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 http://www.maonow.org/

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.

Monday, November 15, 2010


THE Democratic Party (DP) has endorsed the Social Democratic Party president, Michael Mabikke, for the Kampala mayoral race. The party’s national chairman, Mohamed Kezaala, told a news conference at Speke Hotel in Kampala on Thursday that the decision was taken by DP’s national executive committee on Wednesday. The party, Kezaala said, decided to back Mabikke, the Inter-party Cooperation (IPC) candidate, after the Kampala Central MP, Erias Lukwago, decided to run as an independent. “We have decided to support the IPC candidate so that we don’t hand the seat to NRM,” he said. Kezaala, the Jinja municipality mayor, added that DP had decided to abandon with Lukwago after he declined to write to the party’s secretary general expressing his interest in the seat. The party has endorsed Eddie Yawe to contest for the Kampala Central MP seat in next year’s general elections.


The Democratic Party will ensure a transparent, accountable and corruption free government cardinal in its manifesto. We believe the political economy of Uganda, the socio-economic, socio –cultural development in this country will be achieved only with an exemplary leadership, which leadership is lacking in Uganda with the current leadership in government being suspects [of corruption].
To get the right answer, Uganda needs the right formula of tackling corruption first with stringent laws that will ensure accountability at all levels. DP will have zero tolerance for corruption and specifically; the Mao-DP administration will redistribute Executive power since we believe that the current ills in government such as corruption and non-accountability arise from the concentration of the power and authority of the state in the Presidency and the emasculation of the capability of other public institution that are intended to ensure the due checks and balances in the transaction of public affairs.
Our administration will enforce autonomy of public institutions through independent vetting by commissions and Parliament. DP will institute a serious legal reform to ensure that any public official accused of corruption is immediately relieved of his responsibilities and suspended till the case i
We have witnessed government officials impeached for corruption but still enjoying the liberty of holding important offices. Democratic Party will not only make zero tolerance a swan song but rather the epitome of its first leadership credentials. The fish rots from the head; it’s the head and top leadership that must stand to be counted. The idea of arresting small fish like Teddy Cheeye while dining and basking in peace with big thieves will not be tolerated.
Corruption has been institutionalised in Uganda and DP will undo this. It has been breeding under weak public sector management and administration. Whereas poverty is chocking most ordinary Ugandans, a few people are basking in the national wealth. On transparency International rankings, Uganda moved from 126 to 130 out of 180 countries in their indices of 2008/2009.s fully determined.

Corruption has flourished in the procurement and administration of public expenditure. IGG reports indicated that local governments are the most corrupt sector of government and because they are closer to the people, corruption impacts directly to the ordinary people. Thefts have always been reported but the criminals have been forgiven, even by the President. That makes him a suspect!
We have witnessed corruption cases in the Purchase of junk choppers; the NSSF/ Temangalo saga, The Global Fund where victims of HIV/Aids and Malaria were deprived of their lives through theft of money meant for their treatment. The recently concluded Chogm in Kampala that saw billions stolen by government ministers. These big suspects still hold onto their offices. We won’t tolerate this.
There are myriads of corruption examples. In northern Uganda, the war ate billions. In 2003 alone over $1.3 billion was spent on the war under classified expenditure. The Northern Uganda Reconstruction Programmes 1 & 2 and the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund have been another den of corruption. Ugandans saw Gulu District chairman, who is DP Party President expose corruption in the Prime Minister’s office when he literally broke one of the plastic pangas procured to help resettle people of northern Uganda. The perpetrators are still ministers in these offices. It is estimated that Uganda loses Shs500 billion annually to corruption according to the 2007 African Peer Review Mechanism report.
DP President General, also known as Chairman Mao, was voted number two among the least corrupt Ugandans by the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda 2009/10. This is a precedent that Uganda needs an exemplary leader.
The first victim of the demise of culture and traditions in Uganda after colonialism is the moral sense of shame! Leaders luck morals and they dress to go to office to steal but not to work. DP will heal Uganda from all forms of corruption ranging from actual theft of public funds, to nepotism in public services such as the army. This is our promise to Uganda. The medicine is Mao
Mr Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, the DP National Publicity Secretary, wrote this article on behalf his party leader.emwaka@yahoo.co.uk


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said testimonies by top cabinet ministers on the Chogm funds have now portrayed President Museveni as a prime suspect in the mess.
Addressing a campaign rally in Malaba town at the weekend, Mr Mao likened Vice President Gilbert Bukenya and Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa’s revelations to a man in his village who had a beautiful daughter who he did not want to talk to any man, ties her by his bed and she eventually gets pregnant.“When clan heads asked the girl who was responsible, she said ask daddy because I am always chained here,” Mr Mao said.
Prof. Bukenya defended himself before Parliament last week and Mr Kuteesa is expected to appear this week. All implicated ministers will defend themselves again before the House.

