Wednesday, September 29, 2010


By Jackie Nambogga
IN preparation for the Democratic Party (DP) primaries in Jinja district, leaders have been asked to fill party structures in the villages that have not yet voted. The party national chairperson, Muhammad Kezaala Baswale, said before holding the district party primaries, all structures must be in place to avoid irregularities. The primaries, whose dates have not yet been set, will be conduted under electoral colleges, according to Samuel Kitanda, the Jinja DP chairperson. Kitanda explained that electoral colleges will prevent the kind of malpractices that marred the NRM primaries. Kezaala announced that DP presidential hopeful Norbert Mao’s visit in the Busoga sub-region would start on October 1. Mao, he added, would spend six days in the region, soliciting signatories for his presidential bid and introducing party flag-bearers to the people. He was addressing journalists at his office last week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


LAST week the Democratic Party leader, Norbert Mao, become the 41st presidential aspirant to pick nomination forms from the Electoral Commission to run in next year’s elections. Moses Mulondo interviewed him about his preparedness and disagreements obstructing the full functioning of the party. Below are excerpts
You said Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had invested a lot of time and resources to weaken the DP. Can you substantiate your allegations? We have evidence that while Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) was still in the Inter Party Co-operation, FDC had drafted a memorandum of understanding to sign with DP members as part of IPC. But UPC rejected the idea telling them that it was not good for IPC parties to participate in DP’s internal disagreements, aware that a united and strong DP is good for democracy in Uganda. The FDC leader was recently on TV saying that they would work with Samuel Lubega’s group, whom he considers to also be DP leaders. This means Dr. Kizza Besigye does not recognise the established organs of DP. They are also funding Ssuubi 2011 whose agenda is not clear beyond running a smear campaign against DP leaders. And generally speaking, I think 90% of the attacks against DP have come from FDC. They have forgotten that we are not the ones in government. So, we think that if FDC cared about a united opposition, they would support the unity of DP rather than promoting factionalism.
The battle lines for the 2011 presidential race have been drawn, are you ready for the fight?
Yes, I am now ready to lead Uganda. I am familiar with the mechanics of winning because I am not a novice in politics. We have already put up a mechanism to ensure cash flow from well wishers to support our campaigns. We have rejuvenated most of our structures countrywide. Besides, we are coming with a coherent message offering a new beginning for Uganda. So, a combination of our strong messages and rejuvenated grassroots structures can deliver electoral victory to DP. What do you mean by a new beginning? We live in a country that has greatly suffered from broken relationships arising from ethnic and religious tensions, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. The social indicators are very appalling. So, the new beginning is about healing our land. We need a leader who knows where Uganda is hurting. So, the mission of our new beginning is about building a fair society. In the past even the children of the poor could afford joining top schools which is no longer possible today. We want a society where even the poor can access quality services. We want to make a government that creates jobs for its citizens and even pays workers a living wage. We want to assure our citizens of a stable income which can guarantee them good health, quality education and home ownership. The new beginning is, therefore, about inclusive development as opposed to the current exclusive development and it is also about reconciling the nation.
Now that you have picked nomination forms for the presidential race, should we assume that you now trust the Electoral Commission which you have been criticising?
By the way, not all battles are fair and we believe it is possible to win even in an unfair battle. We do not believe that the Kiggundu-led Electoral Commission is impartial. We don’t believe they have the competence and neutrality to run a fair electoral process. We don’t trust their transparency because they behave more like an appendage of the ruling NRM party. Do you think victory for the opposition is possible in those circumstances? But the matters at stake are serious. We have the future of our children at stake. We, therefore, cannot just abandon the future of our country. If we mobilise effectively and empower our citizens to believe that collectively, we are more powerful than the NRM regime, then victory will be ours in spite of the EC and the NRM machinations.
How have you planned to deal with electoral irregularities?
