Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Democratic Party Legal Advisor, Mr Mukasa Mbidde, yesterday said he will sue the government for an accident on the Kampala-Masaka Road on Monday that left him and several others injured.
According to the police, one person died on spot in the accident that was blamed on reckless driving. The accident which occurred at 5pm at Kamengo, involved three vehicles.
Mr Mbidde, a DP flag bearer for Kalungu East Constituency, said: “I am going to sue the government for compensation of my car because it was not my fault.” His Mercedez Benz car that he said is valued at Shs110 million was damaged in the head-on collision. He said the accident occurred when a State House vehicle and another belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture made a sudden and an unindicated stop while driving in front of him.
Blame games
“I was heading to Lukaya when the two vehicles that were ahead of me abruptly stopped blocking the road,” Mr Mbidde said, adding that since the vehicles were following each other and at a moderate speed, there was no way he would have avoided the accident.
Mr Mbidde said his car is insured but not on a comprehensive risk, so government has a part to answer during compensation. He wants Shs70 million for the damage to his car. But the Central Region police spokesperson, Mr Lameck Kigozi, who was at the scene, blamed the accident on Mr Mbidde’s reckless driving.


The Democratic Party (DP) has said it will sue the government over the cultural leaders Bill, 2010. DP Deputy National Spokesperson Keneth Kakande yesterday said the party National Executive Committee (NEC) has assembled 10 lawyers led by the party legal adviser, Mr Mukasa Mbidde, to challenge the Bill in the Constitutional Court.
Mr Mbidde said the Bill causes disharmony and encroaches on the people’s rights to honour and show loyalty to their traditional leaders. “We can’t sit back and relax when government is mixing up issues. There is no reason why Mr Museveni is creating term limits on our cultural leaders when they are not playing a political role,” Mr Kakande told journalists yesterday in Kampala.
But Internal Affairs Minister Hajj Kirunda Kivejinja on Sunday said absence of such a regulation was responsible for the unnecessary clashes between the government and cultural institutions, citing the September 2009 riots in Kampala.
The Bill, among others, seeks to operationalise Article 246 of the Constitution and bans traditional leaders from engaging in partisan politics.
Mr Kakande said DP will participate in demonstrations organised against the Bill and will provide legal support to any Ugandan ready to oppose it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I am a healing President, Mao tells Kisoro Democratic Party Presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said Uganda is full of scars and wounds and therefore needs a healer who can mend the torn society. He pledged a transparent national reconciliation plan that will help Uganda rise above it's dark episodes. In reference to Museveni, Mao said any repentant person can be forgiven. He assured the residents of Kisoro that Museveni will not be persecuted. "I am not in this contest to witch hunt Museveni. I have no vendetta with Museveni. I am only in this contest because Uganda deserves better. When I defeat Museveni he can return to Rwakitura and tend to his cattle and look after his grandchildren", Mao said. He sent the gathering into prolonged laughter when he promised Museveni a send off gift of a fully equipped Recording Studio in order to help the President pursue his newly found musical talents. "We should not waste talent. In order to help President Museveni pursue his musical talents, I will offer him a send off gift of a fully equiped recording studio", Mao said as the crowd roared with laughter.

Monday, December 27, 2010


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has said he has redeemed one of the oldest political parties in the country. Mr Mao said under his leadership, the Democratic Party has been empowered to take over the presidency of Uganda.
Last week, Mr Mao toured the southwestern district of Kanungu and pitched camp at Kihiihi Central Market, where he addressed a rally. He said although he was new to the people of Kanungu, he was not new to politics.
“My 10-year experience in Parliament and five years as LC5 chairperson of Gulu gave me knowledge and insight to successfully lead Uganda,” he said.He said the experience enabled him to understand national politics and to empathise with the challenges of local governance.
Mr Mao said it was through his experience that he is able to understand the extent of injustice and poverty in Uganda. Once in power, he pledged, he would abolish trading licences for small business owners.
He also promised to revise the tax structure to ensure more taxes for high-income earners and to abolish tax for anyone earning less than Shs400,000 a month.
“The unfair taxation system in Uganda is suffocating the growth of small businesses,” he said. The DP candidate also addressed the more localised needs of the people in Kanungu. He said it was appalling that the district does not have a tarmack road linking it to the rest of the country.
Mao vowed that if elected next year, he would connect all districts in Uganda to each other through quality tarmack roads. He said this would encourage trade and the growth of agriculture across the country. The DP president used his Kanungu campaign to once again blast President Museveni and his government for their failings.
He said Mr Museveni’s leadership of the country and the National Resistance Movement would not stand the test of time and that in the future the party would crumble.
Mr Mao accused Museveni of mismanaging the country and that if he becomes Uganda’s next president he would set up a reconciliation committee to openly address people’s grievances and to foster unity.

Friday, December 24, 2010


The Democratic Party (DP) has given the police and courts in Jinja a one-week ultimatum to act against the National Resistance Movement mayoral candidate for alleged electoral offences.
The party claims Mr Majid Dhikusooka, who is also the district NRM vice chairman, was caught red-handed tearing the posters of one of his opponents, Mr Mohamed Baswari Kezaala, at the Police Barracks round-about in Jinja on December 4.
DP officials in a December 22 letter signed by the party’s acting district legal advisor, Mr Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, said they want the candidate arrested or they will be forced to stage a protest.
According to the electoral law, a person caught destroying election campaign posters on conviction, is jailed for not exceeding one year or asked to pay a fine of Shs480,000.
Mr Mufumbiro stated they had learnt that the Jinja resident state attorney had closed the case against Mr Dhikusooka. “We wish to state that this exoneration was out of all the doctrines of justice, rule of law and manifestation of moral decadency by the resident state Attorney,” the letter reads.
“We give the police only seven days and if the matter is not handled to its conclusion, we shall have a peaceful demonstration in pursuing the matter,” the DP district chairman, Mr Samuel Kitanda, said at a press conference in Jinja town on Wednesday. However, DPC Jonathan Musinguzi warned the party against involving the police in political battles.


Former Democratic Party [DP] leader John Ssebaana Kizito has backed local musician Eddy Yawe for the Kampala Central Division parliamentary seat.Addressing a rally at Kamwokya on Tuesday, Mr Ssebaana, a former Kampala mayor, said: “Some people think that musicians are useless in societies, but I can assure you that they can make better leaders. They are so creative and quick at solving problems.”
Mr Ssebaana urged DP supporters not to vote for party members who decided to contest as independent candidates after losing in the party primaries.“We should support our own candidates in DP who went through clear internal primaries. Whoever I am backing in this race must be the rightful party contender,” he said.
Recently, DP president Norbert Mao advised defiant party members to adhere to the party rules saying nobody was bigger than the party. The party opted to support Mr Micheal Mabikke as its mayoral candidate against former party legal adviser Erias Lukwago.
Mr Yawe, the DP flag bearer, is contesting against NRM’s Muhammed Nsereko and IPC’s Kibirige Mayanja. Mr Yawe pledged to unite Kampala, advocate the youth and women rights and fight laws which are not favourable to the people.
“I will also block regulations which target to fight Buganda and cripple the Kabaka of Buganda and other traditional leaders,” Mr Yawe said.


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has said President Museveni has tarnished the image of people from western Uganda.Addressing a rally in Rukungiri on Wednesday, Mr Mao said because Mr Museveni, his relatives and friends from western Uganda are allegedly embezzling public funds and amassing wealth, people from the region are wrongly accused of participating in the vice.
He said Mr Museveni and his close associates have amassed wealth through corruption, leaving people in the country in abject poverty. The DP leader promised to exempt people earning less than Shs400,000 per month from Pay as You Earn tax, adding that the NRM government is over taxing people.
Museveni accused
Mr Mao said every region has a reason to deny Mr Museveni votes, adding that he has mismanaged the country. He said Mr Museveni has little support in the north because he failed to protect residents against the LRA rebels who killed, abducted and maimed many people.
Mr Mao added that in Busoga, people are experiencing a jigger infestation because of poverty and government neglect. He asked the youth not to pay attention to Mr Museveni’s rap song, which he described as “funny song’’, saying it was aimed at misleading them.
“When Museveni raps “Mpe nkoni”, he is asking for a stick to punish you as young people. He has been punishing you silently but this time he has come out openly asking for the stick to cane you,” Mr Mao said.
Calls for support
The DP candidate asked Rukungiri residents to support him, saying he is capable of defeating Mr Museveni in the elections. He told residents to change President Museveni’s campaign slogan from pakalast to palalost Supporters of Mr Museveni are using pakalast as one of their campaign slogans on top of no change.
Pakalast is a promotional phrase for a telecommunication company

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Mutooma, Tuesday 21 December 2010: Democratic Party candidate Norbert Mao has said he takes great exception to Museveni's hypocrisy in supporting the institutions of traditional leaders everywhere else while undermining and sabotaging that in Ankole. Mao said that before the British forged the Ugandan state, communities were held together by traditional institutions. Mao pledged that DP would support the Obugabe in Ankole.
He pledged that unlike Museveni he would not undermine any tradional institution. Mao said that there is no basis for fearing traditional institutions because they are now constituional monarchies subject to laws put in place by democratically elected leaders. Mao said Museveni's supression of traditional institutions is motivated by his despotic ambitions. "Museveni's support for traditional leaders is purely self-serving and opportunistic. Deep in his heart he has only contempt for traditional institutions and their heads." Mao said.
Mao was speaking to residents of Mitooma Town Council on Tuesday. He said was committed to showing Ugandans that it is possible to have change without bloodshed and chaos. "Let Museveni be the last President to walk on blood and to jump over deadbodies on his way to State House." Mao said.


The Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao has said creation of new districts is hurting service delivery in all sectors.
Mr Mao, who addressed several rallies in Mitooma District in Ankole sub-region on Tuesday, said: “Giving you a district is like being handed an empty plate without food. Even if you get a district, without quality basic services, then you are better off without it.”
Power tariffs
Mr Mao added: “The youth do not need raps, they want employment. Your MPs should stop thanking Museveni for the districts created because you vote them to serve your interest and not those of the President.”
The DP presidential candidate said if elected, he will reduce power tariffs by merging all companies in the electricity business into one as it used to be under the Uganda Electricity Board.
“Power is expensive here and cheap in Rwanda and Kenya where we export it because the electricity board was split into three other companies. All these companies are out to make money and that is why our tariffs are high,” he said.Mr Mao said he will eradicate corruption in the country.
He said he will tarmack all roads when he is voted into power. Mitooma is one of the three districts carved out of Bushenyi. The others are Buhweju and Sheema


Written by Edward Ssekika
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Foreigners doing business in Uganda will have to adhere to a strict code of conduct if the DP presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, is elected president in next year’s elections.
Mao says he plans to impose tough conditions on foreign investors often accused of abusing the rights of local people they employ.
Mao told his supporters in Fort Portal municipality on December 14, that if elected, he would reduce on tax incentives currently enjoyed by foreign investors and restrict their investments to particular sectors of the economy.
He accused the NRM government of promoting foreign investors but marginalizing local ones. “The NRM government has an unfair policy of promoting and protecting foreign investors at the expense of our local investors. Government has been giving benefits in form of tax holidays, free land to foreign investors, but our local investors struggle on their own with no tax cuts, tax holidays and free land,” Mao said.
He added: “As DP, we want this to change as soon as we take over government.” He wondered why despite all the incentives, foreigners invest in small retail businesses that would otherwise be reserved for Ugandans.
“Why should government give a tax holiday and free land to a foreigner to put up a hotel? There are many Ugandans with standard hotels already; such benefits like tax cuts, tax holiday and free land in the Norbert Mao government will, instead, be extended to a local investor to expand their investments,” he said.
DP investment policy, Mao said, would not allow foreigners to engage in retail businesses. Mao noted that some investors in Uganda today are not worthy of being to be called foreign investors, arguing that they are also engaged in petty businesses.
He describes the current government policies on foreign investment as weak and promoting dependency.
“Foreign investors shall not be allowed to carry out petty retail business—retail business shall be left only and only to Ugandans,” he added. Citing the example of United Kingdom and the US, Mao said in those countries petty and retail business is restricted and left in the hands of citizens.
“In UK or USA, for example, if you are a foreigner and you want to start making and selling chapatti, you will not be allowed. You will be told that engaging in such business is only a privilege of the natives of that country,” he added.
There have been growing public concern that foreigners were investing in retail shops and supermarkets that do not employ local people and as a result rendering more Ugandans who would do such businesses unemployed.
Mao promised to set up a fund, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF), to support local entrepreneurs.
To ensure that foreign investments offer employment opportunities to Ugandans, Mao says he will ensure that certain jobs, which can be performed by Ugandans are not given to foreigners.
He says some foreign companies have made it a policy that all managerial positions are occupied by foreigners.
He pledged to extend electricity to all rural areas and cut power tariffs to make it affordable to the poor. He reasons that extending power to rural areas and cutting power tariffs will encourage development and create jobs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The Democratic Party President, Norbert Mao, has accused the NRM government of marginalising the people of Toro despite their contribution to the 1986 liberation struggle.
Addressing a campaign rally in Fort Portal on December 15, Mao said he was surprised that there are only two ministers from the sub-region and yet other sub-regions which did not contribute to the struggle as much have more ministers.
The two ministers from the region are Adolf Mwesige, the minister of Local Government, and Aston Kajara, the state minister for Investment.
In 1984, Katebwa sub-county in Bunyagabu county was used by the Yoweri Museveni-led National Resistance Army as a launch pad for capturing Toro sub-region from government forces. It was also the first headquarters of the NRM government in the bush.
Mao says that if the region was effectively represented in the cabinet, the ministers would lobby for development. He also says it is a big surprise that the region is not developing and yet northern Uganda which has been at war for over two decades is developing.
He promised that if elected, the region would get a share of the national cake commensurate to its role it in the liberation struggle. Prior to the rally, Mao carried out door-to-door campaigns in the villages of Ruteete sub-county, Rwimi, and Kichwamba.
He criticised the government for neglecting the region’s two great schools, St Leo’s College Kyegobe and Nyakasura School. These two were once some of Uganda’s finest education institutions but today they perform poorly in national examinations.
Residents of Fort Portal that The Observer spoke to, had mixed reactions to Mao’s remarks. Reste Kabagayi agreed with the DP candidate on the issue of Toro’s marginalization.
She said the government is taking the people of Toro for granted, seeing that it is a stronghold of the party in power - NRM. Kabagayi also agreed that Toro should be rewarded for helping the NRA liberation struggle.


DP’s Norbert Mao addressing supporters at Kabatunda trading centre in Kyabarungira sub-county, Busongora in Kasese district on Thursday last week.


DEMOCRATIC Party president Norbert Mao has urged Masaka municipality voters to elect the party vice president John Kawanga in the coming Parliamentary elections. In a message read by Matia Mujuzi at the launch of Kawanga’s campaigns at the Children’s Park on Sunday, Mao said Kawanga was among the most trustworthy members of parliament. “Some people went to parliament as businessmen and this was proved at the time when they accepted a sh5m bribe to remove presidential term limits,” Mao stated. He added that since Kawanga studied with President Yoweri Museveni and was his friend he would have taken any position in President Museveni’s government. “I believe Kawanga would be the vice-president if he wanted to become one, but since his ambition is to see a democratic and peaceful Uganda, he declined to join the NRM party,” Mao added. Kawanga wondered why some people had launched a campaign to tarnish his name. “Whenever they pick up microphones they concentrate on abusing Kawanga. They have failed to tell what they would do for you while in parliament, instead they are talking about my age,” Kawanga said. “Despite being true Catholics, some of my critics need to be reminded that the Ten Commandments prohibit adultery, stealing and telling lies among others,” Kawanga added. Kawanga is facing former Buganda youth minister Mathias Mpuuga, Sande Mutesasira, Suzan Nakawuki and Francis Xavier Kizza Mujoobe for the Masaka Municipality parliamentary seat.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Norbert Mao has said President Museveni, Col. Kiiza Besigye among other candidates in the race fear him.Addressing residents of Kasese Town Council this morning, Mao said Museveni, Besigye … fear him because of influence among the youth. He has caused laughter when he stated that Museveni and Besigye shout Mao’s name at night when dreaming.Mao says he has much influence among the


By Hope Mafaranga
THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has said there will be a peaceful handover of power after the 2011 elections. “We want Museveni to go peacefully but not the way he came to power through bloodshed,” Mao said. Mao was addressing his supporters at Kiko, Rwihamba in Rutete sub-county, Rwankyenzi in Kasenda sub-county, Kasunganyanja and Rwimi in Kabarole district and in Fort Portal municipality. Mao said when the National Resistance Army then led by Yoweri Museveni captured power in 1986, they used guns and many people died. Mao urged the people of Toro not to reject him but to look at his abilities and leadership skills. He said that once voted into power, he will be a bridge to unify Uganda. He said if Museveni, wins the election genuinely, he would be the first person to congratulate him but if he rigs, Uganda would become too hard for him to rule. Mao told security agencies to stop intimidating his supporters and gave the fans his hotline 0772885688 to report any case of intimidation. The retired bishop of Rwenzori diocese Eustus Kamanyire urged Ugandan to use their votes correctly.


KAMPALA, Tuesday 14 December, 2010:
Democratic Party Presidential candidate has strongly refuted a Sunday Vision story where he was misquoted to have said Museveni was in the lead."The intention of the story is to demoralize our supporters by making a false projection of a Museveni victory in the presidential elections. I do not believe that Museveni will win the elections. No one has a commanding lead as of now and a run-off is almost inevitable.", Mao said on Monday from Kyenjojo where he began his tour of the Tooro region."I could not say Museveni is in the lead because he is not in the lead. What I always say is that Museveni has the soccer ball (state power) and we are going to grab it from him. That is why we are tackling him." Mao said.Mao said that while Museveni enjoys advantages of incumbency, that will not guarantee him a victory. He denounced the Sunday Vision for distorting his views and quoting him out of context."Text without context is pretext. I gave the New Vision a lengthy interview but they chose to quote me out of context.", Mao wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday evening.Mao assured his supporters to remain steadfast in the face of media bias and distortions. He singled out the New Vision as a paper whose front page is now dedicated to promoting Museveni and undermining his opponents.


