Sunday, October 31, 2010


What does the DP candidate stand for?
He stands for truth and justice. He stands for a new leadership in a new beginning for the country. Uganda is a country that has gone through a lot of problems like wars, poverty, sectarianism, and oppressions. Mao represents a new hope in the new generation alongside reconciliation and building new bridges for a united Uganda. Our country needs a fresh start. Our health sector, education sector, infrastructure, and other state organisations are all in need of new breath from Mao
What are the key messages in DP’s manifesto?
We promise a government of zero-tolerance towards corruption to save the over sh500b (according to the World Bank report) which Uganda loses to corrupt government officials every year. We promise to save our now dilapidated hospitals. We shall make interventions to save the 16 Ugandan women who die every day while giving birth. We shall save the 800 children who due to preventable diseases die every year before the age of five. We shall do so by giving our doctors a living wage, fight corruption in the National Drug Authority and spread well-facilitated health centres across the country. A recent report indicated that a UPE Primary seven student cannot pass primary two exams. We shall, therefore, uplift our primary education by giving teachers a living wage and build more classrooms. Unlike the NRM government, we intend to heavily invest in the agriculture sector to turn Uganda into the food basket of the region. We have a plan for improve our infrastructure by building roads across the country. How do you expect DP to perform in the 2011 general elections? Aware that majority of Ugandans are young people and cognisant of the fact that the DP candidate is the best youthful candidate in the contest, we feel we shall be able to get not less than 50% in the presidential elections, which will enable us to enter the State House.
How do you expect DP to perform in the local and parliamentary elections?
Unlike in 2006 when we had few candidates, this time we have so far fielded 150 parliamentary candidates and more are still undergoing the screening exercise. We also have a very big number of candidates who will be contesting for the various local governments. We believe our performance will be good.
How did DP’s nomination and inaugural rally go?
There was a huge outpouring of emotions during Mao’s nomination as presidential candidate. The big numbers of people who turned up without our monetary investment is indicative of tha fact that Norbert Mao is the people’s choice of candidate. It was also exciting that we addressed our rally in an area inhabited by ordinary people because our mission is to fight for the welfare of downtrodden in our society.
How much money do you expect to spend on the campaigns and elections?
We shall win by using ideas, not money. That is why we don’t intend to use a lot of money. We have planned to spend between sh15b and sh20b. We are against the philosophy of monetisation of politics. Seventy per cent of our budget will go to materials, posters, adverts,and brochures. Twenty per cent to holding meetings and rallies while 10% will meet the administrative cots. We do not intend to bribe voters with money.


Norbert Mao is running as a flag bearer of the Democratic Party (DP) after becoming its first president from outside Buganda. The Chairman of Gulu District is a lawyer and former MP for Gulu Municipality. He speaks three local languages, Luo, Luganda, and Runyankole fluently. Mao is married to Naomi, an independent film maker and they have two sons, Nicholas and Nathan. The two were childhood friends who grew up to become lovers. But the world tore them apart as Naomi went to London for further studies. There, she met UPC’s Olara Otunnu’s brother, Ogenga Otunnu, who is now a professor in the UK and they hit the romantic road to marriage. However, before they could seal it off, Mao crushed in like a thunderbolt. Just after Mao had been nominated as MP for Gulu Municipality in 1996, he stormed London to meet Naomi who was about to marry Ogenga Otunnu. Surprisingly, Mao returned to Kampala with her. His opponents wanted to use this to decampaign him as a man who grabbed someone else’s wife but the Acholi people, instead, saw it as a manly act and showered him with votes. Naomi said her heart had decided which man to go with. Naomi successfully pulled off the ‘Michelle Obama look’ as she accompanied her husband to his presidential nomination, looking absolutely stunning in a trendy black suit. The independent film maker is also said to have hosted Charlize Theron, a famous actress, who was in the country on charity work in Northern Uganda. In an interview with UNAA Times, an online magazine, Naomi said her husband’s politics did not fit in well with her laid back personality. She is so private to the extent that she was not pleased with one of his campaign brochures that bore their family portrait. However, now that Mao is standing for presidency, she just has to surrender her privacy because she will often have to appear besides him during the campaigns

