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.

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