By Andrew Ssenyonga
THE DP presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has said none of the candidates has a commanding lead and a run-off is inevitable. Mao was reacting to the Sunday Vision story where he was quoted as saying that President Yoweri Museveni was in the lead. “Text without context is pretext. I gave New Vision a lengthy interview but they quoted me out of context,” Mao said. He added that he could not say that Museveni is in the lead because he is not in the lead. “What I always say is that Museveni has the soccer ball (state power) and we are going to grab it from him. That is why we are tackling him.” Mao pointed out that while Museveni enjoys advantages of incumbency, this will not guarantee him victory


By Hope Mafaranga
THE Democratic Party (DP) Presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has said that if elected into power in 2011, he will build factories to manufacture drugs in order to reduce medical costs for Ugandans. Mao said many Ugandans were dying from various diseases because they could not afford treatment since drugs were too expensive “Most drugs we use are imported and expensive. If you vote me into power, I will build drug factories to reduce the burden of costs you incur for treatment,” he said. During a rally at Kyenjojo Taxi Park in Kyenjojo town council, campaigning on Monday, Mao, who is in the Rwenzori region, said factories would create employment for the youth. Mao also said DP would train the youth in information communication and technology in order to compete in the global job market. He also addressed his supporters in Kasaba in Kyarusozi sub-county and Kyamutunzi in Nyankwansi sub-county, in Kyenjojo district. He said his government would make sure that foreign investors gave jobs to Ugandans, adding that Uganda Investment Authority had failed to create jobs.


Fort Portal - Even if the incumbent were to massively rig the February 18 general elections, he wouldn’t win, according to the DP presidential candidate, Norbert Mao.
Mao’s remarks came days after he proclaimed that Yoweri Museveni, the NRM candidate, was leading the race, with him (Mao) in second place.
But he told a rally in Fort Portal municipality on Tuesday that President Museveni cannot win the 2011 elections because he has lost his critical support. Museveni, he added, has been rigging to win.
“I’m going to defeat him for his own good; this hoe is our symbol, it has come for him. The hoe will uproot him and finally bury him; he cannot escape it,” Mao said in his trademark oratory.
“Trust me, Museveni cannot win this election. He no longer has a strong support base. He lost the support of northern and eastern Uganda, now Buganda and even western Uganda has problems with him; where is Museveni’s support base now?” Mao told the crowd at Kisenyi.
He added that Museveni will not get the required 51% to gain an outright victory. Accusing Museveni of condemning the people of northern Uganda to internally displaced persons’ camps for two decades, Mao said the IDPs cannot vote for him now, much as they are out of camps.
Mao, who spoke in a mixture of Luganda and Runyakitara, said: “First of all, he is the one who condemned us into IDPs, now he expects a thank you, but instead we are asking him why he condemned us to the camps. We cannot vote him.”
He added: “I defeated his minister when I was 28 years with only Shs 60,000 (Gulu municipality Parliament race). I defeated his colonel (Walter Ochola, in the Gulu LC-V chairman race). I have now come for him - the general, no shortcut. I will defeat him too.”
Rigging fears
At the Kisenyi rally, Mao warned of vote rigging and unveiled DP’s vote guarding strategy. He said the party will have four officials at every polling station.
Mao added that the party officials will not only append their signatures on the declaration of results forms but also a thumbprint. A thumbprint, he argued, cannot be forged like a signature.
He also said that DP is pushing the Electoral Commission to declare and display the results at the polling station soon after vote counting.
He warned of bloody consequences should the election be rigged. “If the election is rigged, we shall stage mega protests until it is nullified. I will personally lead the demonstrations across the country because I’m a veteran in protests,” he said.
17 public universities
Mao pledged to overhaul the education system and create market oriented courses. He said the current system mainly produces white-collar job seekers and not job creators.
Mao promised that DP would re-construct what he called historical schools, arguing that such schools united Ugandans on top of providing quality education. Giving himself as an example, Mao said he learnt Luganda because he studied at Namilyango College in Wakiso district.
Still on education, Mao told his supporters at Kasende trading centre in Ruteete sub-county that his government would launch 17 new public universities within his first term as president. He said this would boost the quality of education. Uganda currently has five public universities.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


By Adrienne S. McCord

Norbert Mao is the leader and Presidential Candidate of the
Democratic Party of Uganda. He is also the current Chairman of Gulu
District in Northern Uganda. Prior to this he loyally served for ten
years as a Member of Parliament. As the political leader of the most
war affected area in Uganda, he has remained ever vigilant and engaged
in peace building and reconstruction efforts. He is a charismatic
leader with an unbeatable record of successfully delivering on his
political promises.
In 2011 Norbert Mao will be the next president of Uganda.
Norbert Mao, a centrist who focuses on democratic reform, peace-
building and moderate politics as the centerpiece of his crusade,
casts himself as a bridge between the north and south; he is best
poised to bring national healing as the new president. His blessed
double heritage of an Acholi father and a Munyankole mother places him
across the divide that has defined the ethnic north-south mantra since
1986. A gifted orator in many languages, Mao speaks fluent Luganda
English, Kiswahili and Luo. He also has a working knowledge of several
other Ugandan languages including Lusoga, Runyankore.

Mao's candidature is also symbolic of the primacy of civilian rule
over military dictatorship. Uganda still remains one of the few
countries that have never had a peaceful handover of power. In Uganda,
change of government has always come with guns blazing or guns drawn.
In February 2011 DP President Norbert Mao will prove that government
can and will be changed peacefully through the power of the ballot,
without bloodshed.

President Mao is more than qualified for the highest political office
with two decades of leadership experience and multiple degrees in law
and development studies. He is an enrolled Advocate of the Ugandan
Courts of Judicature. In 1998 he was honored among ten attorneys of
distinction by the Uganda Law Society. In addition he is in a select
group of those honored as a Yale World Fellow and proud graduate of
the prestigious Yale Global Leadership Program which he attended in

He has a track record of successfully attaining his goals and being
elected into leadership positions by those who recognize his ability
to lead. The people of Uganda consistently keep him in office because
Norbert Mao puts his words into action.

Norbert Mao is a born leader. His quest to serve others began when he
was still in Magwa Primary School where he led the Debating Team. At
Namilyango College he was again chosen as a true organizer and served
as Head-Prefect before becoming President of the students’ guild at
Makerere University. Norbert Mao’s election as the president of the
students’ guild has been recorded as the hottest campaigns in the
history of Makerere University. After his landslide victory he proved
to be among the most vibrant guild presidents the university has ever
had. Under his leadership, the students mounted a struggle against the
now discredited Structural Adjustment Program.

From Makerere University at a very tender age in 1996, he contested
for the Gulu municipality seat and beat a cabinet minister Betty
Bigombe to become Member of Parliament, where he was successfully re-
elected in 2001 for a second term. As a man of principle, he promised
that he would serve only two terms in parliament and true to his word,
in 2006 he did not compete even when he was still very popular.

After a decade in the national parliament, Mao did not seek re-
election but instead heeded the call of his constituents to instead
contest for the leadership of the Gulu district local government then
comprising five parliamentary constituencies and a geographical area
half the size of Belgium. Because of his proven track record of
listening to the voters and acting in their best interests he won the
election with about 80 percent of the vote.

Norbert Mao prefers the power of thoughtful action over misdirected
military response, yet he has proven his strength and willingness to
risk his life for the future of a more peaceful Uganda. In August 2006
Mao led a group of community leaders to the rebel hideout in Garamba,
Congo, to meet LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony. He was one of the 10
accredited observers to the Uganda Peace Talks in Juba that were being
mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan.

In 1999 Norbert Mao co-founded the Great Lakes Parliamentary Forum on
Peace (Amani Forum) and also the Parliamentary Network on the World
Bank. These two parliamentary networks with which he still remains in
contact have greatly enhanced the contribution of parliamentarians in
conflict resolution and development. Since the time over 10 years ago
when he authored a minority report for the parliament calling for
peace talks with the LRA Mao has been a strong advocate for a peaceful
resolution of the conflict in Northern Uganda. He remains active as
Chairman Emeritus of Amani Forum.

Norbert Mao is well known for his superior advocacy efforts and
persuasive oratory skills and regularly speaks on these issues in high
level national and international gatherings including the World Bank
and the United Nations. He was a panelist on the popular radio talk
show The Capital Gang that aired on Kampala's Capital FM station as
well as a columnist for The New Vision newspaper in Uganda. His
writings have featured in the in The Yale Herald, the Strait Times of
Singapore, Yale Global, the Daily Times of Pakistan and The Monitor
among others. He is often featured and quoted in various national and
international media on issues of governance, peace, human rights and

DP President Norbert Mao is a charismatic leader with an unbeatable
record of successfully delivering on his political promise and he is
ready for a new beginning for Uganda.

His committment to leadership with integrity was born from humble
roots. His father was a soldier who went back to school to study
cereal chemistry upon leaving the army. Mao's family background
instilled in him deeply rooted values and a strong work ethic.

Norbert Mao and his wife Naomi have two children, Nicholas and Nathan.
They live in Kampala and Gulu.

It’s Time. Time for a New Beginning. A New Leader for Change. Time
for Norbert Mao.


THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has taken campaigns to the pulpit. Mao was on Sunday campaigning at St Cyprian Catholic Church in Kijungu-Hoima district on his Bunyoro tour. The mass was also a confirmation service where over 200 children were welcomed to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist by Hoima acting Bishop, Lambert Bainomugisha. Seated at the far left corner of the altar, Mao said he had a profound affiliation with Cyprian, the saint after whom the church is named because he too is called Cyprian. “I like the name Cyprian because I was also baptised and confirmed by Bishop Cyprian Kihangire and that is why I have come here to join you in prayers,” said Mao. Bishop Bainomugisha called on the confirmed children to desist from satanic temptations and hold onto the catholic faith and its norms. Mao told the congregation that he was the anointed one and he intended to bring about transformation. Uganda, he added needed a new breed of leaders, adding that. After the service, Mao, proceeded to Kijangi landing site on Lake Albert where he addressed his supporters but upon leaving, his car got stuck at the landing site thus cancelling the evening rally at Hoima bus park. But Sunday Bigogo, Hoima’s DP chairman said another rally would be organised.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao has unveiled a new campaign strategy for Buganda region, saying the party has to keep the region as its stronghold.Unlike in other regions where Mr Mao has campaigned with a handful of party officials, he said his campaigns in Buganda would be carried out jointly with other party flag-bearers for various posts. “When I start campaigns here (Buganda) I would wish to see all DP candidates at all levels. We shall move village to village together,” he said. “It is true we have garnered more support in other regions but since Buganda is our stronghold we have to consolidate our support here.”
Mr Mao made the remarks last Friday in Kampala while meeting party members from Buganda region. He is the first DP leader from a region outside Buganda. He said his campaign task force in Buganda was in the process of printing joint posters with his picture and those of other party flag-bearers at parliamentary and local council levels. “By doing this we hope to save more money on printing posters and use it for other party activities,” he said, adding “We also hope to launch an aggressive media campaign very soon.”
Mr Mao, however, said he party still needed more money from well-wishers to smoothly carry out campaigns. He said he spends at least Shs5million on the campaign trail daily and some Shs300 million will be required on the polling day alone.
Mr Mao , who is making his first shot at presidency, has so far canvassed votes in five sub regions of Busoga, Lango, Karamoja and Bunyoro. According to his campaign programme, Mr Mao is expected to start campaigns in Buganda on January 6 with his first rally in Lwengo District. He castigated some party members whom he said were disrespectful of his leadership and posing as if they own the party. “No one should pose as an historical in DP. We are all equal and we must follow the law,” he said.


PRESIDENT Norbert Mao has explained the reason why the Democratic Partybacks Socio Democratic boss Micheal Mabikke for the Kampala Mayoral race.
HE said Mabikke was not his first choice but the defiance of Erias Lukwagoand his failure to follow party rules forced the party to back Mabikke.“When a beautiful woman refuses to take your marriage proposals, you don’tgive up with marriage as a man. You look out for one who is medium becauseyou have to marry. Our party has full support for Michael Mabikke andeveryone should vote for him as mayor,” Mao said over the weekend.Mao said Lukwago was variously contacted to nominate as DP but he refusedand instead said if the party wanted, they take the party symbols to hishome.HE argued party, members to abide by their constitution to avoid rifts thatwill result in time wasting. “When you look at time wasted with Suubi, youcount a lot of waste. We wasted a lot of time in the useless court casesover our election because someone wants to antagonize the party. We need tofocus ourselves to winning the elections and fetching votes,” Mao said.Mao dismissed talks of intrigue in the party as Lukwago moves aroundblackmailing it.“If we were working on intrigue, then Betty Nambooze who has been at thehelm of criticizing our activities would not have been nominated on the DPticket,” Mao said.He was at Christ the King meeting Buganda leaders who he argued to researchissues relevant to their electorate.THE party chairman said they made several attempts and met with EriasLukwago over six months before the nominations to have him as their mayoralcandidate but he refused.“At one time, I met with Mufti Zubair Kayongo and requested him to talk toLukwago about the Mayorship but Lukwago declined. Earlier, myself, IssaKikungwe, Mao and Vice president JB Kawanga spoke to him in vain,” Kezaalasaid.
Tribal Ssuubi
He took a swipe at the Suubi 2011 pressure group for having a tribalisticagenda blaming its members for sidelining Mao because of his tribe.
The party treasurer Issa Kikungwe said the party requires a lot of money andeveryone needs to mobilize funds.HE said mobile phone users can raise 1,000/- for the party by sending an SMSto 7879. Just type the word DP and send to that code. Other networks willavail codes this week. For mobile money, the user numbers are 0776001211 or0776550077. They can also buy budges and T-shirts on which Mao’s portrait isinscribed.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, yesterday began campaigning in Bunyoro sub-region, dismissing fears that he had been injured in an accident on the Hoima-Masindi road. Mao, who was travelling in a convoy of four vehicles from Lira to Kibaale district, was involved in an accident when his driver lost control of the vehicle at Kakapeya trading centre, five kilometres from Hoima town. Witnesses said Mao’s vehicle crashed when the driver lost visibility on the dusty road after a commuter taxi heading to Masindi drove past his convoy at high speed. “We heard a loud bang and saw a lot of dust on the road, only to find that a vehicle had crashed,” Sam Irumba, a resident, said. After the accident, Mao was rushed to Kyakapeya health centre, where he was treated before he continued to Kibaale district to launch his campaigns. The DP spokesperson, Kenneth Kakande, said Mao was safe and was back on the campaign trail. Victoria Iguru, a nurse at Kyakapeya health centre, said Mao sustained minor injuries to his knees and fingers. The Hoima district Police commander, Augustine Kasangaki, said the accident happened at around 11:00am, adding that they were notified about the incident through a phone call from one of people who were travelling in the convoy. By midday, his vehicle, registration number UAN 560E, was still at the scene with traffic officers trying to establish the cause of the accident

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


DEMOCRATIC Party Presidential candidate Nobert Mao has been involved in an car accident. He was travelling to Kibaale district for his campaign this morning with his entourage, when the car he was travelling in overturned. Mao sustained minor injuries. The accident happened at Buhanika, in Butebere parish in Hoima district. According to DP spokesperson Kenneth Kakande, Mao was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment on the minor injuries he sustained He says Mao was not fatally injured, although his official campaign car has been severely damaged. Police have launched investigations into the cause of the accident.


Soldiers of the Special Forces Group (SFG), the unit responsible for the protection of the President, on Sunday reportedly delayed DP presidential candidate Norbert Mao at their road block for 30 minutes, a situation which may have contributed to his failure to conduct rallies in Otuke District.
Mr Mao, who was scheduled to address his first rally in Otuke at Okwang Trading Centre on Monday afternoon, arrived at the SFG check point near Baralegi Stage lodge and 4pm and was blocked.

Mao blocked
“As they approached the barracks, they saw a string across the road and his security details came out to find out what was happening. Some soldiers who were not armed started emerging from their concealment,” a source, who was travelling with Mr Mao told this paper.
The source said the soldiers asked Mr Mao who he is to argue with them when even President Museveni’s convoy does not pass through that point. The source said Mr Mao told the soldiers to go and build their own road if they want to set up a road block.
According to the source, Mr Mao’s security detail tried to explain their position but the army officer, in-charge said he was implementing orders from above. After about 30 minutes, two army officers came and instructed the soldiers to let Mr Mao’s contingent through the road block. Mr Mao arrived at Okwang Trading Centre and found his supporters had already left. He then proceeded to Otuke Town Council and arrived at 8pm to find no one waiting for him.
The Otuke District Police Commander, Mr Moses Kafero, said Mr Mao had reported the matter to them, adding that investigations are ongoing. Speaking on phone yesterday, Mr Kafero said it is normal procedure for people to be asked to identify themselves at the check point near Baralegi Stage lodge before they are allowed to proceed. “The problem with politicians is that they want to blow things out of proportion,” Mr Kafero said.
SFG spokesman Capt. Kwesiga said he could not comment on something he is not familiar with. “You ring me in 20 minutes as I try to find out what happened,” he said on phone yesterday afternoon. Capt. Kwesiga was not available for further comment by press time as his known phones were switched off.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said he will build houses for civil servants on loan basis from banks and the National Social Security Funds.
Addressing rallies on Thursday at Bata, Adwoki and Dokolo Township in Dokolo District, the DP President General said in just one year of his term in office as president, he will make sure that no pupil sits on the floor.
“It’s sad to see our children sitting on the floor after 25 years (of Museveni’s rule). When I am elected, no child will sit on the floor in class in just one year,” Mao said, adding that each class will have a maximum of 50 pupils.
Mr Mao said there are about 500,000 civil servants in the country and he will ensure all of them get good houses of their own. “I will ensure all civil servants get good houses through mortgages,” he said.
Health Sector
On health, the DP leader said all health centre IVs will become district hospitals with an ambulance as well as doctors, male, female and children’s wards.
He said he will make sure all health centre IIIs have theatres while all health centre IIs have emergency theatres. He said he will also make sure all regions in the country have a factory for making drugs.Mr Mao said government has injected a lot of money in Quality Chemicals, a factory making locally produced anti-retroviral HIV drugs, yet the problem of inadequate drugs still persist.
“The government is helping to make drugs but one wonders where these drugs are going,” he said. Mao reiterated said many district leaders implicated in corruption have gone to hide in NRM party. He cited Lira District chairman Franco Ojur, who he said is now hiding in NRM after the NUSAF scandal.
Asked by his supporter why he is talking about only Mr Museveni when there are six other presidential candidates in the race, Mr Mao said all others are also running after Mr Museveni who has the ball. “I can not attack whoever has no ball,” he said.
Remain united
Mr Mao urged people to be united during this election. He counselled them to avoid getting involved in tribal land conflicts. Mr Mao also said said he has programmes for building churches and mosques. “I will appoint a minister for religious affairs in the Office of the President,” he said.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


A mother of six donated sh2,000 to Democratic Party presidential flag-bearer Norbert Mao to help him buy mineral water during his campaign. The woman, identified as Hellen Odongo, said she would have given Mao more money if she was rich. “Little as it may be, get it to help you just buy a bottle of mineral water,” she said. This was after Mao gave out his phone contact, saying his supporters could call him whenever in trouble, or to support his campaign. “You can send me money using mobile money and SMS using 0772885688. President Yoweri Museveni cannot give you his phone number because he is only interested in your votes,” he said. Mao was addressing his supporters at Anekapiri market in Kole district on Monday. He attacked President Yoweri Museveni over delaying to end the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) war and failing to support families that lost relatives during the conflict. Mao said Museveni was only interested in votes, but not addressing the concerns of the people that suffered harm during the two-decade conflict in the north. He noted that Museveni left the people of Teso, Lango, Acholi and West Nile to suffer at the hands of the LRA, forgetting that it was the responsibility of the Government to protect civilians. Mao added that Museveni had failed to unite Ugandans because of his bad governance. “When our people were being killed here in the north, Museveni was busy deploying our sons and daughters to fight in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia,” he said. Some supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement surrendered their party cards and T-shirts to Mao.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao yesterday said the two-decade war in northern Uganda was possibly part of a deliberate plan of President Museveni.
Speaking to a crowd which welcomed him into what analysts suggest could be favourable territory for himself and UPC leader Olara Otunnu, Mr Mao an Acholi from neighbouring Gulu, made the observation at Anekapiri Market in Alito Sub-county, Kole District yesterday.