Unlike some of my colleagues in the opposition, I believe that we can have regime change through the ballot. And that in case of unfairness, Ugandans can sustain a long time campaign of civil disobedience without violence that can bring about change in Uganda. We intend to focus on the polling stations that we know are notorious as centres of rigging. We shall flood such polling stations with aggressive but knowledgeable polling agents. We will use modern technology to record incidents of violence, intimidation, bribery and rigging. Even if the NRM jams the mobile telephone networks, we have a back up plan to use satellite phones and internet based communication gadgets like magic jack. We have also planned to expose the photographs of those who torment our people like the Kiboko squad and other notorious security operatives. We want to send them a message that it does not matter when, but there will be a day of reckoning and justice will be served. We will also appeal to Ugandans not to sell their vote. We shall tell them that selling their votes at this critical stage of our country will be the highest form of treason, a subversion of our democracy and a betrayal of our children. Our fellow citizens must learn from the people of Gulu who have a common political saying that ‘you can play with my stomach but you cannot play with my brain.’
What makes you different from other presidential aspirants?
Of the serious contenders, I am the youngest. My youth is a unique characteristic. I am, therefore, the flag bearer for the generation born after independence. Even the elderly will vote for me because I embed the hopes and aspirations of their children and their grandchildren. I also speak both Nilotic and Bantu languages. My language abilities will help me break barriers. And also, being a person of a mixed parentage, with a Nilotic father and a mother from Ankole brought up by a Muganda, there is no better candidate to be the bridge between the north and south. It will take generations before another candidate like me emerges. So, since Ugandans share a common bitter past, we should now rally around a person like me who personifies our common hopes and aspirations.
In a recent interview with Sunday Vision, DP’s former legal adviser Erias Lukwago said you ascended to the presidency illegally?
The turbulence in DP has nothing to do with legalities. It is purely political. After the elections, there inevitably emerges a majority side and a minority side. In the same way, after the Mbale delegates conference I emerged as the leader of the majority in DP and people like my brother Lukwago, emerged in the minority. In a democracy there is no permanent majority or permanent minority. So, the main question in DP now is whether the minority accept that the majority should lead the entire party including the minority. People like Lukwago are setting a bad precedence for the internal democracy of our party. By refusing to recognise our leadership, they are confusing our members and making the party vulnerable to scavengers from other parties who want to weaken the party. The DP needs people like Lukwago. I consider him to be a highly talented politician and the best course of action for him and DP is to accept to work together with the current leadership of the party. It is true that he may be upset that he is not one of the top leaders of the party but he is a member of parliament and, therefore, remains an influential person in the party.
Is there hope for immediate reconciliation among the various DP groups before the 2011 general elections?
We have actually reconciled with very many members of our party simply by clearing their misunderstandings. Since we took over the DP leadership, our biggest strength has been the outreach campaign we embarked on. We have also shown ourselves to be the most transparent leadership team because we have made our funding agreements with our partners public. So, our action is to building the party and turning it from a perennial loser to a competitive organisation which speaks volumes in favour of our leadership. We were instructed by the delegates to reconcile the party and unify it. It is not an easy job because some of those who are undermining us seem to be serving other masters. They are caught up in a trap of opportunism and careerism. They have forgotten that being out of the executive does not mean you cannot work for the party.
What reconciliation measures are you coming up with?
We have observed that most of the turbulence is in Buganda and most of it is mere squabbling, which is not based on any principle. The root of this turbulence is based on the over concentration of the party in Buganda and because of that, there are too many power centres colliding in one region within the same party. So we intend to continue working with our party elders, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa and former party president Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, to hold a unity conference centred mainly on Buganda. Above all, as we work for reconciliation, we are now more conscious of the fact that the national political arena stretches beyond Buganda. So, the narrow mindedness and parochial sentiments that drive some of the colleagues opposed to our leadership will continue to meet with a lot of hostility both in Buganda and outside Buganda. We are not in the 1960s. The level of the consciousness of our people is higher and, therefore, there is no room for the kind of sectarianism that drives those opposing me.