He said when the two cabinet ministers appeared before Parliament, each of them insisted that the President had full knowledge of how the Chogm money, they are now being accused of misappropriating, was used.
“When the Vice-President appeared before Parliament he said the President authorised some of the expenditures.” Explaining his argument further, Mr Mao said in legal terms, a suspect is believed to have an opportunity, the means and the motive to commit a crime and that in the ongoing Chogm scandal, Mr Museveni possesses all the attributes.
Be contented
He urged Ugandans to be contented with what they struggle to earn instead of dipping their hands in other people’s pockets. “Ugandans like glorifying ill-gotten wealth. Better live in a grass thatched hut than living in a mansion which was built from questionable resources,” Mr Mao said.
Mr Mao also took a swipe at Mr Museveni for allegedly saying in Apac recently that he (Mao) is a collaborator of the LRA rebels.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


PEOPLE’s Progressive Party president, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, has said removing President Yoweri Museveni and replacing him with the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Kizza Besigye, is no option because they are like twins.
He observed that Uganda’s major problem is not the lack of drugs in public health units or the deficiency in delivery of other social services but the culturing of people who have been holding the presidency. Bidandi, who served for over 20 years as a minister in different regimes, says the country has largely been ruled by people with military backgrounds, who end up making errors when they forget and exercise martial clout to run the State. “They have backgrounds originating from the gun and the bush where orders are unchallengeable. This makes them more of autocrats than leaders,” he said.
Bidandi's statement re-echos DP Presidential candidate Mao's earlier message to voters in Pallisa that it would be a big mistake to replace NRM with FDC because they are all the same.


The Democratic Party (DP) has resolved to throw its weight behind Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke, the Inter-Party Cooperation flag-bearer in the city mayoral race.According to the party Chairman Baswale Kezaala, the DP National Executive Committee which convened on Wednesday at the party headquarters preferred Mabikke against Kampala Central MP Erias Lukwago.
“We looked at Mr Mabikke from the IPC perspective and since Mr Lukwago ignored room to amend his relationship with the party, we preferred the former,” Mr Kezaala told journalists in Kampala yesterday.
“Like we said earlier, we can cooperate with IPC at lower levels of leadership and this process has started,” he added. The two MPs face NRM’s Peter Sematimba and Capt. Francis Babu who defied his party and get nominated as Independent.
“He [Lukwago] has not been supportive of the party in any way, and we gave him enough chances but he misused them,” Mr Kezaala added. Sources that attended the NEC meeting told Daily Monitor that Mr Mabikke, also president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), will in-turn back a DP candidate Sebastian Lwanga for the Makindye East parliamentary seat.
Mr Lukwago, a former DP legal adviser, fell out with his party recently to join the Suubi 2011 pressure group which fights for the interests of Buganda Kingdom.This group, which comprises mainly of Buganda-leaning politicians, has since signed a memorandum of understanding with the IPC to create a joint campaign platform. Early this week, IPC electoral commission chairman Rubaramira Ruranga said they have not held any discussion with Mr Lukwago over his intended mayoral candidature and advised him to step-down in favour of Mr Mabikke.
He said Mr Mabikke was their preferred candidate as far as the IPC protocol is concerned. This view, however, is at odds with the IPC/Suubi wing of the alliance which is standing with Mr Lukwago who was nominated as an independent candidate.DP had chosen former NSSF Corporation Secretary John Baptist Kakooza as its flag-bearer but reversed the decision for what it said were the wider interests of the opposition.
Battle lines
This seems to have set a new battle within opposition ranks since none of the two rival candidates is willing to step aside. Mr Mabikke, who also walked out of DP to form SDP, said the latter’s support was a manifestation that “my candidature has brought support across the political, religion and tribal divide.” “This is indeed a golden opportunity I must utilise so that I don’t disappoint the people,” he said.
After his nomination last week, Mr Mabikke held his first rally at Katwe, Makindye Division while Mr Lukwago held his first rally at Nakasero Market, Central Division.Kampala District has five political divisions which have exhibited unique voting patterns basing on their social, religious and economic factors.
Kampala Central is highly commercial and a cosmopolitan division while Rubaga is more of a residential area mainly inhabited by old Buganda and conservative Catholic families that have generally thrown their lot with politicians from the DP. Kawempe on the other hand is Muslim dominated and densely populated while Nakawa is a cosmopolitan but dominated by northerners and easterners.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao yesterday kept the spotlight on graft as a key campaign issue, charging that it is impossible for the President to claim any commitment to fighting the rampant vice when he is himself a “chief suspect”.
“You cannot be the chief suspect in corruption and expect to get rid of the problem,” Mr Mao said in Budaka where, although he did not provide evidence directly implicating the President in corruption, he still rejected President Museveni’s renewed campaign promise to fight corruption.
Presidential shield
“The most corrupt top government officials are being shielded from being prosecuted by the President of this country while the poor continue to suffer paying exorbitant taxes which time to time are swindled,” Mr Mao said.
Addressing several rallies in Budaka District, Mr Mao said the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) is not a party but a platform for thieves who are against change knowing that once there is change, they can expect to face the law and also pay back what they have stolen from the government coffers.“The President’s allies are openly swindling government funds under his watch. It’s very difficult to fight corruption when he (Museveni) himself is not clean at all,” Mr Mao said attracting thunderous applause.
The DP leader cast himself as a candidate unblemished by accusations of corruption pointing at his leadership as Gulu District chairman which he said is free of graft. This is unlike the central government that is today struggling under the weight of the reported uncontrolled swindling of public resources.
“Leaders,” Mr Mao said, “must have the moral authority to discipline corrupt officials. Merely saying we shall deal with them and nothing happens is a ‘mafia’ style of confusing the entire electorate to think tough measures are [coming] when it is a hoax.”
Mr Mao cited the Shs11 billion Temangalo land scandal in which Security Minister Amama Mbabazi was named, Global fund heist in which three ministers were implicated and procurement of junk military choppers as examples of cases of corruption which costs Uganda hundreds of billions of shillings annually.
“These people are walking free and continue using government facilities. As a leader, he (Museveni) would have fired these ministers instead of rotating them within his administration,” said Mr Mao, adding: “All these will have to face the law once Mao is entrusted with power come 2011 election.”
He also spoke about his plans to shake up the country’s economy from the devastation of this administration’s privatisation policy that witnessed the divestiture of key state parastatals like the Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda Railways and other valuable national assets.
Taking a swipe at the opposition Forum for Democratic Change whose membership is to a considerable extent drawn from former NRM enthusiasts, Mr Mao said it would be a great mistake to vote for it since there is no difference between them.
“All must be thrown out. Vote DP which is pro-people with integrity,” he said. “This generation both have origins in the Luweero Triangle. They all claim that they fought to liberate this country instead they are counter-accusing each other of massive corruption and acquiring wealth in dubious deals.
“You hear of top government people keeping billions of shillings under their beds while majority of Ugandans are wondering how to get only Shs500,” he observed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Pakalast is blasphemy, says Mao
Wednesday, 10th November, 2010