He (Museveni) knew there are many veterans in West Nile, Acholi, and Lango so he brought us an overdose of war,” Mr Mao said, stoking the flames of a long-running war of words between the President and opposition politicians from the north about who was responsible for the conflict.
Poverty accusationHe also said when President Museveni came to power, his plan was to make people poor because he believes ruling a poor person is easy.Mr Mao who spoke in Luo may have been responding to Mr Museveni’s attack last week against the DP leader over what he claimed was cordiality with the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army which waged war in northern Uganda.

Confirming suspicions that the atrocious war in the north which at one time left two million displaced, thousands kidnapped and conscripted into the fighting forces and an untold numbers murdered and maimed, will be an emotive campaign issue here, Mr Mao told his listeners that President Museveni had no plan to protect them from the rebels. “Museveni had no plans to protect us, if he had, he would have sent more soldiers here,’ he said. Alito, which is not very far from Acholi border, is one place where many people were killed or abducted.
And this could possibly explain why he compared it to the southwestern districts where Allied Democratic Front rebels momentarily made life miserable for the people, resulting in President Museveni at one time personally leading the effort to defeat them. But in places like Alito, he said, the people were forced into camps and depended on handouts. “He (Museveni) is saying that no one was forced into the camps, but we remember thatannouncements were made that we should leave our homes and go to the camps. Even bombs were dropped on the villages to force us out of our homes,’ Mr Mao said.
Turning to the other emotive issue of the Luweero Triangle killings during the bush war which brought Mr Museveni to power, Mr Mao said the President is among those who have tarnished the name of the people of northern Uganda. “They say we killed people in Luweero but I have no blood on my hands. If you ask Museveni if he has ever killed anyone what answer do you expect him to give,” he said.
He said mistakes made by individuals should not be blamed on a particular community. “What Idi Amin did should not be blamed on all Kakwa,” he said, adding that he does not refuse that some Acholi or Langi made mistakes.
Mr Mao told the rally that the NRM leader used to say that if the opposition is voted into power, they will bring former leader Apollo Milton Obote back but now that Obote is no more what will they use as a bogey. He said because of these sort of sentiments, it is difficult for a person whose name starts with letter ‘O’ to get a job in Uganda.
Mr Mao urged people to reject Mr Museveni, because of his “bad ways and failure to protect the people by leaving LRA leader Joseph Kony to roam about kidnapping children.” He said if elected, he will fight corruption because he has never been named in any corruption scandal. He added that he will also promote agriculture, give teachers a living wage and improve quality of education.
After the rally, Mr Mao visited St Mary’s College Aboke where he met the headmistress, Sister Anna Maria Spiga. This is school where LRA abducted 139 girls in 1996.

Monday, November 29, 2010


December 11, 1990, was not the best of times for Makerere University. A students’ riot had ended in cracks of gunfire. Two students, Tom Okema and Tom Onyango, were shot dead on that day, which came to be known as “Black December”.
As is wont to happen in such riots, the Guild President has to respond. A certain Norbert Mao, who had defeated soldier man Noble Mayombo (RIP) in a hotly contested guild race three months earlier, was that guild boss.President Museveni summoned him to State House in the aftermath of the deadly riot. Mr Mao, who had been ridiculed for his small stature when he contested for head boy at Namilyango College, fixed his gaze on the trappings of power and vowed to occupy the seat someday.
Twenty years later, Mr Mao’s political dream has nurtured some plumes with his nomination as the Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate on October 25, 2010. Whether these plumes can grow into feathers that can help him soar, is something only the next two months can prove.
Mr Mao, a rather squat politician, compensates for his lack of height by sheer gift of the garb, toned down with a sly delivery of deadpan. Dismas Nkunda, Mr Mao’s peer at Namilyango and Makerere, likens Mr Mao to Squealer, the sweet-tongued propagandist in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.The DP firebrand says he has already crushed Museveni’s political proxies, beginning with the blue-eyed boy, the late Brig. Noble Mayombo in the 1990 MUK guild race. When he sought to step into the House six years later, Mr Mao blew out the candles of Museveni’s former northern Uganda pacification minister, Betty Bigombe, in a fierce battle for Gulu Municipality MP seat. Not done, Mr Mao again humiliated another Musevenist, Lt. Col. Walter Ochora in the Gulu LC5 seat in 2006.
Now he wants to slay Goliath. But what are Mr Mao’s odds against the NRM juggernaut?Mao is the youngest of eight presidential candidates. His byword for the election campaign is, “now is the time.” He draws a battle line between the old and new generation. But while he rides on the euphoria of the youthful bubble, Mao is not without headaches. The “Young Turk” has to contend with a splinter DP faction.
Mr Mao’s troubles stem from the disputed DP Delegates Conference in Mbale that elected him President General in February. Top DP leadership had remained the preserve of Catholic Ganda since its founding in 1954. But Mr Mao, 43, turned the tables on this, succeeding John Ssebaana Kizito, 77, as DP president. In the event, a section of the party hierarchy accused him of convening an illegal conference that allowed him to run away with the DP crown. A Roman Catholic adherent, Mr Mao became the first to break the Ganda dominance of DP, debunking the popular myth that the party had become bika by’Abaganda (party of Buganda clans).
But he still has to contend with fiery rebel DP Ganda MPs. His forecast is fluid: “I predict north will identify with me. I believe I’ll get a huge vote in Buganda; DP has the deepest roots in Buganda. East is a toss-up. West; Museveni has a strong say. But I have a connection with the west and I am the best guarantee that there will be no retribution by virtue of Museveni’s origin.”
But Buganda remains a toss-up between Museveni, Besigye, and Mao, although Mao still has eight of 10 DP MPs in his political stable. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him are two former DP presidents, Mr Ssebaana Kizito and Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere.
Yet that notwithstanding, Mr Mao is nursing political headaches in the mould of Suubi 2011 in the heartland of Buganda, a traditional DP stronghold. Suubi, a loose Ganda-DP pressure group, has thrown its lot with the Inter-Party Cooperation’s candidate Dr Kizza Besigye.
Mr Mao, who says he has been received well, feels the sharp stab of treachery as he quips: “They’re paying us by kicking us in the teeth. We exhibited our genuine side and campaigned for MPs Dr Bayiga and Nambooze,” in apparent reference to hotly contested by-elections against NRM-sponsored candidates that the DP duo won.
Mao points the finger at Dr Besigye over woes plaguing DP. “FDC rejected our proposal to cooperate at MP and grassroots levels. We could not be party to an arranged marriage. IPC is FDC by another name. Joining was like stepping down and becoming a cheerleader for Besigye and FDC.”
Ms Nambooze and Mr Lukwago have publicly courted Dr Besigye, chipping away a critical piece of their party. While DP-leaning former Buganda kingdom premier Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere and Mr Mathias Mpuuga have decamped to Dr Besigye. But Dr Bayiga and former Buganda deputy information minister Seggona Lubega, also Busiro East parliamentary candidate, have since retreated into Mr Mao’s fold, so did Ms Nambooze on her nomination.
Mr Mao portrays Suubi as victims of manipulation, riding on popular sentiments of a narrow agenda for Buganda. He says Suubi shows FDC’s sly side. He sees Suubi as a reactionary movement on a balloon journey, awaiting a crack.
“Suubi is the biggest liability that Buganda has. It shows their inward-looking side. Their agenda is opportunistic.” He draws parallels with Kabaka Yekka that rallied around the flag of the Kabaka in the1960’s but became the first to betray the Kabaka. Already, the cracks in the IPC have put the allies at loggerheads and their desired option of cooperation has lapsed into frequent deadly skirmishes between FDC, Suubi, SDP and DP.
Even then, Mao is not about to stop digging his knees into Dr Besigye’s sides. He, as much as UPC’s Olara Otunnu and Dr Besigye, know they must cooperate or cannibalise one another in order to ring-fence the turf in northern Uganda. The region has twice delivered Dr Besigye the block vote in 2001, and 2006. But Mao and Otunnu see that support as rented. They see DP and UPC as the due vote holders.
However, DP has no single incumbent MP in its presumed backyard. His coup as Gulu district boss in 2006 was boosted by goodwill votes from FDC and UPC. Mr Mao, a centrist who focuses on peace-building and moderate politics as the centrepiece of his campaign, casts himself as a bridge between the north and south. He says he is best poised to bring national healing.
A gifted multi-lingual, Mao speaks Luo, Runyankole, Luganda, English, and Kiswahili. His blessed double heritage of an Acholi dad and a Munyankole mum also straddles him across the divide that has defined the ethnic north-west mantra since 1986.
For some inexplicable reason, Mr Mao is often accused of links with Museveni. Snide remarks have been leveled at him for allowing wife Naomi work with State House. Dr Besigye exclaimed thus after his nomination: “I respect Mao. I would have loved to work with him but he has a choice of whom he wants to associate with.”
But Mr Mao dismisses this as a smear campaign deflecting the innuendos as “indicators of fear of the threat he poses to claims of providing a legitimate alternative to Museveni.”
He adds: “Besigye has sacrificed a lot but being a victim doesn’t make him the most legitimate alternative to the regime. DP suffered the same ills; our accusers have breastfed and groomed the NRM! FDC is a faction of NRM. It was our voices of dissent that forced Besigye to stop the NRM dance of no change.”
Mr Mao has been accused of conciliatory overtures towards Museveni, especially for keeping silent on the much-maligned Kiggundu-led Electoral Commission. He is also accused of lack of vim over grave issues, including alleged army and police brutality during elections. In his defense, Mao goes theatrical: “If Kiggundu attempts to manipulate these elections, I will call you to the streets and we will count the voters, not the ballots. If that fails, then Museveni will remain the president of the ballots and I will be that of the people,” Mao told fans in Mbale and Tororo.
Belt notches
An enrolled advocate, two-term MP and one-term Gulu District Council chairman, Mao has not escaped the tag of political flip-flop. He has hobnobbed with Chapaa Karuhanga of the National Democrats Forum before teaming up with Mr Aggrey Awori to plot the latter’s bid for the presidency in 2001.
But few would outmatch First Couple Mao and Naomi. And if ladies were vote winners, Naomi, likened to first ladies Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama, would win over to Mao lovers of nouvelle society. With youthful touches to their lives, Mao, 43, and Naomi, 36, represent a breath of fresh air. The couple symbolises class to generation X, a new generation born after Uganda’s independence.
Mao and Naomi touch up their lives with being IT-savvy. Mao remains an active Facebook and Twitter candidate with over 10,000 fans backing his run for the presidency. He frequently posts his political trailers online. If online political activism could translate into offline votes, Mao and Naomi would be 11,000 votes the richer!
But will Mr Mao, who has notched up several victories in his short political career, steer DP to the end of the campaigns chanting the party slogan? The verdict is out on February 18, 2011

