Thursday, January 13, 2011
THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has promised to create one million jobs for Ugandans if he becomes president. He made the promise yesterday while launching his manifesto at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. Mao promised to initiate measures to build houses for public servants including soldiers and policemen. “In the course of building houses for the over 500,000 public servants, and through other public works, more than one million jobs will be created,” Mao explained. He also said his government would provide lunch for school children. Mao promised to implement this through direct support to farmers who will contribute a portion of their harvest to the school-feeding programme. All schools, Mao said, would have sufficient desks within one year and classes would reduce to an average of 50 pupils per class in three years. Identifying the agriculture and the health sectors as foundational pillars of Uganda’s development, DP promises to increase the national budget of each by 15%. Mao pledged to upgrade health centres to well facilitated hospitals within five years. The party will also spearhead a national reconciliation agenda to ensure unity. Mao promises to re-instate presidential term limits and guarantee the independence of each of the three organs of state for sound democracy. The party pledges a government of zero tolerance to corruption. Mao lashed at the Inter-Party Cooperation, saying it lacks the necessary political bases to win the elections. “The Kenyan coalition worked because the groups that came together had strong regional bases, which is not the case with IPC.” Mao said unlike Col. Kizza Besigye, who lacks a home base, he has the support of the Northern region. “In 1996, 2001 and 2006, the Northern region voted against President Yoweri Museveni. Since I have been the one fighting for their rights and wellbeing, they will vote for me,” he argued. Mao also claimed to have the support of down trodden ordinary Ugandans, Buganda region and the youth. He dismissed media reports and polls putting Museveni at 67%, saying they are overrating him. “I have traversed the country, but I don’t see the support for Museveni portrayed by these polls. Even in Western Uganda where he has previously been getting overwhelming support, his support has gone down. It is not likely that Museveni will win the election,” Mao said.