Thursday, October 28, 2010


At exactly 3pm, Norbert Mao, the president general of the Democratic Party, entered the nominations room with his spouse Naome. He would become the fifth and last nominated candidate for the day.
And riding on some semblances with American President Barrack Obama, Mao said he was Uganda’s next in waiting. “I am a lawyer, born in a mixed parentage and I talk about serious issues….” he said.
Mr Mao said being of mixed parentage (Acholi-Ankole), he was the best candidate Uganda could have, especially at this time when the country needed healing.
Mr Obama is also born of an American mother and a Kenyan father.“Today I feel a great sense of responsibility for my party, myself and my family. If God called me today and asked me what you did for Uganda, I can proudly answer that I offered myself for Presidency.”He took firm exception to Suubi pressure group many of whose members are offshoots of the DP.
“The people in Suubi are just looking for a shortcut to leadership. They are riding on popular sentiments that they will deliver what Buganda wants. I don’t think they even have the capacity to deliver what they are promising,” Mao said, adding that DP had solutions to Buganda’s issues and the group was doing no good.
He said his party and candidature hinged on four pillars; job creation in light of the biting unemployment, education, quality health for all and quality homesteads.s priority, he said, would be to restore Uganda’s image in the international community because currently all neighbours view Uganda as a war monger, always ready to attack them.
He said he was also in for women emancipation by involving women in decision making instead of the current “tokenism”. Mao’s nomination was proposed by his DP predecessor Ssebana Kizito and Ms Sara Kanyike seconded him.
“I declare Nobert Mao of DP, who has complied with all the regulations,” Dr Kiggundu said, amidst ululations and shouts of joy from the 20 man team.
However, Dr Kiggundu also said because of natural justice, Mao would be allowed some few hours to present another set of postcard photographs to the EC “because the ones submitted have one ear.”The team comprised of MPs, John Kawanga, Joseph Balikudembe, Mathias Nsubuga, and Jinja Mayor Kezaala among others.
Mr Kezaala later after nominations handed Mao a green hoe draped in white and green, their party sign which symbolizes their party’s love for agriculture.
Today, the EC will converge again at Namboole and PDP’s Abed Bwanika will be nominated at 11am while an independent candidate, who just pulled all the 75 districts Drake Ssebunya, will be nominated at 10:30am.
It is highly expected that Uganda Peoples’ Congress Olara Otunnu may show up at 10am for nominations.


Gulu District chairman Norbert Mao set off on the campaign trail yesterday promising his audience at a speaking event in Kawempe, a Kampala suburb, that his Democratic Party, one of the country’s oldest institutions, will unseat the current leadership democratically – without resorting to the gun.
Mr Mao whom the crowds referred to as Uganda’s Barack Obama, a reference to the captivating election of the US president in 2008, spoke at Kawempe Growers Ground and addressed what may be a key constituency with a promise to give the country’s large numbers of youth their rightful share of the national cake.
He also promised to restore Buganda Kingdom’s lost glory and grant a federal system of government which he said the ruling NRM had for the last 20 years failed to grant.
Mr Mao’s wife, Naome, was at his side as he arrived after 5pm, committing to protect the ordinary Ugandan. “I would like to introduce our President who retired willfully (referring to Ssebaana Kizito) and who is better than this one whom we are going to retire against his will and through the vote,” were Mr Mao’s first words.
Mr Ssebaana immediately purred about how the DP has proposed a young, intelligent and energetic candidate who would move the country forward.
Mr Mao spoke fluent Luganda, a language widely spoken in the central region. “Those holding guns are entirely dependent on the gun. Those who are spending tax payers’ money on campaigns are dependent on money but we are relying on the ordinary Ugandan and everybody should know that DP has resurrected,” Mr Mao said.
Mr Mao’s candidature was encumbered by hurdles with a wing of the party refusing to accept his election at the Mbale delegates’ conference early this year. Yesterday, he appealed to his rivals to “return home”.
“We welcome whoever had temporarily taken refuge elsewhere to return home. Whoever fears rain can even seek shelter in a night dancer’s home but the rain is no more,” he said. The crowd laughed.It was symbolic that Mr Mao started his journey in Kawempe North, a constituency represented by party-mate Latif Ssebaggala in this traditional DP enclave of the city.
Speaking of his school days, Mr Mao said when he stood for Makerere guild presidency most people, including his father, discouraged him from standing because he was an Acholi and the fact that former President Milton Obote of their neighbour Lango community was blamed for committing atrocities.
Luweero ghosts
“I told them I am a Ugandan and I never filled any form to be a Mucholi (sic). I told them those who attacked the Lubiri did so before I was born.”
About the Luweero killings, Mr Mao said since Obote died, President Museveni “has to explain to us who is responsible for the killings there”.
On oil revenues, he promised an equitable 50 per cent share between the central government and local governments in districts where the resource occurs.