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By Daniel Edyegu THE Democratic Party presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has described the ‘Pakalast’ NRM slogan as blasphemy against the supremacy of God. Addressing a rally at Manjiya trading centre in the newly-created Manjiya district last week, Mao said only God merits the honour of ‘Pakalast’ since he is the sole author of life. He said while the ruling party is using the slogan to perpetuate dictatorial rule, God is in charge of Uganda’s destiny. “I am amazed when I hear people screaming ‘Museveni Pakalast’. Where is Mobutu (former DRC president)? Where is Amin (former Uganda president)? Amin used to call himself conquerer of the British empire, field marshal, life president and many other things. But when time came, he went. He even died an ordinary citizen.” “Museveni is the last breed of the post-independence presidents we are left with. When time comes, will Museveni defy God’s call? Will he tell God to wait since he is (Museveni) ‘Pakalast?’ Only God is ‘Pakalast’. God has kept me all this time because he knew I had a purpose to fulfill,” Mao said. Mao held other rallies in Bushika sub-county, Tsikholo and Bududa Corner trading centres in Manjiya and Bududa districts. However, a heavy afternoon downpour disrupted his rally at Tsikholo trading centre. His visit also coincided with the nomination of the district LC5 chairpersons, councillors and mayors. Mao told the residents that due to rampant corruption and misrule, Uganda had failed to attain equitable distribution of wealth. “Our country is endowed with wealth, but the poor are the majority. People say President Museveni is not corrupt, but only the people around him. I know of a proverb that says flies go where there is rot. So when you see flies swarming somewhere, you know something rotten is there,” Mao said. He urged the electorate to discard tribal sentiments and consider character and ability when electing presidential candidates. He told the electorate not succumb to intimidation, but report to him security personnel perpetrating the vice. “With the infamous Kiboko Squad in Kampala, we have already drafted our strategy. We told our supporters to take pictures of all those wielding sticks. After the chaos, we shall trace them.” “In Kampala, the Kiboko squad caned the FDC president Dr. Kiiza Besigye. How do you beat me? I’m not desperate to be president. We are all canvassing for votes. If you caned me, I would first put a side the issue of looking for votes and deal with you,” he said. He gave out his mobile telephone number to the residents


DEMOCRATIC Party presidential candidate Nobert Mao has called upon the Electoral Commission to display election results for two weeks before the actual tallying exercise. Mao told a rally in Kapchorwa that the commission should ensure that results are declared in the presence of candidates’ agents to guard against rigging. “I am asking the Electoral Commission to display results for a period of two weeks after the election. This will enable candidates and the people to compare results. If there is rigging, then we shall invite all our supporters to assemble,” he said. “We shall not carry any weapons but our voters cards. Then we shall demand for fresh counting because we cannot accept rigging,” he added. Mao noted that when he contested against a minister in Gulu, it was his supporters that guarded against the rigging. “I know the Government will switch off telephones on voting day but we shall use satellite phones to reach our people,” he stated. Mao added that he would give out his phone contact so that the people could report those intimidating them. He pledged to remove political positions like that of the resident district commissioners and their deputies, as well as presidential advisers. Mao said DP had undertaken reforms and appealed to its members who defected to other parties to return. He noted that DP was not a party for Baganda and Catholics, but that it welcomed all Ugandans. Earlier on arrival, Mao’s entourage had a bitter exchange with a Police officer, who demanded to know where they would hold their rally. Mao urged elders in Kapchorwa not to decampaign the youth during the elections, saying this country required youthful leaders. He, however, said Museveni was old and unable to lead the country after failing to bring the desired change over the past 25 years. Mao noted that Museveni’s time as president had expired and advised him to look after his cattle in Rwakitura and have a chance of attending to his grandchildren