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The Democratic Party presidential candidate has said he is only opposed to President Museveni because of presiding over poor governance.Mr Nobert Mao said he has no personal grudge against Mr Museveni whom he has, however, been opposed to since his time as Makerere University Guild President in early 1990s.
Best candidate“I am not opposed to (President) Museveni as a person but because he has not been able to put many things right for the time he has been in power,” Mr Mao told residents of Obalanga Sub-county in Amuria District on Wednesday.“I am now the right choice to take over from him because of my consistent record in opposing his failed governance.”
He urged the people of Teso to shun the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential aspirants saying they are merely involved in attacking each other
“I offer myself as the best choice and will provide the bridge for the people of Uganda to reconcile with each other. Ignore Museveni and Besigye’s tag of war,” Mr Mao said adding that the country had been in turmoil for long and needed a leader who would focus on reconciliation of the citizens.A cross section of crowds at the rallies he addressed apparently elated by his eloquence and vibrancy regretted though that Mr Mao was little known at the grassroots in Teso despite his bright ideas.
“Mr Mao your ideas are good but you need to get further to the grassroots in Teso for more support,” a supporter only identified as Akurut said.Another of his admirers, Mr Moses Onen, said “Chairman Mao, while in Teso please remind our people that there is lasting peace in truth telling and reconciliation.”

Thursday, November 25, 2010


DP presidential flag bearer Norbert Mao has appealed to cultural leaders to educate their subjects on the need for a federal system of governance.“The system enhances unity in diversity by preserving the traditions and cultures of each area,” Mr Mao said.
He said Ugandans should embrace federalism before it can be adopted through a referendum.
Healthy debate
“The debate about federalism is a healthy one. We cannot pretend not to be an aggregate state with all the many ethnic groups we have in the country,” Mr Mao told a rally in Katakwi on Tuesday.
He said the regional tier system based on smaller political units and overseen by the centre that the NRM government has been fronting, cannot be the best system for Ugandans.
“A federal system guarantees equal say and power sharing and will ensure fair distribution of the national cake. Federalism is enshrined in the Constitution unlike the regional tier arrangement, which is a creation of a few,” Mr Mao said.
Proponents of federal arrangement of governance also argue that the arrangement is ideal for the multi-ethnic Uganda.But some people of Teso argue that a federal system of governance would only work to the advantage of the Baganda.
“Why is Mao talking about federalism and not what he is prepared to offer for other Ugandans? Federalism is about the Kabaka,” one of the people who turned up at the rally and only identified himself as Okello, said.


By Simon Naulele
TESO is living in abject poverty because of electing NRM leaders, Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said. He said NRM leaders in Teso simply praise President Yoweri Museveni without talking about the problems of their people. Mao also castigated disaster preparedness state minister Musa Ecweru, who is also Amuria MP. “I’m told Yoweri Museveni has deployed Ecweru to play sectarian politics in Teso, saying don’t vote for Mao because Mao is the same as Kony,” he said. “When you go to the hospital, do you ask for the doctor’s tribe, or when you are entering a bus, do you ask for the driver’s tribe? We must fight sectarian politics of Museveni and Ecweru,” Mao said. He was addressing a rally at Gweri trading centre in Gweri sub-county in Soroti district on Monday. “If anything, it is Ecweru who was a rebel. I have never been a rebel. I don’t have blood on my hands. In fact Ecweru has a murder case in Teso,” Mao said. He said NRM is a ‘private club’ for only those who are close to Museveni. “That is why they rejected Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Kahinda Otafire from becoming secretary general. And if Otafire, who has been with Museveni in the bush is treated like that, who is Ecweru?” Mao asked. Mao also addressed rallies in Katine and Kamuda. “This place was not as poor as it is today. The cooperatives that used to link the farmers have been killed,” Mao said. According to Mao, the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) will never solve farmers’ problems, saying it only targets rich people. “Under NAADS those who have pick-up trucks are given a lorry,” he said. Mao said the money which State House spends is more than the one injected into agriculture. “They are saying NAADS has failed due to corruption, but President Yoweri Museveni uses sh300m on his convoy to go and arrest the one who has stolen sh10m,” Mao said. He lashed out at parties which use the ‘pakalast’ slogan. “On polling day, ‘pakalast’ will become ‘pakalost’,” Mao said. He appealed to the people to vote for him. “We want you to be able to afford the basic necessities in life and have more graduates,” he said. Mao said NRM policies had impoverished Uganda. “When NRM came, they first brought currency reforms where 30% was ‘stolen” from whatever one takes. When you take sh1m, you are given sh700,000. Why are Ugandans not asking where their 30% went?” Mao asked. He said the factories that used to provide employment in Jinja and Kampala were sold. “Now our young people don’t have jobs,” he said. “NRM is a government of problems, but DP will be a government of solutions,” Mao added. He said the top leadership and those in the Government were from one region. “The minister for Karamoja is his wife. The commander of the reserve forces is his brother. The foreign minister his in-law and commander of the special forces, his son,” Mao said. According to Mao, Museveni will not win this election, unless “you people continue to be afraid of him”. Mao said the yellow colour is a sign of falling leaves, but green symbolises the future.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Nobert Mao has criticised the NRM government for poor management of educational policies in Teso saying the prevailing conditions have only favoured the affluent. He said the free education scheme for secondary and primary schools in the country, initially intended to benefit the poor, has not achieved its goal in the region due to corruption.
Speaking to residents of Kamuda Sub-county in Soroti district on Monday, Mr Mao said there is need for a deliberate policy by the government for motivation of teachers working in areas recovering from effects of past conflicts to be able to score the free education goals.
Teachers’ plight
“The programme (for free education) is good but has been mismanaged in most parts of the country by corrupt government officials. It has not benefited the poor, especially those in disturbed areas like Teso. The teachers are compelled to work under difficult conditions with low pay,” Mr. Mao said. He said once voted into power, his government would ensure that funds for the education sectors are increased to enable communities recovering from war effects access quality education.
“University education should be made affordable for the poor. Each region needs a public institution of higher learning for all citizens to move at the same level,” Mr Mao, currently canvassing for votes in Teso said.
While in Katakwi, Mr Mao sneered at the ruling party for failing to resettle an estimated 20,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) still trapped in the camps due to poverty. The IDP camps in Katakwi have been home to thousands of households forced into the encampment by marauding Karimojong cattle rustlers.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Uganda has discovered oil, but the country still does not have a clear and concise strategy on how it will harvest the resource without conflicts as has been envisaged and occurred in other countries.
Indeed, there is already a squabble with the government not disclosing the truth about the concessions, and the companies hitherto given clearance to drill refusing to pay tax, and even leaving the country without fulfilling their tax obligations. To-date, a civil society-initiated public interest lawsuit to get to know exactly how much the government is being paid and how many explorers are being given the license has hit a wall.
Oil reserves in western Uganda of at least 800 million barrels have been confirmed, with potential reserves of up to 2 billion barrels. Although price volatility makes it difficult to predict the revenue stream, public revenues are projected to double in about 6-10 years time. Peak production is projected to be 150,000 barrels per day, a rate that could be sustained for 10-20 years.
Based on the current fiscal system and an oil price of $75 per barrel, government revenue at peak production is estimated at over $2 billion per year. Large investments will be needed to produce, transport, export and refine the oil so there remains uncertainty regarding the time to reach peak oil production and income.
Oil, however, may be a blessing as shown above or a curse with deepening of a range of political, economic and social challenges including a higher likelihood of civil war and social instability. This prospect raises the possibility of development opportunities together with significant challenges in a number of other areas.

