The Independent's Mubatsi Asinja Habati looks at how the masses have responded to Dr. Kizza Besigye's call to support the cause that will bring change to Uganda
Three weeks after launching the Shs500 per-voter-per-week fund-raising drive, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) says it has received overwhelming response from supporters.
The FDC is further encouraging its supporters to embrace the party’s campaign strategy dubbed “the Power of Five” by recruiting more members and create chain support for regime change on February 18, 2011.
Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Dec. 16, the Interparty Cooperation Director of Communication and Publicity, Margret Wokuri (pictured) said the amount of the first contributions from the Shs500-per voter fundraising drive would be announced soon. The fundraising through mobile money transfer system is a new innovation in Uganda’s politics.
However, the fundraising has encountered hurdles especially regarding contribution of Shs 500 through MTN mobile money service which does not accept amount less than Shs5000. Some supporters also would send money as airtime yet the telecom companies do not convert the airtime into cash.
Sometimes the supporters would call the specified deposit telephone numbers making them busy and hard for other supporters to send their contributions on the same lines.
However, Wokuri said most of the hurdles have been sorted out and the supporters can continue contributing to the cause for change. She said IPC and MTN agreed that supporters can now send Shs800 via mobile money where Shs300 will go to the telecommunication company and Shs500 to the IPC account. This is happening only on the MTN network. Wokuri said Airtel and Utl continue to accept Shs500 donations via their mobile money transfer systems.
To rectify the challenges, the IPC has advised its supporters to continue sending their donations on 0776433555, 0756755555, or 0718932055. For clarifications about the fundraising, supporters are advised to call 0704903658.
“The essence of fundraising is not to raise money but to draw commitment. If someone put their money in this campaign, it shows they are determined to vote us and they cannot be bought off or intimidated to change their mind. The fundraising is aimed at encouraging Ugandans to work towards getting change of government through recruiting more supporters and new recruits bringing others on board,” Wokuri said.
IPC supporters can contribute any amount but Shs500 is the minimum. Contributions are received from anybody wherever they are.
The IPC urged its candidates at all levels to emphasise the Power of Five campaign strategy based on the five critical national issues: jobs and economic empowerment; quality education; a functional healthcare system; roads and infrastructure; and support to farmers and agriculture.
The strategy not only mobilises the masses to vote Dr Kizza Besigye but all the candidates from LCI to the president on the IPC/FDC ticket.
The ‘Power of Five” is likely to be more popularised by the kickoff of the parliamentary campaigns on December 16.
Wokuri urged IPC candidates to spread the message of the electronic fundraising and the five-recruits per voter to create a chain link to achieve regime change.
“IPC has candidates allover the country and has helped fail the NRM from winning posts an opposed at local government level,” she said.
However the Electoral Commission figures show that 1,270 candidates are contesting for the 238 directly elected MP seats while 443 are standing for the 112 District Women MP seats under affirmative action.
A total of 367 candidates are standing for the 112 LCV seats across the country. The FDC has 52 flag-bearers for the 112 LCV seats and is second to NRM in fielding the biggest number of candidates on these posts. The FDC has 189 candidates standing for directly elected MPs and 81 for District Women MP seats.