By Richard Drasimaku
THE Democratic Party (DP) has elected Arua municipality flag-bearers for the Member of Parliament and mayor. Both positions attracted two contestants each. Lemeriga Fadil, a longtime DP stalwart, was selected to carry the flag in the MP race, while Kafu Nasur will seek election as mayor. John Apangu, the district party returning officer, described the process as transparent. He said 32 members from Arua municipality, who renewed their membership this year, constitute the Electoral College. Only 22 members took part in the voting. The other 10, including Hamid Musa, who contested the position for the mayoral flag-bearer, abstained. Musa was beaten by Kafu, who got 18 out of the 22 votes cast. In the hotly contested position for the MP, Lemeriga trounced Zubair Alahai by one vote. He polled 11 votes. Alahai, however, rejected the outcome of the elections, alleging that the process was manipulated in Lemeriga’s favour. He complained that some of his supporters were turned away by the election officials when they came to cast their votes. The officials advised him to petition the outcome. Peter Matua, the DP district chairman, hailed the primary elections as a milestone. Matua said he expected the membership of DP to increase, following the recent tour by party president Norbert Mao. Lemeriga is likely to face FDC’s Amina Atako, Gabriel Aridru of the NRM and the incumbent, Akbar Godi of the FDC.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Mr Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party presidential flag bearer, yesterday secured a temporary lease of life and moved a step closer to his nomination after the Court of Appeal declined to grant an order that would effectively stop his nomination.
A party faction opposed to Mr Mao’s leadership and candidature had run to the court seeking an injunction against his nomination set for early next week. The Electoral Commission announced separately that nominations for presidential candidates will take place on October 25 and 26.
A DP faction led by Mr Samuel Lubega had asked Court of Appeal registrar Asaph Ruhinda Ntengye to issue an interim order to temporarily stay the decision of Judge Lawrence Gidudu which threw out an application seeking to nullify Mr Mao’s election in February in Mbale.This application had been filed by the former DP National Chairman, Prof. Joseph Mukiibi and former DP Vice-President Rainer Kafiire.
But Mr Ruhinda refused to issue the order yesterday and instead adjourned the matter to October 27 to enable both the Electoral Commission and Mr Mao’s DP respond to the main application filed by the faction seeking the temporary injunction restraining the party’s Secretary General, Mr Mathias Nsubuga, from nominating DP candidates for presidential, parliamentary and local elections in the 2010 general elections. Mr Joseph Balikuddembe had earlier told the registrar that if Justice Gidudu’s decision is not stayed, the faction will have no chance to present their candidate for presidential nomination.
Past deadline
The adjournment, however, means that by the time court hears and determines the faction’s application for a temporary injunction, the nomination exercise will be completed leaving the faction with only one option of challenging Mao’s nomination. Records before court indicate that early this year, the faction went to court to challenge the purported Mbale delegates’ conference and its outcome. Justice Gidudu heard their case and dismissed it on May 31 on technical grounds. The faction was dissatisfied with the ruling, hence the appeal.
In the appeal the group alleged that the Mbale delegate’s conference was unlawfully convened by Mr Ssebaana Kizito and Mr Mathias Nsubuga, who were dismissed from the party on February 15, 2010 for defying party directives. Mr Mao, who has been canvassing votes in western and eastern Uganda, West Nile and the Acholi sub-region, returns to Kampala for the presidential nominations set for next week at Nambole Stadium