Uganda has had enough of internal conflict. How this resource and the hope for Uganda to transition to an industrialised country are handled is therefore very crucial. Under the Democratic Party regime, adequate preparations will be made to accommodate and manage the expected revenues from this natural resource.
DP Pledges to implement an oil policy which will benefit everyone. DP will: Invest in building a refinery and oil pipelines for effective harnessing and management of the newly discovered oil; Promote a stability and savings fund for the oil revenues to be integrated within the State’s overall fiscal management with only the normal rate of return injected into the annual national budget; Establish in Parliament a ‘Cross Party Working Group’ with support from civil society, international development partners, the National Resource Committee (NRC) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members to oversee the development of the oil and gas sector; Promote the adoption of conflict sensitive approaches by politicians and traditional institutions so as to avoid exploiting the citizens for personal gain.
DP recognises that whereas natural resources like oil are a national wealth, they are a God given opportunity/asset for the people where the resource is located. DP will, therefore, work out a percentage of the oil as royalties to develop the areas where the oil is located. The royalties will also be used to mitigate the negative environmental impact in those areas where extraction will occur.
This is an extract from the policy manifesto of Democratic Party president general, Norbert Mao, on the management of Uganda’s oil.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


By Moses Mulondo
I was born in 1934 at Mpande village in Luwero District. I went to Ndejje Junior School and King’s College Budo where I completed my Cambridge School Certificate in 1955. In 1956 I went to Makerere University for a bachelor of economics degree. While at Makerere, I was elected the secretary of the Uganda Makerere University Students Association. While serving in that capacity, we spearheaded a meeting that brought together various political parties in the country because there were very many parties and yet they were all fighting for the same cause — independence. This move resulted in the 1959 amalgamation of Uganda National Congress, Uganda People’s Union and Action Party into one party known as the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC). While at Makerere University I was also the president of the Makerere branch of the Progressive Party. In 1960 I flew to the US for a master’s in Business Administration at the University of Oregon. I came back to Uganda in 1963. By the time I came back in 1963 the Progressive Party had ceased to exist after joining Kabaka Yekka (KY) and I refused to be part of that because I was a firm believer in a united Uganda and I did not want to embrace anything that looked as if Buganda wanted to go it alone. It is that argument that compelled me to join the Democratic Party (DP) in 1963. In 1967, I was appointed by the parliament of the day to be a member of the East African Legislative Assembly. I was in that position for 10 years until the East African Community collapsed in 1977. In the 1979 during the run-up to the 1980 general elections, I resigned my post to run for Member of Parliament for Makindye which was then called Kampala South. I beat three other comfortably to win the seat. DP clearly won the 1980 election but Paul Muwanga just overturned the results and gave victory to UPC’s Milton Obote, compelling Museveni and others to go to the bush, claiming to fight the injustice of rigging which is also now common under his leadership. After our victory had been stolen in 1980, we decided to join Parliament and be on the opposition side because as DP we don’t believe in acquiring power through bloodshed. While in the UPC-led Parliament, tensions were always high and they always suspected us to be linked to Museveni’s guerilla war in Luwero and because of that many of our colleagues were murdered. During the time, the commercialisation of politics also set in as Obote bought off seven DP MPs from Busoga and they crossed to UPC. I was a Member of Parliament from 1980 until 1995 when I decided not to run again. Amidst dissatisfaction from many DP quarters, I handed over the leadership of DP to Norbert Mao in February this year and retired from politics. Unfortunately many senior DP leaders boycotted the Mbale delegates’ conference and some even petitioned court to nullify the results but the court has five times ruled against them. I had actually wanted to retire from politics soon after the 2006 elections but some of the members of my executive objected to it, saying it was premature for me to hand the leadership of the party to another person. The majority of our political leaders, including Museveni are not nationalistic. Our politicians are so self-centered. That is why Museveni has killed all the institutions. I don’t know whether he enjoys the presidency because he has created a system of leadership that rotates around himself. The three organs of the state, especially the Judiciary and Parliament should act independently of the Executive for the good of Uganda. There is a need for building autonomous institutions where the occupants are respected. I think the President’s job is very tedious and because the President wields a lot of power, a person can easily be tempted to misuse it and that is why for the good of the nation it is better that the two-term presidential term limits are re-instated.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Two renegade members of the Democratic Party, Dr Lulume Bayiga, the Buikwe South MP and Medard Lubega, the Busiro East parliamentary seat hopeful, have returned to the mainstream party fold headed by Norbert Mao.
The members who have been hobnobbing the opposition Interparty Cooperation accepted to pay allegiance to Mr Mao, the DP presidential candidate and campaign for him for the good of the party.
DP secretary general Mathias Nsubuga confirmed the development on Thursday, saying it was a big boost to the party as it positions itself to capture power in next year’s elections.
Good leadership
“Yes, we have resolved the differences amicably and the two have received the party blessing to stand on the DP ticket in their constituencies,” he said by telephone after a closed meeting with the duo on Wednesday.“We love to see all our members back so that we enter State House next year when we are one family.”
Mr Nsubuga said the return of the duo was also a manifestation that the current leadership can reconcile the warring factions within the party.
Dr Bayiga, a former deputy party secretary general, together with other party members had refused to recognise the leadership of Mr Mao as party president claiming that he was “beneficiary of fraud” after sailing through as party president during the Mbale delegates conference.

Dr Bayiga’s group said then that the conference was unconstitutionally convened. This faction has fielded a candidate, Mr Sammuel Lubega, to run as an independent presidential candidate.
Dr Bayiga’s known mobile telephone was off while Mr Lubega failed to pick up repeated calls from this paper yesterday. Recently, the former president of the party, Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, offered unconditional support to Mr Mao and pledged to join his campaign. Mr Ssemogerere had earlier refused to recognise Mao’s administration .
Meanwhile, members of the party in Mukono District have asked the party’s National Executive Council, to reverse its decision of fielding another candidate other than Betty Nambooze for the Mukono Municipality parliamentary seat.
The resolution was made at a meeting chaired by the district party vice chairperson Musisi Kirega, held in Mukono on Thursday. The members, numbering about 500, said it was not right for the party to back Godfrey Matovu without consulting them, considering that they know each candidate’s potential.
“At one point I thought that someone is bewitching my party, because there is no way NEC could come up with such a resolution without our input as people on the ground,” a party member, James Sekamate said.
DP announced Mr Matovu as its flag bearer for the seat, saying that Ms Nambooze, the Mukono North legislator, has never written to them expressing her willingness to run for the same office.
But Ms Namboze insisted that she wrote a letter and handed it to Mr Kirega.


The Democratic Party has finally endorsed Mr Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi as Gulu Municipality MP flag bearer in next year’s general elections. The announcement comes barely a week to the nomination of Members of Parliament. The poll results indicate that out of the 99 delegates who voted, Mwaka scored 61 against his competitor Komakech Lyandro who got 38 votes. “Mwaka is the DP flag bearer in the next general elections.We now call upon other members to support his bid to compete for the municipality seat,” the party’s electoral commission vice chairman, Mr Paul Mukiibi, told the gathering shortly after declaring the results on Wednesday.Mr Mukiibi also urged DP members to canvas votes for the party’s presidential candidate Norbert Mao


DP Presidential candidate Norbert Mao called upon the people of Moroto to elect leaders who speak for them. Mao said the problems facing Karamoja are not insurmountable. He blamed the persistence of the problems on an uncaring government, indifferent leaders and unbridled corruption among those in charge of service delivery. Mao pledged transparency in dealings regarding the mineral wealth of Karamoja. "Karamoja has vast mineral resources but the income per capita of the Karimojong is about 34,000 per annum!", Mao said. He observed that those exploiting the marble stones from Karamoja pay the poor residents a paltry 70,000 for each lorry load. "It is a shame that the government is just looking on as the people are being exploited. The NRM government is like a greedy man who is paid to hold down his own mother to be raped.", Mao lamented. Mao promised that he would listed to voices from Karamoja in order to develop and implement the correct long term policies. "Today I give you a new battle cry. If anybody comes to Karamoja to help, tell them the following five words - 'nothing about us without us'", Mao said. Mao called upon the people to fight the politics of fear and replace it with the politics of hope. "Can you imagine what we would be able to do if we sid not have fear?", Mao said. "We need leaders who we vote because we love them, not because we fear them", he added. Mao has been in the Karamoja region for the last five days. He has focused his campaign on security, food security, restocking, dealing with drought and a fair policy on natural resources. Find more at

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Police constables attached to Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao yesterday disarmed and arrested three armed individuals who attempted to attack his convoy as it made its way into Moroto District.
Eye witnesses said the trio attacked Mao’s team at around 8pm when he arrived in Moroto, where he was expected to address a series of campaign rallies the next day. One of the soldiers was dressed in army uniform while two wore T-shirts bearing the face of President Museveni.
According to Okamya Kasozi, who leads Mao’s campaign team in Karamoja, the gunmen attacked them as they pasted Mao’s posters around Moroto Municipality. “They wanted to stop us from putting Mao posters in any place in the Municipality but we also defied their order and one who was putting on Museveni T-shirts ordered the one who was carrying a gun to shoot at us. But they were rounded up by Mao’s security team who arrested them and disarmed them before calling the police,” Mr Okamya said.
Moroto District Police Commander, Richard Anyama and the UPDF 3rd Division Spokesman, Capt. Deo Akiiki, confirmed the incident to Daily Monitor in separate interviews. Capt. Akiiki however said only one of the three, who he identified as Pte. Emmanuel Opio, is a soldier. According to Capt. Akiiki, Pte Opio is an escort of the Regional Internal Security Officer, Emmy Twagira.
Capt. Akiiki said Twagira should explain how his escort ended up in an altercation with Mao’s security and campaign team. He added that the army is carrying out its own independent investigation. The law bars soldiers and other security officers from engaging in partisan politics.


