On Wednesday 26th August 2020, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) registered a landmark achievement of deepening democracy within the party rank and file, and the general political spectrum. Two Candidates returned nomination forms to the Party Electoral commission at a colorful function presided over by the Party Electoral commission Acting chairman Boniface Toterebuka Bamwenda at the FDC Party Headquarters Najjanankumbi – Kampala.
Owek. Amb. Wasswa “Rocky” Ssekyondwa Birigwa the Party National Chairman and Hon. Eng. Patrick Amuriat Oboi the Party President were duly nominated to tussle it out for the Party Presidential flag bearer of 2021 General elections.
Who are the two candidates?
OWEK. AMB. WASSWA BIRIGWA.
Amb. Wasswa Birigwa is not a novice in politics; He is an established Politician who has seen it all. He is currently the Party Chairman of FDC, a position he has held since 2015 when he was elected by FDC Party delegates at the national delegates conference at Lugogo.
An accomplished diplomat, Amb. Birigwa served as Ambassador Plenipotentiary for United states of America and China, he served as Buganda Kingdom Great Lukiiko (Parliament) member and Minister for Protocol for over 16 years. He is part of the team that coordinated the return of His Royal Majesty the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II from London through Nairobi. He contested for Kampala City Mayor and lost to Hajj Nasser Ntege Ssebagala.
He is a businessman and a farmer as well having brought the first telecommunication network – Celtel Uganda which was launched by the vice- President Hon. Wandera Naigaga Kazibwe on 31st May 1995.
Ambassador Birigwa holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Emerson College, Boston Massachusetts USA, Masters of Science Degree in Public Relations from Boston University, Massachusetts USA and a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University, Boston, Medford USA.
Born and raised in Katwe, a Kampala City suburb, Birigwa shaped the social economic life and was one of Uganda’s best Musicians in the 60’s. He is the one that inspired the late Philly Bongole Lutaaya to join the Music industry.
Wasswa Birigwa was part of the cranes band and known by the stage name Rocky. His first single was “Rocky tonenya nze Samanya” but his most popular song was “Joy Tonyiiga”
He used to play at La Quinta club at Norman cinema (Current Watoto Church), together with Elly Wamala. He also played at the clubs such as the White Nile, Suzanna and Top Life, which were mainly for black Africans.
He is married to one wife and has children and grandchildren.
Amb. Wasswa Birigwa has promised to empower young people through skilling them while taking advance of the Asian Tigers who invested in their people and transformed from third world to first world through Technology.
HON. ENG. PATRICK AMURIAT OBOI
Engineer Patrick Oboi Amuriat now dubbed POA by his admirers was born in Soroti, in the Eastern part of Uganda to the family of Mzee John Amuriat of Kogili, Kanyum, Present day Kumi District and Elizabeth Aciro Amuriat (deceased) hailing from the present day Omoro District.
He was raised and had his early education in Soroti and later in Lango and Makerere University. POA is a holder of Dip. in Education from Makerere University, Bsc. Civil Engineering from Makerere University and Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Makerere University.
He is a teacher, Civil Engineer, livestock farmer and progressive politician spanning 28 years of Political experience, with a great passion for Education and skilling of young people.
POA worked in a number of local and international Engineering firms and community development organizations and had a stint in public service working with Kumi District as District Engineer.
He joined active competitive politics in 1994, first contesting during the Constituency Assembly (CA) elections. In 1996, Patrick Oboi Amuriat was the Official interpreter and Campaign Chief of Opposition Presidential candidate Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere in Teso and Karamoja Sub Regions.
Encouraged by the strong views of the later FDC founding father Col. (Rtd.) Dr. Kizza Besigye in his 1999 communiqué, POA joined Reform Agenda, actively teaming up with the campaign teams, which kept returning good results from his native Teso region.
Later as MP, POA was part of the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum, PAFO chaired by one of our most respected elders Hon. Augustine Ruzindana. POA is a founding member of FDC. He was part of the historic events, which gave birth to what immediately became the most popular party in Uganda.
POA served continuously as MP for 15 years, from 2001-2016. As MP, he chaired the committees of Science and Technology and Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE). He was a kingpin member of the Committee of Works and Transport for his entire time in Parliament.
As committee chair, POA exhibited exceptional management skills. He always distinguished himself as an opposition member and unreservedly spoke out against repressive policies of the NRM regime. POA has served his party diligently and has consistently made a monthly financial contribution to the Party (for ten years) towards the purchase of our Party headquarters.
In 2015, POA was deployed as Chief National Field Coordinator to the FDC Presidential flag bearer, Dr. Kizza Besigye. He is therefore a proud player of the team, which secured victory though rigged for the FDC in the February 2016 Presidential elections. It is this victory that together with other progressive members of our Party and society, which he has continued to expend his energy on to reclaim through full time activism, now popularly known as DEFIANCE, as an assignment by the Party.
Currently, POA is the FDC Party President having won elections on 24th November 2017, in the FDC 7th National Delegates Conference that was held at Mandela National Stadium, becoming the Third (3) President after Maj Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu (November 2012-November 2017) and Dr. Kizza Besigye (2005 – November 2012)
On 24th November 2017, he won the FDC Party Presidency in a hotly contested election that saw him defeating then Party President and former army commander and East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Rtd. Maj. Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu at the FDC National Delegates conference at Mandela National Stadium – Namboole becoming the Third Party President of Uganda’s largest opposition Party, FDC.
Hon. Engineer Amuriat has held the Party together ever since 2017 when the media projected the demise of the Party in the hands of Amuriat owing to the quitting of Gen. Muntu where some sections of the fourth estate projected that about 28 FDC MPs would leave the Party to join Muntu’s ANT Part, something that up to now hasn’t come to pass which shows the leadership acumen and ability of Hon. Amuriat in holding the Party together in a very difficult political terrain.
He is an orator, articulate and a combative activist.
Hon. Eng. Amuriat promises that once elected President, he will foster technological advancements through offering free computers to every secondary school going student.
The two candidates will traverse the countryside reaching out to delegates while popularizing themselves to the FDC grass root delegates and supporters so as to be voted as the FDC Party Presidential flag bearer.
MULINDWA WALID LUBEGA
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