Moses Byamugyisha, a youth activist in Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has declared his interest to run as the presidential flag bearer for the party ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Working under the “Generational Youth Struggle” a pressure group under the same party, Byamugyyisha says his aspiration to steer the party to take leadership of the country is built on rallying critical mass of Ugandans based on vibrant youth leadership and mobilizing critical young Ugandans to capture state power.
In an interview with Uganda Radio Network on Monday, Byamugyisha says he has already made his aspirations public and also informed the leadership of the party of the decision he has taken.
He says since he launched the campaign to become the party flag bearer ahead of 2016 elections he has already held consultations in 78 districts across the country.
Byamugyisha says his meeting with the FDC youth leaders in the country side was not only about his quest to become the party flag bearer but also to encourage youths to contest for the various leadership positions within the party.
Though FDC is already conducting its grass root elections for the party structures from village up to the district level, it has not announced when it will hold elections to get candidates for various posts ahead of the 2016 elections.
Byamugyisha is the first party member to declare interest to become the party flag bearer for the coming elections.
According Byamugyisha, the struggle he has started is not only for young people in FDC party but young people in other parties should also embrace it.
However, when contacted for a comment, the FDC spokesperson John Kikonyogo said he wasn’t aware of Byamugyisha’s bid but added that everyone in FDC with a minimum of 35 years of age is free to stand.
Byamugisha, years a lawyer by profession joined active politics in 2001 during the Reform Agenda under the leadership of Dr. Kizza Besigye.
He has participated in various FDC activities including the popular walk to work protest against the rising cost of essential good and inflation.
This saw him jailed at Luzira in 2011.
Byamugisha is practically challenging Party President, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, who is expected to represent the party as flag bearer come 2016 general elections.
Byamugyisha hails from Rukungiri District.
He comes from a family of six children; four boys and two girls.
He is the first born and I will be making 33 years on the 28th of May.
He is a son to James and Alice Byarugaba who are entrepreneurs in Rukungiri district.
He is married to Katitwa Rebecca with a one month old daughter.
While in Kampala, he resides in Ntinda, a suburb in the outskirts of Kampala.
Byamugyisha told The London Evening Post that he went to Kinyansano Boarding School for Primary education then proceeded to Makobore high School for Senior One and Senior Two but completed his ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Advanced’ Levels at Rukungiri Senior Secondary School.
In 2005, he joined the Law Development Centre for a Diploma in Law before proceeding to Uganda Christian University (UCU) for a degree in Law.
He graduated in 2011.
He says being a member of opposition youth, he can’t get employed, so has to run his private businesses.
Can fit in Muntu’s shoes
Asked whether he thinks he can step into Gen. Mugisha Muntu’s shoes, Byamugyisha said he had enough experience (15 years) of active opposition politics in the struggle.
“Actually, FDC came and found me in the struggle. Today all people that Mr. Yoweri Museveni began with serving in this Government, none of them was of my age when they came to power.”
He said Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye became a Minister at the age of 28 years; Gen. Salim Saleh was Army Commander at the age of 29 and the same applies to Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntuyera.
He, however, clarifies that the offering himself as a candidate has very little to do with Gen Mugisha Muntu.
“It rather has to do with what our country is facing. A country where 83 per cent of youths are unemployed.”
“My vision to contest therefore has nothing to do with what Gen Mugisha Muntu has failed to do. It has something to do with what the country is demanding from us as the next generation.”
Byamugyisha says he is backed by young leaders in the party who are trying to make it understood that they are doing it in their own simple ways, simple town hall meetings.
Byamugyisha says its unfortunate that there will be no reforms come 2016 elections.
“We do think that there is going to be a change in this country in the governance and the change will come with its own way of doing things.”
As for Museveni, Byamugyisha says that won’t be a problem because Museveni will be in Rwakitura at that time.
“My prayer as the next president of this country is that President Museveni must be able to retire peacefully, go to his ranches either in Rwakitura or Kisozi and once in a while I can drive from State House to Kisozi and consult him as our elder. That is if he has left power and we have had a transition peacefully.”