Lukwago further challenged you, saying you have done nothing about corrupt DP officials in your executive yet corruption in DP is as bad as corruption in the NRM?
Obviously, my brother Lukwago, having been in the city politics, has issues with some members of my team. To the best of my knowledge Lukwago, for long worked amicably with some members of my team while they were in UYD. I have inquired from some of the UYD leaders the cause of the tension between them and Lukwago. They tell me that Lukwago expected them to rally behind him as party leader. The only crime, therefore, that my leadership has committed is to support me to lead DP and the country.
Are you saying there are no corrupt officials among DP leaders?
I think the question should be, do I know of any cases of corruption involving members of my team. I have no information of that kind. I have zero tolerance to corruption and I expect those who have information to help me. By the way, before Mbale, people like Lukwago were telling our current team not to support me. Now that I am the leader of DP, they have turned around and they are saying Mao is a good clean leader but he is surrounded by crooks. We consider that a form of cheap blackmail. That said, I am on record for sounding a warning to the DP councilors at KCC to distance themselves from dirty deals. As a result these DP councilors are now opposing the corrupt takeover of city markets, the illegal sell of the town clerk’s house to the mayor and they are resisting the unlawful eviction of the poor tenants of Nakawa/Nagulu estates. This is a direct result of policy direction by our new leadership. If my leadership was corrupt they would not be taking a stand against those dubious deals. They would instead be looking for avenues to cash in.
What about the sh850m deal Lukwago talked about that your team legal advisor, Fred Mukasa Mbidde, got in the sale of a public plot of land at Lugogo?
I am not aware of it. I think Lukwago can help me with the information so that I act. In any case, why are these issues becoming important after we have assumed the leadership of the party?
What is the Uganda of Mao’s dream?
I want a Uganda where the voice of citizens really matters. Right now, instead of being empowered by the state, the Ugandans are victimised by the state. I want a fair society. I want a Uganda where character other than my tribe is used to measure my ability.
What is your guiding principle in life?
I believe in the intrinsic equality of all human beings regardless of whether they are female, male, poor, rich, disabled or not. I believe that human beings are like legal tender where the same currencies will purchase the same amount of goods irrespective of their condition. I also believe in ultimate justice. I am also certain that eventually God will balance the books and all wrongs will be righted. I believe that no matter what one does God’s will eventually prevails. That is why my opponents usually get surprised by my courage not knowing that my plug is in the divine socket. Those are my driving principles.
As a longtime politician on Uganda’s political scene, what, to you, is the major problem with Uganda’s politics?
On the side of the leaders the main problem is the failure to set up clear rules and abide by them. Rules of engagement are very important for birthing good governance. As a result, our politics has become dysfunctional with ends overriding the means. On the side of the electorate there is what I would call the low expectation syndrome. We expect so little from our leaders that we virtually settle for anything they throw at us. In the absence of high expectations and outrage when leaders fail us, democracy will never take root. There are fears that the NRM may become as dominant as Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi or South Africa’s African National Congress The NRM will never become like CCM or ANC because it is merely a house of guards. NRM has no pillars. NRM is simply a special purpose vehicle for Yoweri Museveni and his close associates. The CCM and ANC are built on a long time vision with a clear succession plan. It is in black and white that the monopoly of NRM cannot outlive Museveni.


The Democratic Party has recalled Nasser Sebaggala’s life membership card saying he betrayed the party’s cause by forming another political party and is now cooperating with the NRM party.
Mr Sebaggala is the President of the Liberal Democratic Transparency (LDT) party, a breakaway faction of the DP but has of late forged an alliance with the ruling NRM party and swore to support President Museveni in the forth-coming elections.
The DP Secretary General, Mr Mathias Nsubuga, made the announcement on Friday at a press briefing in Kampala as he received over 30 of Mr Sebaggala’s supporters who have crossed back to DP.
“As DP we have withdrawn the life membership card which we gave him when he was joining the party. He has been holding it but we have written to him and we want him to return it immediately,” Mr Nsubuga said. He said President Museveni is fond of bribing weak opposition members like Mr Sebaggala who cannot stand their ground.