Monday, November 08, 2010


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has promised to reduce the remunerations for Members of Parliament to Shs4 million. MPs currently earn over Shs13 million inclusive of allowances and mileage depending on the location of their constituency.
Mr Mao while addressing a rally at Muyembe Sub-county in Sironko District explained that people tend to struggle to be elected MPs purposely to earn big remunerations and allowances and once in Parliament, they completely forget to serve the people they represent. “Our target once we take over power is to reduce the remunerations to Shs4 million to ensure that the legislators come to Parliament to give service,” he said.
Criticises debates
Mr Mao criticised the quality of debate exhibited by the National Resistance Movement legislators in the Eighth Parliament, saying they have apparently been reduced to caucus level where they just come to defend government’s positions. “We are coming with a change to revive Parliamentary debates to ensure the House remains with its independence and dignity instead of supporting certain positions,” Mr Mao said. He blamed the government for creating very many districts but without services to be delivered to the people. “The districts are being dished out like plates without food on them,” he said.
While at a rally in Budadiri Town Council, Mr Mao said his party will put in place adequate health facilities to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates that are now on the increase. He said his vision was to ensure quality education for Ugandans.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Apart from having the biggest number of presidential candidates in the history of the country, the forthcoming elections are also distinguishing themselves for unprecedented use of new social media.
The race is as hot in cyberspace as it is on the ground. Candidates Yoweri Museveni, Dr Kizza Besigye, Norbert Mao, Beti Kamya and Dr Bwanika are all using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to mobilise supporters.
However, the DP leader seems to be heads and shoulders above all in the use of these tools. The use of social media in politics came to prominence in 2008 during the US presidential campaigns, where eventual winner Barack Obama was champion.
So far Mao, who has been likened to Obama because of his oratory skills, is the only candidate running a website entirely dedicated to the campaigns: www.norbertmao.org.
The homepage with the imposing picture of Mao has an active countdown to “Uganda’s new beginning” as well as links to his plans, donations and questions for him to answer. It also calls on the visitor to “become part of the dream” by joining “the Mao Team.”
There are also links to Twitter and Facebook with a click on the latter connecting you to his page where debate on various issues rages.
Very few Ugandans have access to the internet, 2.2 million out of a population of 31 million, according to the International Telecommunications Union. Of these, a few would probably vote.
Nevertheless, online social networking sites provide an alternative and easy way for like-minded people to connect with one another, share ideas and form communities. In this game where every vote counts, the candidates, or their strategists are leaving nothing to chance.
When Mao told this paper last week that he is the most popular candidate on Facebook, the feeling was that he was blowing his own trumpet. Well, every man thinks he has got the prettiest wife back home!
Then a visit to Mao’s Facebook page revealed a few things. At the last count, he had 10,860 “friends” and his page is most interactive with many supporters being part of it. In fact there is a post for every rally he addresses with pictures to boot.
“I think it will be a huge change 4 all Ugandans Norbert 2 be a Ugandan president 2011 pakalast,” says one supporter.
Other entries, picked at random, run:
DP Forever! Mao is the man to vote- we need generational shift.
I think we need a civilian president to prove that Uganda is moving forward in the realms of democracy.
Do it like Obama to have the last laugh Chairman Mao.
Mr. President, I’m going to write on your page every day until I see momentum in your campaign.
To those who ‘fought’, we say: Keep your past but let us have our future!
Another obviously humourous supporter urges voters to embrace Mao because he has a “ballistic” wife. Naomi is the only candidate’s spouse to have so far made news of her own because of her looks.
On the other hand, Museveni has four Facebook accounts on the last count. One has 747 friends, while another has 1,214. On one of his accounts, Museveni says:
“The struggle we are having now is to ensure that we get you employment”, while another reads: “We need to keep our traditions intact, put our poems in your songs so that they are not forgotten. We need those poems”.
The latter comment is next to a video of his rap song that seems to have resonated well with the youth. As a matter of fact, many of the youth visiting the site promise to vote for Museveni basing entirely on his song, which has also received a lot of hits on YouTube.
The more ingenious Ugandans have come up with accounts such as ‘Museveni Must go home’ and ‘Museveni must resign’ dedicated entirely to bashing Museveni and drumming up support for his loss in the 2011 elections.
One post reads: “I just wish, this guy M7 new how much i hate him, the NRM think they untouchable, they ve turned our economy in to their own, stolen, killed, and they wnt 2 come back. 2 finish what was pending.”
But the Museveni supporters are also giving as good as they are getting. One of the president’s admirers wrote “oh plz u pple leave museveni alone,jst let him be...u dnt kne da gold in him.nze ama museven i love u so much bse...hehe.lo”.
Besigye’s two accounts, which have 884 and 5,000 friends respectively, are lacking in terms of activity, although that is compensated for by his exuberant supporters. FDC’s homepage, www.fdcuganda.org doesn’t offer much apart from announcing that Besigye has been nominated.
Does anyone know Beti Kamya’s age? Although her Facebook page states that she is a widow and mother of two, the year of her birth is not mentioned. At least the Uganda Federal Alliance president does mention that “Ugandans, watch this space. This is going to be fire”.
There is also an out pouring of support for her candidature on her wall. Some of the postings read thus:
May the almighty God bless you in your political career. Wishing you success.
There you go!!! We are there for you! Beti, break the egg so that we eat the yolk.
We all know that infront of NRM is the Garden of Eden, behind them is the buried Uganda. Let’s dig it out!
Abed Bwanika’s latest posting by press time was of his first rally in Kyadondo. Jaberi Bidandi Ssali of the People’s Progressive Party, UPC’s Olara Otunnu and Sam Lubega, an independent, don’t have any links that this writer is aware of.
With the candidates having just 112 days to traverse the entire country, alternative platforms for campaigning, such as the internet and phone text messages, are bound to be a welcome substitute.