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


By Chris Ocowun
THE Democratic Party (DP) is to hire more than 100 lawyers to provide free legal services to people whose rights will be abused by the Kiboko Squad or other security operatives in the coming general elections. This was disclosed by the DP president general, Norbert Mao, while addressing a rally at Kaunda grounds in Gulu district on Sunday. Mao, who is the party presidential candidate, told the Acholi not to vote him on the basis that he is their son, but as the best choice among those aspiring for presidency. He assured the Acholi that President Yoweri Museveni would not rig the elections. On the Inter-party Coalition (IPC), Mao said: “We tried IPC but failed; even UPC tried IPC and failed to agree. In next year’s elections, the race will be between Museveni and me and no one should say Mao is an opposition president. I will be a president of every Ugandan.” He called on those who failed during the NRM primaries to join DP. “If even Gilbert Bukenya, the vice-president, has been locked out of NRM, who are you to go through? The owners of NRM are there,” he said. Mao noted that the Government’s Universal Primary Education had failed. He said DP would provide quality education. “If Museveni has been getting 20% of the votes here, this time let him go back with zero votes,” Mao added. He blamed Museveni for not fighting the increasing cases of corruption in the Government. “Scholarships for petroleum studies are being given to children elsewhere and yet the petroleum and oil are in northern Uganda,” he stated.


Felix Okello Warom The Democratic Party president, Mr Norbert Mao, has said the NRM government is autocratic and cannot fight corruption and poverty.
Addressing a rally in Arua District on Friday, Mr Mao said: “I do not believe Museveni is clean. If he was, then he would have sent away those who mismanaged the Global Fund and Chogm money.”
Mr Mao told Arua residents to guard against voter bribery and intimidation, especially by security personnel.
PledgesHe said if elected President, he would end corruption, create wealth though establishment of industries and revive cooperatives that helps farmers in price protection and ensure that clean water and adequate electricity is provided for all the citizens.
Mr Mao urged residents to vote out all corrupt leaders and those who could not deliver services, saying they are making the communities poorer

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Democratic Party (DP) electoral tribunal has cancelled party primary election results of LC5 councillorship for Makerere University and Rubaga II electoral areas.
Mr Fred Mbidde, the DP legal adviser, who chaired the tribunal, on Thursday ruled that the elections were conducted unconstitutionally and ordered for fresh polls.
“Both elections were conducted in error and in contravention of the party constitution. It is therefore ordered that the elections for the flag-bearers in the subject electoral areas be conducted in a proper manner,” he said.
Incumbent councillors Bernard Luyiga (Makerere University) and Zacky Mberaze (Rubaga II) petitioned the tribunal, contesting the election of Wilson Nsibirwa and Henry Matovu as party flag -bearers for the seats respectively.
The petitioners said the elections were not supervised by the urban division branches as provided for in the party constitution. Article 54 provides for the formation of urban division branches of the party throughout the county.
“These branches are not known to have existed in both areas before, during and even after the elections,” Mr Mbidde adding; “Accordingly the constitution of the Democratic Party was offended as far as supervision of the said party primaries in both areas was concerned.”.
Ruling rejectedHowever, Mr Nsibirwa who attended the proceedings rejected the ruling insisting that he was not given a fair hearing.He also doubted the party’s readiness to conduct fresh primary elections claiming that the ruling could have been designed to “rob him of victory”.
“This is broad day robbery. There is no date set for fresh elections and if they (elections) are not held between now and next week, the incumbents will automatically become the flag-bearers,” he added

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


High Court in Kampala has ordered DP rival faction led by Samuel Lubega to stop impersonating as DP leaders and conducting party work due totheir failure to participate in the party delegates' conference held inMbale in February this year.
The court order signed by Justice Lawrence Gidudu indicates that onlyparty leaders who were elected in Mbale delegates' conference areentitled to choosing party member s that are to stand on the partyticket on any post for the forth coming general elections.
The Party chief legal advisor Fred Mukasa Mbidde explains that the courtorder ends the DP faction because they boycotted the delegates'conference where they would be elected as leaders.Meanwhile, Mbidde attacked Samuel Lubega for being a political failurewho is interested in seeing other people fail in their success.


