questioning Romours and Incoherence
By John Blanshe M
The FDC Deputy Secretary General, Mr Harold Kaija branded me a “Museveni agent” and the organisation I work for—Uganda Radio Network—“an NRM agency.”
It started when Kaija made sweeping allegations today during party presser at Najjanankumbi. He said the economy is so bad and “just the other week Mr Museveni government went in camera to ask for an IMF bailout.” This being a serious allegation, I queried Kaija to substantiate his claim. When did Mr Museveni govt go to IMF? How much are they seeking? For which period? Such are basic questions.
His response was that he was just giving journalists a tip. “Go and investigate, your journalists,” he brazenly said. This is sheer mediocrity if FDC is organizing pressers to give journalists allegations as tips. As a matter of fact, he failed to define an IMF bailout or the nature of countries that qualify for a bailout. I told him that IMF is an open and transparent institution that does not negotiate in corridors.
If these allegations were true and brought to light by FDC, it would be a big plus for them. This would vindicate their assertions that the economy is in tatters. And as a corollary, they would pour cold water on Museveni’s song that economy is well, middle income status is not far, industries are coming here to create jobs, blah blah. This would be a job well done by FDC.
Second; Kaija announced that because the economy is so bad, they are “getting classified information that many civil servants have not got their December pay cheques. Yes, it is December but who are the public servants who are already crying? I asked Kaija. At least, he had no response.
Thirdly; Kaija wanted to lecture me on IPOD process; why there was no summit. Yes, there could have been no summit. Yes. The trouble was, he had another set of facts to contextualize the story. I disagreed. He says his context is Sec 5.1.4 of IPOD 2017 MOU which says “the quorum of the summit shall be all members of the summit.” He thought he was addressing a blank head. And indeed, he implored journalists to read extensively.
I asked Kaija; why FDC president never evoked party power as IPOD member to warn summit organisers of clause 5.1.4? And that the tea and photo-op meeting would be null and void in reference to the clause aforementioned? Why take as back and forth. And much more. We disagreed.
As a journalist, I read extensively. I keen on facts and I averse to romours.
I entreat our dearest, FDC, the ruling party in the struggle against the junta, the bearers of the light of the nation to be coherent and present facts.
It was disheartening to be branded a Museveni agent after spending my UGX 10K to go to Najja to cover FDC presser. Ahem.