DP Presidential Candidate Nobert Mao has changed the image of the party because of the following attributes that has made him stand out in the first week of the campaing. Mao is currently winding up the Eastern tour is the youngest candidate but represents the oldest party DP in the 2011 presidential elections.
Mao is also the only candidate who has a track record of winning right from Namilyango college where he Head-Prefect, Makerere University Guild President, two time MP representing Gulu municipality and now currently Chairman Local government Gulu District.
Mao has always overcome being an uderdog to election victory by trouncing prominent figures like Brig. Noble Mayombo (R.I.P) for Makerere Guild President, Hon. Betty Bigombe for MP Gulu Municipality and Col. Walter Ochora the latest casuality to Mao's bid of becoming Gulu District Chairman.
Mao also represents a generation of youth mainly those born after the 1966 crisis in which the central government stormed the Kabaka's palace and led to the introduction of the politics of the gun and instability.
Mao's candidature is also symbolic of civilian rule in a situation where Uganda has never overcome the trauma of military dictatorship. Uganda still remains one of the few countries that have never had a peaceful handover of power and Mao has done a lot to instill confidence in Ugandans that government can be changed through the power of the ballot.
Mao who is a lawyer by training has mixed parantage with a munyankore mother and an Acholi father yet his ability to speak Luo, Luganda, English and Runyankore makes him multi-lingual and a candidate who can easily bridge the South and the North in Uganda.
After successful nomination as DP Presidential candidate, Mao addressed a mammoth crowd at his inagural rally at Kawempe Growers ground in Kawempe.

He later campaigned in Luweero where he told the residents that he's the only candidate without blood on his hands. Mao thinks that the movement is equally quilty of the killings in Luweero arguing that in a war, the one who wins should have killed more, likening it to football in which the one who scores more goals carries the day.

At another rally in Matugga, Mao told residents that Museveni was forced to switch back CBS unconditionally targeting Buganda votes but after the elections, he would not hesitate to switch it off and this time might take longer to switch it back.
On his second day of campaigns in Makindye Kampala, Mao paid a visit to the former DP President Paul Kawanga Semogerere and later addressed rallies in Makindye division.
Mao particulary warned the Baganda against the IPC-SSUUBI deal saying its a Kiwani (fake). Mao reasoned that as a lawyer, the genuine agreement should be signed by the Katikkiro and Attorney General Apollo Makubuya. He wondered whether if Mayanja Nkangi who was a former Katikkiro also signed a similar agreement with Museveni, that would be binding?
The next leg was in Mayuge where he attacked NRM as party that blocks talent in reference to Bukenya's failed bid to become NRM secretary Genera. Mao applauded DP for giving him an opportunity to take over from Ben Kiwanuka, Kawanga Semogerere, Sebaana Kizito and now himself all based on merit.
Mao also named his campaign team headed by former President General Sebaana Kizito and Kyadondo South MP Issah Kikungwe as campaign manager.
Mao completed his week with mamoth rally in Mbale, the very place he was elected last year as a DP flag bearer. So to him, it was like homecoming.
Mao has also made efforts towards reconciliation within DP. His visit in the company of the Cardinal to former President General Kawanga Semogerere has started to bear fruits with the of senior council JB Kakooza, who formerly belongs to the anti-Mbale and founders of Ssuubi 2011 returned to the fold and will soon be nominated as the DP candidate for Kampala City Mayor


Democratic Party president Nobert Mao yesterday criticised plans by the Electoral Commission not to issue voters’ cards ahead of next year’s general elections.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by a democracy advocacy agency, Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) in Kampala on Thursday, Mr Mao said his party will not buy the national electoral body’s idea.EC chairman Dr Badru Kiggundu had earlier been tasked by Doboozi editor-in-chief Kalungi Serumaga to explain why the EC has decided not to issue voters cards.
Kiggundu urges
In a separate interview, Dr Kiggundu told Sunday Monitor that the voters will only be required to present themselves at the polling stations and their details will be confirmed then.
Dr Kiggundu, however, said those already having the cards should carry them along to their polling stations on the voting day. However, Mr Mao castigated the move by EC as a ploy to manoeuvre the electoral process and leave loopholes for open rigging of votes. He said he will seek audience with the EC to get clarity on how the voting exercise is to be carried out without voters’ cards.
“The EC has no excuse not to issue voters cards because a German firm [Muelhbauer High Tech International] was contracted to process the cards for all Ugandans who are eligible to vote,” Mr Mao said


