Three-time presidential candidate and president of People’s Development Party (PDP) Dr Abed Bwanika, yesterday announced he was joining Democratic Party (DP) to create a formidable opposition bloc capable of effecting regime change.
Bwanika ran as an independent candidate in the 2006 presidential election, where he finished fourth with 0.95% of the vote. He again contested in 2011 and 2016 presidential elections as PDP candidate. At a press conference at DP headquarters in Kampala yesterday, Michael Mabikke, the president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) also announced he was rejoining the party.
Samuel Walter Lubega of Truth and Justice pressure group and Dr Lulume Bayiga, the former Buikwe South legislator, were also welcomed back to the DP family. Mabikke abandoned DP after the party declined to back him as a flag-bearer for the Kampala mayoral seat in 2011 in favour of independent candidate Erias Lukwago.
Bayiga, despite conceding defeat to Norbert Mao during the party internal elections in July 2015, held at Katomi Kingdom Resort in Wakiso district, went silent on the party activities until Makerere DP/UYD re-union last year. Lubega also disagreed with DP and contested in the 2011 presidential elections after DP denied him the ticket in favour of Mao.
“We have reached 98% in terms of internal party unity,”
“We shall come up with a unified election platform. This time Uganda will appreciate DP. The witch who has been bewitching DP has been finally arrested,” Bwanika added.
Mabikke said divisions weaken their efforts. “Whenever we are divided, we are deviated from the cause of liberating the country,” Mabikke said.” Lubega said they were inspired by the spirits of “those who left us and elders”.
Mao said this was just the beginning, adding that the party was also reaching out to other players, such as the Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago and Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality MP. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party spokesperson, Rogers Mulindwa, said although there is freedom of everybody to move to any party of their choice, Bwanika and the others will not add much to DP