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.

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