THE Democratic Party presidential candidate, Nobert Mao, has described the ‘Pakalast’ NRM slogan as blasphemy against the supremacy of God. Addressing a rally at Manjiya trading centre in the newly created Manjiya District on Thursday, Mao stressed that only God merits the honour of ‘Pakalast’ since he is the sole author of life. He said though the ruling party is using the slogan to perpetuate dictatorial rule, God is in charge of Uganda’s destiny.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Jinja mayor Baswari Muhammed Kezaala was yesterday among the first candidates nominated to contest for the post in 2011. Mr Kezaala, a member of the Democratic Party, was accompanied by the district party chairman Sam Kitanda to Busoga Square where nominations took place.
He said he is seeking re-election so that he accomplishes a dream of making Jinja a city. The Jinja central division speaker, Mr Andrew Kasigwa, was also nominated for the same position on the FDC ticket.
Mr Kasigwa said he will revamp the deteriorating education standards in the municipality once he is voted mayor. Mr Majidu Batambuze, an NRM candidate, will be nominated today for the same seat.


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has described the National Resistance Movement as a static party that does not provide an opportunity for people to contest for higher positions in the party.Addressing Bududa residents yesterday during the second day of his tour of Bugisu sub-region, Mr Mao said the NRM does not choose leaders on merit and lacks new ideas to govern the country.
Referring to the NRM as a grass-thatched house where the owners cover themselves with old sacks for blankets, Mr Mao said it would be self defeating for one to enter the hut and ask for a blanket.
He said when Vice President Gilbert Bukenya entered the house and asked for a blanket he was shown the exit, and that to date, Mr Bukenya knows where he belongs and that to survive the house, he has had to cover himself with a dry sack like others.
“A party that does not open gates for others to stand on merit is not only doing a disservice to Uganda but also killing the potential in the would-be good leaders. DP had late Benedict Kiwanuka, Dr Kawanga Ssemwogerere, then came Mr Ssebana Kizito and now the gates are open for Mr Mao, a young man like most of you to take on the leadership of the party. This is what a national party is supposed to be,” said Mr Mao as the crowd shouted “Obama, Obama”.
He revealed that although Prof. Bukenya and the Minister of Trade, Mr Kahinda Otafiire are quite, they have been shown that in NRM you don’t just jump in and start armtwisting people to change the course of things.
He said President Museveni’s polices, the rampant corruption and high taxes have made Ugandans poor, adding that the DP will address these problems.


By Daniel Edyegu
THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Nobert Mao, has told the people of Bufumbo County in Mbale district that he will use people power to win next year’s elections. This was after the residents challenged him on Wednesday about what he would do about voter intimidation and rigging. They cited the 2001 and 2006 elections that were marred by intimidation of voters. Mao urged the electorate to guard their votes without fear of intimidation. As a presidential candidate, Mao said he had only one ballot that would not yield much impact if the electorate did not guard against election malpractice. “We are aware of the possibilities of intimidation and have discussed ways of handling them. If Electoral Commission Chairman Badru Kiggundu attempts to manipulate these elections, I will call you to the streets and we will count the voters, not ballots. “If that fails, then Museveni will remain the president of the ballots and I will be that of the people,” Mao said. Earlier, Mao met Muslim leaders at a mosque on Republic Street. Thereafter, he proceeded to Bufumbo sub-county for his first rally in the district. Residents wielding hoes, the DP party symbol, lined the roads and chanted: “Mao oyee! DP oyee!” Most of them demanded for posters and Mao’s t-shirts, which were in limited supply. “Tuuwe ku posters (give us posters)”, they yelled as the convoy snaked through villages. Mao later addressed rallies at Nakaloke sub-county and Naboa road in Industrial Division, Mbale town. He told the residents that Museveni’s rhetoric of coercing the electorate to return him to power could no longer stand. “He (Museveni) used to intimidate people, saying if you didn’t vote him, he would go back to the bush. Museveni can’t manage guerilla life anymore. He’s aged and used to soft life. The last time I saw him illustrating military drills, he was taking cover on a mattress. Where will you get the mattress in the bush?” Mao asked. “Besides, he used to tell people that if you vote him out, Joseph Kony (the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader) would wreak more havoc. I went to the bush and sought dialogue with Kony. Now that he’s out of way, I don’t know what excuse Museveni will give,” Mao wondered.


DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) presidential flag-bear Norbert Mao on Tuesday unveiled the team that will spearhead his campaigns countrywide. The former party president, John Ssebaana Kizito, will head the team as the national chairman with the Kampala deputy mayor, Florence Namayanja, as vice-chairman and Deo Njoki as research coordinator. The party secretary, Mwaka Lutukomoi, on Tuesday said: “This campaign will be about marketing ideas and issues and not lies or name calling, as has been witnessed before.” Other members of the team include MPs Issa Kikungwe (campaign manager), Mathias Nsubuga (finance), Sarah Nsigaye (communications manager), and Makerere guild president Shaban Ssenkubuge (head of youth mobilisers). John Baptist Kawanga and Ssebuliba Mutumba are in charge of Buganda region, while Dr. David Dronyi and Joe Nam are for the northern region. Eastern region has Mayor Basware Kezaala (Jinja) and Raphael Okoropot, while Robert Bob Kitariko and Herbert Rutagwera head the campaigns in Western region. Maxensia Takilambule is in charge of the Women league.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


The DP Parliamentary candidate for Kyadondo East Julius Nsubuga and Nangabo Sub-county candidate Experito Musisi waving the DP symbol of a hoe after being nomited at Nangabo Sub-county Headquarters


President Museveni can never go back to the bush to fight if he lost the 2011 polls because he is now used to the good life, DP president Norbert Mao has said.Mr Mao said the President enjoys walking on red carpets, delicious meals and living in air conditioned houses. “He would prefer going back to Rwakitura than going to the bush again to fight,” he said.
Mr Mao, while addressing rallies in Busia District, advised President Museveni to retire to avoid getting “a humiliating defeat”, saying he had failed to address essential needs of Ugandans.
He cited the high cost of education, high unemployment, rampant poverty and high taxation, as factors crippling the country’s development. “Our people are dying of poverty which is rising each day in the countryside and maternal mortality is high due to poor and inadequate antenatal care,” he said.
While addressing rallies in Bufumbo, Nakaloke and Mbale municipality, Mr Mao said he would ensure civil liberty, reconciliation, peace and equal justice.The DP president said he will also give subsidies to farmers at the grassroots to help them improve their productivity and scrap taxes on essential commodities
Funding Agriculture
Mr Mao said he will increase funding for agricultural sector from the current 3.8 per cent to 12 per cent. He said the revival of cooperatives to boast the sale of agricultural products and increase incomes of the rural farmers, will also be on his agenda. He said he would pay a living wage to all civil servants to improve their living conditions.
“For the last 25 years President Museveni has done nothing for Ugandans apart from lifting the presidential term limits and impoverishing Ugandans. Then he tells people NRM and Museveni “Paka last”, this is not only abominable to Ugandans but blasphemous because it is only God who is ‘Paka last’. Is he above God?” he asked.
Mr Mao promised to build a strong road network countrywide, revive the railway line, water transport and build quality infrastructure.


The Democratic Party has said it is writing a complaint to the Electoral Commission over the conduct of the NRM during the launch of its manifesto.
On Tuesday, the Inter-Party Cooperation, DP and the Uganda Peoples Congress expressed outrage over the presence of security chiefs and public servants at the NRM manifesto launch, calling this a clear case of partisanship contrary to the law and Constitution. The ruling party, however, remains unapologetic for its actions.
Expressed apprehension
The opposition has since expressed apprehension that the army and police will act in a partisan manner in the forthcoming general elections.Speaking to Daily Monitor, DP deputy spokesperson John Paul Kakande yesterday said the party was concerned that the NRM was compromising security forces in the run-up to next year’s general elections.
“We intend to write to the Electoral Commission expressing our dissatisfaction at NRM’s conduct. We want the EC to know that we have noted this partisan behaviour and intend to amplify it to see if they will take action,” Mr Kakande said. EC spokesperson Willy Ochola had on Tuesday advised that any aggrieved parties file a complaint upon which the elections body will institute an investigation into this perceived breaking of the laws and infringement on the principle of free and fair elections.
The DP will find it uplifting to discover that the Forum for Democratic Change, one of the four IPC partner parties, is also taking some action in the matter. “We have begun keeping record of all these things happening all over the country,” FDC spokesperson Wafula Oguttu said yesterday.
“All this will act as evidence in future petitions over malpractices.” But Mr Ofwono Opondo, the NRM deputy spokesperson, yesterday flatly rejected accusations that his party was encouraging partisan politics by inviting security chiefs to the launch of its manifesto on Monday.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor, Mr Opondo called the claims “complaints based on ignorance, under a veil of fear and uncertainty.” “We invited all the opposition party leaders. UPC, DP and FDC did not turn up but all the other opposition leaders came. The public was also invited together with diplomats, NGO heads and senior government officials because they would be the ones to digest and criticise the manifesto,” he added.
Seen in uniforms
“Didn’t Ugandans see them in their uniforms? This is because they were invited in their official capacity representing the institutions they head, not as NRM cadres. It was an invitation not an order. Those who did not want to come did not come.”
In response to Mr Kakande’s fears that “how can we expect to be protected by the law if it belongs to one party,” Mr Opondo said his party was not controlling any security outfit.
“We pay for using UBC and even Kololo Airstrip. What do they mean by we control? Have they requested for police help and been denied?”


Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao, who now heads the country’s oldest party, is next week scheduled to release a manifesto that will highlight plans for what he calls a “new political order for a new generation”.
Possibly the youngest leader of a political party, Mr Mao whose day job has been chairman of Gulu District will tout the document with DP’s pledge to live up to its promises as highlighted in the draft currently available.
Mr Mao is racing through eastern Uganda, reminding audiences that the old political order has failed the country – hence the call for a new beginning.