“We as DP do not miss Sebaggala at all and we shall fight him the way we are fighting the NRM party. As a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), we have found out that a lot of money has been squandered by the government. Bank of Uganda has become a basket for Museveni to pull out money and give it out,” Mr Nsubuga who is also the MP for Bukoto South said.He said President Museveni had given Mr Sebaggala a Kampala City Council property belonging to the government to woo him into joining the NRM.
Mr Mulyanyama Nganda Kasirye who was Mr Sebaggala’s chief mobiliser said they cannot continue serving a leader who is unprincipled. “I have been mobilising people under the LDT party but I am back to my family which is DP. Sebaggala has now crossed over to the NRM party and betrayed the key principles within which we supported him. He vowed to fight poverty among the masses and support the Buganda government’s aspirations but he has not fulfilled any of them,” Mr Kasirye said.
“He is joining a party that closed Buganda’s Central Broadcasting Services and one that blocked the Kabaka from visiting his subjects in Kayunga District,” he added. “I wish to welcome all our people back and other members who don’t feel comfortable where they are to come home and join a party that stands for truth and justice.”Mr Sebaggala could not be reached for a comment as his official mobile phone was switched off.

Friday, September 24, 2010


DP presidential candidate Nobert Mao has started on a Buganda tour with a message of hope based on the possibility of building a government based on truth and justice. Mao addressed rallies at Bukomero, Kiboga and Masodde which comprise Luweero triangle.
The DP President candidate continues his tour today to Mubende District where he is going to address public rallies and meet opion Leaders at Bukuya, Kassanda, Kikandwa Trading Centres, He will proceed to Kiganda and hold the main Rally at Myanzi Trading Centre.


The Democratic Party [DP] is short of Sh6 billion for the coming general election campaigns, the party treasurer Hon Isa Kikungwe said Wednesday.
Addressing journalists in Kampala, Mr Kikungwe said the party has at-least raised Sh 3 billion in cash and property obtained to gear up local council, parliamentary and presidential campaigns.“We have already obtained some money amounting to Sh3billion in cash and assets, we expect more support from local, foreign party supporters and international democratic organisations,” Mr Kikungwe said in Kampala.
He said the party has already obtained a special presidential motorcade for the campaign trail, a printing press to print posters for local council and parliamentary candidates, a well equipped mobile truck with public address system to work as a mobile stage during the campaigns.
Meanwhile, DP has launched a fundraising exercise across the country to collect more funds through sale of party cards and soliciting funds from prominent business men. The party has also sent DP legal advisor Mr Fred Mukasa Mbidde to China, Singapore and Russia to solicit support ahead of the general elections starting in November.
Mr Mukasa who left the country on Monday is expected to meet the business fraternity, politicians and non government organisation willing to sponsor DP campaigns.
“I expect to meet several politicians to seek for both political ideas and financial support. We also want to find out how political parties can stabilise their income through investing in different ventures,” Mr Mukasa said.
“We need at-least five campaign trucks each at Sh100 million. We intend to spend Sh9 billion in next year’s presidential race so we need more funds,” Mr Kikungwe also the MP Kyadondo South said.
He urged the party members to support the fundraising drive saying the new party leadership is set to change the face of DP and take Ugandan politics to another level. According to Kikungwe, the obtained trucks have several modern features including cameras, public address system, inbuilt stage, dressing room among others.
The Party Deputy Organising Secretary Mr Sulaiman Kidandala said more party officials are expected to traverse America and Europe on the same mission.
Last month DP National Council [NC] flatly rejected demands by opposition parties to join the Inter -Party Co-operation [IPC] saying a single opposition candidate against an incumbent can easily be defeated.
DP National Chairman Mr Baswale Kezaala said the NC retained earlier decision by the National Executive Committee [NEC] that DP works with IPC at parliamentary and local council elections. NC believes the strategy will help to acquire more opposition allies but it’s not applicable at the presidential level.