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has promised to tap water from Lake Kyoga, which is mainly fed by the River Nile, to supply the entire Karamoja region in an ambitious large scale irrigation project.
The water, he said, would be used for irrigation to enhance agriculture in the semi-arid region. Mr Mao made the remarks yesterday while addressing several rallies in Moroto District.
“I want to assure you that if you vote me into power, water scarcity will be history and you will be in position to irrigate your land. I will have no excuses in creating the channel because the money will be safe from today’s corrupt government officials,” Mr Mao said.
According to him, the diversion will not affect Egypt. Nine Nile Basin countries are pitted against each other over the sharing of water from R.Nile with Egypt and Sudan on one hand and Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, the DR Congo, Kenya, and Ethiopia on the other
He said he would compensate those that have lost their cattle and families of civilians killed by the UPDF soldiers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Reconciliation is the best way in dispensing justice to the victims of the Ugandan Northern war conflict. “What I prefer is a truth and reconciliation commission, like that of South Africa, to allow us to decide who did what during the conflict by telling the truth,” says Democratic Party president Norbert Mao. “The truth and reconciliation commission approach to address the abuse of human rights during the Northern war conflict will allow Ugandans to tell the truth and be addressed accordingly.”
By Leiuh Asuman Wakida with our Top Partner The Uganda Eye
In January 2004, the Government of Uganda reported the top five Lord’s Resistance Army commanders to the International Criminal Court that has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands over the human rights abuses committed by the rebels during the 20year Northern conflict, that has left millions homeless and thousands killed.
Asked why he prefers reconciliation to criminal proceedings in the court, Mao gave three reasons to support his opinion. “We don’t support the idea of ICC because I believe we as Ugandans can address Northern human rights abuses committed during the conflict and that is the best way to go,” said Mao.He also pointed out that the ICC is very expensive for many victims of the Northern conflict who make up the majority. “I support the reconciliation process because ICC is very expensive for the ordinary people who make up the majority of the victims,” revealed Mao.
Thirdly, Mao also thinks that most Ugandans don’t understand the way the ICC speaks justice: “The ICC is alien and many people don’t understand its process; that is why I prefer reconciliation, to reconcile our country.”
Joseph Kony
The government targeted very few suspects of human rights abuses of the Northern war conflicts and these are the top five LRA rebel commanders who include Joseph Kony, the top commander; the late Vincent Otti who was the second in command, Raska Lukwiya, Oket Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen.His reasoning corroborates with Sultan Kasimu Opio who lost his aunt Akullo Akile and his sister Friday Angomu who was abducted by the LRA during an attack on Omoro village in Lira.
The LRA rebels are famously known for the aggravated human rights abuses against humanity and war crimes during the Northern bloody conflict.
“My sister Friday Angomu was abducted by the LRA rebels from Aboke Girls’ secondary school and she appeared after several years of captivity with one boy and also pregnant,” said a tearful Opio.Opio said his uncle, John, was abducted by the same rebels and produced him in pieces after one month of captivity and rebels warned them of more punishments if any family member tried to revenge. Opio, married to one wife and with five children, fled the area and found himself in his present-day residence at Kireka and now lives a pauper’s life.
“We were dispersed into disarray and most of my relatives never made it to their safety destination as they were either killed by the rebels or angry residents who mistook them for rebels,” said Opio. He claims he never attended their burials and this has left a grey area in his life which he says will be very difficult to forget the rest of his life.
Both parties forgive each other and swear publicly never to go at war again with each other and this completes the reconciliation process. “What we need today is reconciliation between us and the perpetuators and not the criminal proceedings against them,” said Opio.
The government of Uganda reported the top LRA commanders to the ICC in The Hague who were indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes. LRA boss Joseph Kony was charged with 12 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, inducing rape, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population and forced enlisting of children.
Uganda’s parliament ratified the ICC treaty in June 2002 and she is a dully signed-up member of the International Criminal Court. There is relative peace now in the North and many people are now back to their homes, but the victims still demand justice to be done.
However, Opio, like many other victims of the northern conflict, prefers reconciliation to criminal proceedings preferred by the government.
Mato Oput
Most victims prefer the traditional justice system popularly known as ‘Mato oput’ which involves both parties reconciling with each other. “Both parties present a sheep and the blood from these animals is mixed with the top most ‘oput’ tree leaves and brewed. Both parties take the brew symbolizing the bitterness in their hearts,” explained Opio.


Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said President Museveni is “milking” the people of Karamoja without developing the region endowed with minerals.
Addressing separate rallies in Kaabong and Kotido districts, Mr Mao said Karamoja will never develop for as long as President Museveni is still in power.
Mr Mao proposed that if the Karimojong helped vote him into power, he would set industries in the area which would provide jobs and other benefits to the people here. “President Museveni is milking Karamoja region without “grazing it”. You have been overwhelmingly voting for President Museveni but there is no development. How can you milk a cow without grazing it?” he asked.
“Developing Karamoja is easy because the region has vast minerals which Museveni is failing to tap. All he does is promise and it is high time you knew that you will never develop under President Museveni’s regime,” he told the rallies.
Mr Mao promised that once he is voted into power, he will consider developing the region as a first priority.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao has urged Ugandans not to join the National Resistance Movement because it makes whoever joins it “stupid”.
Addressing a rally in Tororo town at the weekend, Mr Mao said the reason for President Museveni believing that he is the only one with a vision is that all those who are in the NRM are foolish.
“Something is wrong. Whoever joins NRM whether he or she is intelligent becomes stupid. Even those in Parliament, when they enter Parliament, they behave like they have left their brains at the parking yard,” Mr Mao said.
Repeat stunt
Mr Mao told the rally that if the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Badru Kiggundu, rigs the elections in favour of President Museveni, he would do what he did in Gulu in 1996 in the parliamentary race against the then Minister for Northen Uganda Pacification, Ms Betty Bigombe.
“If Kiggundu rigs the elections, I will call Ugandans to come with their voters cards and ask him to count them one by one. If he refuses, then Mr Museveni will remain a President of mere ballot papers and I will be President of the people,” he said. “I am a specialist in defeating top NRM cadres. Mr Museveni is now meeting the most dangerous substitute ever,” said Mr Mao
No support
Mr Mao said President Museveni now has no support in most parts of the country and that this has made him promise anybody anything, and would appoint a CAO and an RDC so as to get votes. “In the north, he has his permanent 11 per cent. In the east, he has no votes because he has destroyed all the industries. In Buganda, you know the problem and in Busoga, the problem of jiggers.”
On corruption, Mr Mao said creating more institutions in Uganda today in the name of fighting corruption is instead making it grow. While campaigning in Butaleja, Dokho and Busolwe, the DP leader promised interest-free loans to farmers to help them fight poverty in their households. Mr Mao revealed that once he takes power he would start a Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund targeting all the rural poor to fight poverty and help reduce the widening income inequality gap.


THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Nobert Mao, has said President Yoweri Museveni came up with a song – “you want another rap” – because he fears the influence he (Mao) has over the youth. Mao noted that when Museveni realised that he was serious about contending for the presidency, he composed a song that would lure the youth into thinking that he too was still youthful and cared about their plight. “Museveni fears me. But whatever number of raps he may release, Museveni will never become a youth again. I am the only candidate in the race who bonds with the youth. I know what challenges they are undergoing and I’m ready to address them. I have come so that we can wipe out the old era of Luwero bush fighters,” Mao said. He was on Friday addressing a rally at Busolwe town council in Butaleja district. Mao held other rallies in Nabiganda, Kachonga and Nampologoma sub-counties, and made a stopover at Butaleja town council. On his way to Busolwe, the groups of people lined the sides of the dusty murrum road, while others gathered in trading centres yelling maulanda (a loose local translation for Mao)”. Mao arrived at Busolwe at 6:45pm. Over 15 million registered voters are expected to participate in polls next year, with the youth comprising the biggest block, and most of them voting for the first time. In an effort to woo the youth vote, most presidential candidates have had songs composed in praise of their candidature, besides performing at their rallies. Mao said if elected president, he would improve technical education so as to avail the youth with the necessary skills to create employment opportunities. “When I was young, I used to mend shoes to earn some money. It would fetch me the money to pay for books, pens and fees. As long as you posses a skill, there will always be somebody ready to pay for it,” Mao said. He boasted that he defeated the late Brig. Noble Mayombo in the Makerere University guild race, minister Betty Bigombe for Gulu’s parliamentary seat and Walter Ochora for Gulu’s LC 5 seat. He added that he was remaining with a general (Museveni). Asked why he did not rally behind Dr. Kiiza Besigye of the Inter party Cooperation (IPC) which DP initially subscribed to, Mao said the coalition had no clear path. “We had agreed to only field joint candidates for local council seats and MPs, not the presidential candidate. That’s why you see even Besigye is using the FDC symbol of the key on his posters despite being an IPC candidate,” Mao explained.