DP Presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said the FDC President Dr. Kizza Besigye deserves no more opportunity to contest for presidency. Mao argues that after failing to win the vote against President Yoweri Museveni in two presidential runs, Besigye cannot emerge triumphant. He said the time was now to vote for someone who would trounce Museveni once and for all. Mao believes he is the best suited candidate for the task. He says the north has been an opposition stronghold, which votes he will count on in the next general polls. Besigye won the lion's share of the votes in northern Uganda in the last two presidential elections.


By Jeff Lule
THE Democratic Party (DP) party has said the Makindye division LC3 chairperson, Moses Kalungi, is not a member of the party. “No DP boss has crossed to NRM party as it was reported in one of the media houses. People like Kalungi are trying to attract people’s attention and cause confusion among the public. We don’t know him,” the party’s deputy publicist secretary, Kenneth Kakande, said. He was addressing journalists during the party’s weekly press briefing in Kampala yesterday. Kalungi declared his support to President Yoweri Museveni at a rally in Makindye over the weekend. He was elected Makindye division chairperson in 2006 as an independent, but insists he is a member of DP.
Kakande said Kalungi’s DP membership was suspended at the Mbale delegates’ conference immediately after they received information that he belonged to two parties. “Kalungi had a DP card and was at the same time a patron of the Social Democratic Party, which is not allowed,” he explained. He noted that like Sebaggala, Kalungi is a political tourist with his own interests as a businessman. Kakande stressed that Kalungi had also contested to become the party’s treasurer in Mbale, but his credentials were questioned. On this year’s 48th Independence Day celebrations, Kakande said Ugandans should focus on changing the country and giving it a new look. He reported that 10 million Ugandans live below the poverty line, while preventable diseases like malaria continue to kill people. Kakande said corruption is still a major challenge to most development programmes yet no action has been taken against the culprits. “Corruption is one reason why we still have poor living standards, inadequate health facilities among other issues. The Government should do something about it,” he said.
The party’s chief legal adviser, Fred Mukasa Mbidde, said the party had petitioned the Electoral Commission (EC) to block members who pick nomination forms without a letter from the party’s secretary general, Mathias Nsubuga. Mbidde cited Samuel Lubega, who recently picked nomination forms as DP’s presidential candidate.


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has accused the NRM of a selective development agenda aimed at creating an aristocracy. Mr Mao, who addressed public rallies in Buyende and Kamuli districts on Monday, said the NRM government had subjected Busoga to poverty. “NRM game plan is to hold the greater north under insurgency and Busoga under poverty which it has done in overdose thus creating a political virus,” Mr Mao said.
Political bondage
Mr Mao said the NRM has held voters in Busoga and northern Uganda in a political bondage which they must free themselves from. Promising positive change, Mr Mao said: “DP is a party for the peasantry whose livelihood is dependent on land hence our symbol the hoe but a luxurious party like NRM goes for a bus that is inaccessible to a local man.” He said the DP will give a living wage and quality education that is relevant to the future if elected.
“DP is a peasants party so all those who have hoes at home and land should vote Mao and those of you with buses parked in your garages, go ahead to the bus but I know you are a minority,” he said, working up the crowd.
Mr Mao cautioned the Basoga against relying on traditional leaders, saying Mr Museveni only uses them for votes through divide and rule. He said the president wanted to pitch the Basoga against each other, arguing that this was the reason William Gabula Nadiope IV and Edward Columbus Wambuzi remained as fence Kyabazingas in Busoga for political vote-balancing.
Mr Mao said President Museveni was paying lip service to traditional leaders and was not committed to resolving the standoff in the Kyabazinga wrangle. “He is just confusing you to his political advantage but he will be ashamed,” he said.
Mr Mao said he trounced the late Brig. Noble Mayombo for the Makerere guild presidency, Col. Walter Ochora for Gulu LC5 seat, Ms Betty Bigombe for Gulu MP seat, adding that he is capable of defeating Mr Museveni in next year’s presidential elections.