Kassiano Ezati Wadri has revealed how it’s painful to be outside Forum For Democratic Change (FDC), a party where he is a founder member.
He made the remarks today afternoon after taking oath as Arua Municipality Member of Parliament in Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah’s board room at Parliament.
“I am a founder member of FDC, a party that I gave all I had including my time. My then party was unfair to me, I say this because the constitutional provision is clear that once you decide to run as an independent, you cease to be a member of that party and for you to come back, you must come back on application,” Wadri said.
He added: “You must make a substantive application to the leadership of the party for you to be readmitted. So, technically as of now, I am not a member of FDC because that is the constitutional provision.”
Wadri stood as Independent against the official candidate of FDC- Bruce Musema. The former Terego County MP won the hot seat by beating his closest rival- National Resistance Movement’s Nisura Tiperu with 6,528 votes.
Tiperu polled 4,763 votes. Wadri won the by-election while in prison following violent chaos that erupted on the eve of the Election Day in Arua leading to his arrest, other Members of Parliament and civilians.
He officially replaces the late Col. Ibrahim Abiriga an NRM candidate who was brutally gunned down on 8th June 2018 in Kawanda, Wakiso district.
Wadri added that to contest as an independent “was a very painful decision.”
“There were seven candidates who had shown interest within the [FDC] party and we all demanded for primaries, but the party denied us the opportunity to hold primaries and yet in the constitution, there is no provision that if you are elected a flag bearer, you serve for five years, it isn’t there,” he said.
He added: “They said it is a practice, so I asked them, where this practice is written? In my mind, I felt it was an extension of the delegates conference we had in Namboole which was prevailing and I knew in my mind that if I don’t offer myself as an independent, NRM was going to take the seat. It isn’t the party that matters, it is whether I can represent my people, without any party backing me up, the people in Arua backed me up.”
He revealed that FDC should go back to the growing board before things worsen.
“The party needs to go and reflect on its actions. It isn’t a matter of sitting in Najjanankumbi and decide for people, power belongs to the people. The people should have had ears on the ground, it should have consulted its people party structures and people in Arua Municipality, that, they refused to do. So it is upon the party now to reflect on its actions and see how it mends fences with the people of Arua Municipality,” he noted, adding: “For those still members of the party and came to Arua to support me, we must look at the past happenings. We had flag bearers who were fought by the party, so it wasn’t the first of its kind. Let them first bring those people and arraign them to the Party Disciplinary Committee before they begin thinking about Mugisha Muntu.
If you want justice, then you be seen delivering justice, start with those who started it before you come for Muntu, if you don’t do that, then we will know you are playing double standards and the public will know them.”
About swearing in
Wadri was accompanied by his daughter Brendan Wadri, Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu and other Opposition Members of Parliament. Oulanyah handed Wadri a copy of the Constitution and the Parliament Rules of Procedure.
Wadri was on Monday 27th released on Bail by the Gulu High Court and expected back before the Gulu Chief Magistrates Court tomorrow for mention of their case.
Following his swearing in, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah who delayed to appear at the swearing in venue humorously told Wadri that he had delayed because he was expecting a court injunction against his swearing in.