Recently, DP President Mr Norbert Mao described the Inter -Party Co-operation [IPC] as a political platform only intended to benefit Forum for Democratic Change as a party. He said IPC is a diversionary strategy that only helps FDC to widen its political base at the expense of other political parties.
The IPC is a loose coalition of five opposition political parties planning to field a single presidential candidate next year. The group comprising of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda People's Congress (UPC), the Conservative Party, Social Democratic Party and JEEM.


Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao yesterday picked nomination forms for next year’s presidential elections as he announced a Shs9b campaign budget.
Mr Mao, who was accompanied by party officials Vincent Mayanja and Kenneth Kakande, picked the forms at around 9am. He joins a growing list of 40 other candidates who have picked forms but are expected to pay a commitment fee of Shs8m upon returning them. “Picking the forms is another step in the historic journey to take DP to power so that Uganda has a government founded on principles of truth and justice,” Mr Mao said.
Shs9b war chestAddressing journalists at Christ the King Hall in Kampala minutes after picking the forms, Mr mao announced he would spend Shs9b on his campaigns. “We hope to raise more money than that. The money is meant for the presidential candidate’s campaigns,” he said, adding that resources were being sought internally and from party supporters in the Diaspora.
“We have negotiated a grant of Shs200m from the Deepening Democracy project who are helping us build party structures and strengthen leadership. We are also going to acquire a printing press from the USA to print posters for our candidates and a truck with a public address system as our mobile stage,” said Mr Mao. He said the manifesto will focus on job creation.
Mr Mao, who has just returned from a two-week tour of the US, said: “We went there to reassure the people there that change is possible. My job was to mobilise Ugandans not to lose interest in their country and we are working to restore democracy.” He said he also met members of the US Senate and Congress and asked them to prevail over the Electoral Commission to ensure free and fair elections.
“America cannot pretend not to be concerned about the partiality of our Electoral Commission. It is not a question of saying Museveni alone can work with them but any government can work with them to ensure stability,” he said. “The President is blackmailing Americans saying it is only him who can work with them,” he added.


Tuesday, 21st September, 2010

By Barbara Among and Moses Mulondo
DEMOCRATIC Party leader Norbert Mao yesterday made a scathing attack on Col. Kizza Besigye, the 2011 Inter-Party Cooperation presidential flag-bearer, accusing him of sabotage. Addressing a press conference at Christ the King Hall in Kampala, shortly after picking nomination forms for next year’s presidential elections, Mao said the FDC party led by Besigye was trying to weaken DP by forging a secret alliance with some DP members. “FDC has been for long investing a lot of time and resources aimed at destabilising DP to weaken our party. It is unfortunate that Dr. Kizza Besigye could not take in the UPC advice that a united and strong DP is good for democracy in Uganda,” Mao said. Mao, whose party has been shaken by internal wrangles, is the 41st presidential aspirants to pick the forms. The NRM party picked the forms on Friday and FDC picked theirs on Monday. A DP faction, calling itself DP-Uganda, led by Samuel Lubega, picked nomination forms two weeks ago. The Uganda Peoples Congress is the only main political party that has not picked nomination forms. Thirty-eight smaller parties have picked the forms and a host of independents. After picking the forms, Mao disclosed that he had started a fundraising drive for sh9b for his 2011 presidential campaigns. He said he has already got a campaign truck equipped with a public address system. Mao revealed that DP has obtained a grant of 200m from Deepening Democracy Party (DP) for establishing DP party structures across the country. Asked for a comment, the FDC spokesperson, Wafula Oguttu, said: “I don’t known why he is accusing FDC and not IPC, FDC is only a subset of IPC, and we are just one of the five parties.” “FDC and IPC are trying to unit all forces against NRM and we are not going to stop anybody from joining us because of other considerations. “The people who are coming to join us are not forced, are not silly and they know what is right for their political