A quick look at the draft manifesto reveals highlights of an agenda which includes – in no particular order -- ensuring zero tolerance to corruption, creation of jobs for the large masses of the unemployed especially the youth, directing more resources to the agricultural sector and granting a federal system of governance.

Reviving education sector

Other key proposals are on how to revive Uganda’s deteriorating education system through motivation of teachers with high pay and promoting merit, establishing a full ministry for games and sports, preventing disease at community level, adequate funding for health care and religious institutions, introducing a minimum wage and promoting local industries and dialogue.
Mr Mao’s manifesto borrows portions from the document used by his predecessor at the DP helm, Mr John Ssebaana Kizito, who ran for office in 2006. Two days ago, Mr Mao announced his campaign team to be headed by Mr Ssebaana as the national chairman, Kyaddondo North MP Issa Kikungwe is the campaign manager.
“We shall ensure zero tolerance to corruption because only 40 per cent of our national budget is put to proper use; the rest of the resources land into the hands of corrupt officials. If we tighten our noose on corruption, the money in the budget will double for service delivery,” says Mr Kikungwe.
DP proposes to fully employ the services of existing anti-corruption institution. The focus on corruption dovetails with close attention being paid by all candidates to the vice which is costs Uganda hundreds of billions of shillings annually, let alone its adverse effects on delivery of social services. Mr Mao attacks the President for being unable to go beyond “blaming” top officials involved in corruption.
“We are also emphasising job creation because universities in Uganda produce so many people who have remained unemployed for a long time. The President’s business of giving out envelopes to some individuals has not helped either. With the available micro-finance institutions, they have not helped much. We want to change the people’s mind set and engage them in a gear which will propel them to action,” Mr Kikungwe said.
There is promise to immediately make available 5,000 jobs for the youth in the public service. At the same time, to put a cap on run-away public expenditure by abolishing the political office of Residence District Commissioner and their deputies which sucks hundreds of millions of shillings every month. He also promises to reduce the number of presidential advisors so that the resources currently spent on them are re-directed towards creating employment for the youth.
Mr Kikungwe said DP also “also believe sport is a process not an event. We must invest in it in order to get more medals. Instead of investing millions in CNN to have the country’s image revamped, let us invest in sports and the country will market itself automatically”.
“Also, concentration on polytechnic and apprentice trade academic programmes and investing in sciences including computer, mechanical and engineering and tapping into global trends using science and technology as well as harnessing the power of the Internet to create opportunities, supported by a strong ICT policy would offer alternatives to the unemployed,” says DP secretary general Mathias Nsubuga.
Like some other candidates, DP has promised to grant a fully fledged federal system of governance with a power sharing agreement in place for those states that wish to come together. This, the DP believes will take power and services closer to the people.
“Federalism democratises society, and it provides an additional layer of checks and balances thus deepening democracy. The unitary system of government has failed Uganda and is partly responsible for the zero-sum politics which has turned our politics into a life and death struggle for the capture of power which largely lies at the centre,” reads the draft manifesto.
There is a telling intention to immediately review the Constitution to offer what they called a “viable and well- coordinated form of federal government and guarantee the minimum but meaningful income and sources of funding for local governments/federal states”.
President Museveni has also offered a more elaborate version of federal system of governance if re-elected echoing an unfulfilled promise to Buganda Kingdom spanning most of two decades.
Now the Uganda has discovered oil, DP has promised an oil policy that will benefit everyone. The faith groups have Mr Mao’s attention too. He proposes budgetary allocations for their private Not For-Profit institutions.

Supporting churches

“We pledge to give religious institutions all necessary cooperation and financial support to increase efficiency and effectiveness in their respective institutions while at the same time respecting their independence and integrity. We also want to return ownership of religious founded institutions [to their owners],” reads the manifesto in part.
In the health sector, DP means to empower communities through awareness creation and training to prevent disease, cutting down incidence at household level reasoning that at least 70 per cent of diseases are preventable.
In the education sector, DP proposes a review of the entire educational system with a view of making it relevant to the needs and aspirations of Uganda’s human resource needs. They hope to achieve this through using resources saved through controlling corruption.
Mr Mao has promised to pay a living wage to all teachers starting in 2012, feeding pupils in primary schools by 2013 and maintaining free and compulsory primary school education, without compromising quality and establishing a scholarship scheme for high performing Ugandans.
Plans for security

His vision for Ugandans’ security includes a plan to phase out two spy agencies; Internal Security Organisation, External Security Organisation and their affiliates. They would be replaced with a properly facilitated National Security Service to handle all tasks of an intelligence gathering nature. Diplomats presently deployed to handle security matters would take over duties formerly undertaken by ESO, for instance.
He blames the palpable feeling of insecurity in the country on the proliferation of security organisations. The DP has a view of the country’s communication system modernised with a rehabilitated Entebbe International Airport to attract more international airlines, spruced-up in-country airfields to boost domestic flights and conduct a study on the viability of another international airport in the country.
On energy, Mr Mao said he would rectify the architectural and management mess at Owen Falls Dam to ensure optimal production of hydro-electric power. “We will also enter into partnership with private investors to invest in the production and supply of alternatives and renewable energy in both urban and rural areas,” Mr Mao suggests in a manifesto whose catchword conjures images of a new future.