future. The blame cannot be on us who are welcoming them. The blame can be on Mao himself on why he can’t hold his people together. Let him work on that. “What we want is a change and there are people who don’t want a change and we are working with those who want the change,” Oguttu explained. Presidential campaigns kick-off in November and the contest for next year’s presidential race will have incumbent Yoweri Museveni of NRM, two time runner-up Kiiza Besigye of FDC and the new entrant, Norbert Mao of DP and other candidates. The presidential nomination is slated for October 25 and 26. The aspirants will be nominated at the commission’s head offices in Kampala. The candidates must pay nomination fees of sh8m, collect 100 signatures from at least 75 districts and hand in three passport-size photos and certified copies of academic papers. Nominated aspirants will receive sh20m, a car and Police escorts. But where a candidate withdraws from the race within 30 days after nomination, such a candidate shall refund the money. The Electoral Commission, however, said it had planned for only 10 candidates and had already received 10 cars for them. The public relations officer, Charles Ochola, said the commission will adjust its budget depending on the final number of candidates. To be eligible for the presidential and parliamentary seats, a candidate must be a citizen of Uganda, a registered voter and have at least an A’ level certificate or its equivalent. A person cannot stand for president if he is of unsound mind, holds an office that handles elections, or is a cultural leader, or is bankrupt. Anyone under a death sentence or a sentence of imprisonment exceeding nine months without an option of a fine cannot also stand. Candidates may be disqualified if they have within seven years immediately preceding the election, been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude or convicted over election crimes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


As Uganda prepares for what many now believe will be a fierce battle for the presidency of the country, opposition political parties believe the best way to beat Yoweri Museveni, the incumbent, and stop him for staying in power for another five years (he has been in power for 24 years now), is to join forces and fight as one group. This led to the formation of the Inter Party Coalition (IPC) in order to maximise their voting power. But one of the country’s oldest parties, the Democratic Party (DP) chose not to join up. At a convention of the Ugandans in the Diaspora International (UDII) held at the Westin Hotel in Washington DC, we caught up with the DP leader, Nobert Mao and asked him what led to his party’s decision not to join the IPC. We now publish most of his lengthy reply to this question.
Below is his reply.
Everywhere I go, people don’t ask me what I’ll do as President. They ask me: Why are you not in the IPC? And so, I don’t understand Ugandans. I just wish to stop speculation by saying that we assessed the strength and weaknesses of the IPC as it is, because I think the IPC as it stands in the minds of some Ugandans is not the one that we have there. I will be very candid. If you want to have a smooth ride, you must have a vehicle with tyres that have balanced pressure. Now, the IPC in Uganda the tyres are not balanced. Others have bad rims; others have… (incomprehensible) so they are very wobbly. Secondly, diplomatically we believe that to move together you also have to grow together. The group that we are talking about, where is the group to grow?
Finally, conditions are about forces. At least I can be sure of some force behind me, based on what I have done in my political life, the values I stand for, my track record. If you are going to come together, even if you are saying you are coming as a team, you must bring your capacities. Now, if we say we are forming a football team here now, can you imagine the kind of game we are going to play in the stadium? It would be the most comic show ever because we have not been practising together (laughs). I do not know whether you are right or left footed. This is a bit of a problem. People talk about Kenya. In Kenya, everybody comes and you know, declares their assets, meaning, a political force behind them. Raila [Odinga] comes and says: ‘I declare Nyanza’. Njiru and Kalonzo say ‘we declare Ukambani’. The Kibaki group come and say ‘we hereby claim Mt Kenya’ and so on and so forth. Of course Mr Kenya was a bit split because there was Uhuru Kenyatta also. He also wanted to declare Mt Kenya but I think Kibaki had the upper hand. And then Mr Ruto declares [for] Rift Valley.
I am a very new party leader. I have only been the leader of the DP since February [2010] and I am fighting on many fronts. I have internal problems in the Democratic Party; there are sectarian forces [that] can’t imagine a person coming from Gulu leading the Democratic Party. There are problems of (sic)…the party we inherited is very weak. I can imagine if I had become President of the Democratic Party in 2005, I think we would now [be having] a very different kind of Democratic Party.
So in many ways, each of the partners in the IPC is also a burden to the UPC. So the FDC leader is now like ‘you take the IPC as oxen pulling an ox-plough. I think the other oxen are so weak that I think now Dr Besigye has got to pull both the plough and the other weak oxen. So it is already a very, very difficult task (laughs). It is dragging the other oxen which they don’t have the ability to pull. It is a question with no direct answer. So the proper question should have been: ‘What is your plan?’ I think our plan is to use this campaign first and foremost, to open the eyes of Ugandans because if you are obsessed with the result, you know, I think you do your best to see that the outcome is the total best of what you have done.
Sometimes I do farming [and] when I go farming, I worry about a lot of things. I make sure I plant in time, I make sure I weed, I make sure…and sometime you get a good yield. I think it is important that you use this presidential platform. And we in the Democratic Party, we came up with the idea of saying that President Museveni must wake up with five headaches a day. He must have an Otunnu headache, a Mao headache, A Besigye headache, a Lukyamuzi headache and (sic)…we must shape the country together wherever we go to deny him that 50 per cent plus and in the second round Ugandans would’ve sorted us out. Instead, we hear lots of attacks, so those of us who have really been consistently this Museveni regime for many years, now we are described as Museveni’s agents, Museveni’s moles and in many ways we need to ask the right questions.
The IPC also did not become a very good subject because of suspicion. I think when you are suspicious that perhaps it is an FDC thing, you know, and it was pre-arranged. Maybe we were wrong in (sic)…maybe we were just mixed up. But I think fears are normal, you know. If you think your neighbor is a witch he may not be actually a witch but that concept of yours will be in your memory for a long time (laughs). So it should have been the duty of all of us to keep on that kind of talking. I don’t know what is going to happen in 2011 but this is not the first attempt at coalition building. But if you want to build a coalition, the individual breaks must be strong in themselves. Otherwise you are just having a heap of sand, you know. You must have a party that is intact, which is fair and stable, and may be our party leaders don’t know what party building is. So, really, I don’t know but right now, in a few years time, no matter what happens next year, I want to be held to account, what sort of party I will be handing over to my successor. I have a track record of achievement, I have a track record of delivering, and I have a track record of getting things done. And coming around, even Gulu, which used to be a byword for all the bad things, we are trying to rebrand it. We will also try to work on the Democratic Party. But the Democratic Party took a decision. It was not a Mao decision as such. Actually, of most of the members of the leadership of the Democratic Party, I am the one who was most pro-IPC. I have an excellent personal relationship with Dr Besigye. I knew Dr Besigye as early as 1989 before many people even knew him. We formed together with Dr Besigye the Uganda anti-apartheid movement because we thought we were going to go to South Africa to sort out the apartheid [system]…. we were being one of the most radical students. I was Dr Besigye’s deputy. The position Salaam Musumba is occupying probably would have been mine if we had been moving together consistently, I would have been his Number Two.
And when President Nelson Mandela came to Uganda, Dr Besigye was in Bombo for training. I am the one who went to welcome President Mandela on behalf of our organisation in the then Nile Hotel. But we have disagreed on how to build this. I think the thing has collapsed at the designing stage and maybe because everybody was giving too many opinions. They say a camel is a horse designed by a committee. As you design a horse, somebody says ‘it needs a hump’ so they put a hump. The legs are too short, so the legs are lengthened, so you end up with a very clumsy creature and you say ‘Yea. This is a horse’. But this is my roundabout way out but just remembers what I told you earlier that we do not have a lot of horsepower to declare. If we had a lot of horsepower to declare, maybe we would (sic) it looks like after 2006 people took a break, you know. People disappeared; there was not a single rally. All these people you hear making noise that ‘Mao has done this, Mao has done that’, for once I am able to say we have a candidate in Rukiga County. I am capable of saying we have a medical doctor who returned recently from America and he is standing in Koboko. And that is what my mandate is all about because I know that the party was founded on solid principles, the party of Ben Kiwanuka was not founded on trivialities. It is we the leaders over the years who have trivialised the party bastardised it and prostituted it. And to me that is the biggest assignment right now.
The IPC thing unfortunately it did not work. It is the question that sometimes you ask people like Dr Otunnu: “Why are you not married, you know? (laughs).” Some questions are difficult to ask in the same way that they are difficult to answer. So we all have our reasons. Probably if you ask five DP members, they will each give different reasons. So I think it is just that they have not been moving together long enough so there is that kind of fear.
Plus, I think I have some messages that I want to give to Ugandans in 2011 which I think Ugandans must hear. And also, best on where I come from and our history of the struggle of evicting the NRM, and also, I can tell you that if President Museveni steals the elections, he is probably going to rule half of the country. That I can tell you categorically because most of our people have decided that this matter will be decided once and for all come 2011. One way or the other, it is going to be settled. We are better off each of us having a front. Only that we have not agreed on the supreme commander. We can be accused of being selfish, we can be accused of all sorts of things but you know, none of us campaigns to lead our parties in order not to run. We campaign in order to go and put a product before Ugandan. I wanted to be president in 2001 but I was too young. I was 34. I was disqualified. Then I wanted to be president in the 2006 but my party didn’t elect me. Now that my party has elected me, I want to go there and tell Ugandans what I have to offer.
The most important thing is the call of Ugandans. It is not for us, like I always say, if a lady asks three suitors, the lady would be doing herself a big injustice to say: ‘Now you three gentlemen, go and sort yourselves out. Who am I going to marry? I am tired, I have a lot of other things to do, I don’t want to read your CVs and so on. You go up and make up your mind’. That is what the IPC turned into and it became very complicated. The best is to go to Ugandans and ask them: ‘Who do you think is the best? Who do you trust the future of your children with? Who do you think can take the decisions that will influence your life positively? The ballot paper will be there. At least I am sure President Museveni will be there, [so will] Ambassador Otunnu, Dr Besigye, Nobert Mao, probably Bwanika and others. Ugandans are not silly. They will look up and down and take the one that they want.
The argument for cooperation is that by coming together, we would have helped Ugandans to come to a conclusion by implementing the sense of fragmentation because the sense of fragmentation empowers. That is the strongest argument. But in the absence of that, I think Ugandans should be told ‘make up your minds and chose’. And it is possible to get up and tell Ugandan to look and choose. And it is possible for Ugandans to choose because any vote that is not for Museveni is a good vote at this point. That is the only way we can console ourselves.

Friday, September 17, 2010


THE Democratic Party has completed electing district party leaders in Mityana. In the elections held at the Gombolola grounds on Sunday, Badru Mutesasira was re-elected the district chairperson, with Faustin Mukambwe as his deputy. Mukambwe is however the party flag bearer for Mubende District Chairperson elections 2011. Joseph Kyeyune was elected the district party spokesperson and Stephen Kibuuka, the secretary. Other leaders elected included Susan Nabuuma and Harriet Mulumba as the women leaders and Maria Gorrette Babirye, the women representative. Kyeyune said the elections were successful

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Mr Dickson Ssentongo, The DP Candidate for the councilors of Nantabulirirwa Parish in Ggoma Sub-County, Mukono District was early this morning killed by yet to be established assailants. Mr. Ssentongo, who also worked as news anchor with Prime Radio was waylaid by unidentified men at Nantabulirirwa village who reportedly hit him at around 5:00 am.
Mr Ssentongo is said to have been on his way to his working station on foot to catch a taxi on the main road. The assailants dragged him about 100 meters away from the scene of crime where they left him lying unconscious in a pool of blood, away from the road.
The 30-year-old journalist was pronounced dead on arrival at Mulago referral hospital.