Thursday, December 16, 2010


Fort Portal - Even if the incumbent were to massively rig the February 18 general elections, he wouldn’t win, according to the DP presidential candidate, Norbert Mao.
Mao’s remarks came days after he proclaimed that Yoweri Museveni, the NRM candidate, was leading the race, with him (Mao) in second place.
But he told a rally in Fort Portal municipality on Tuesday that President Museveni cannot win the 2011 elections because he has lost his critical support. Museveni, he added, has been rigging to win.
“I’m going to defeat him for his own good; this hoe is our symbol, it has come for him. The hoe will uproot him and finally bury him; he cannot escape it,” Mao said in his trademark oratory.
“Trust me, Museveni cannot win this election. He no longer has a strong support base. He lost the support of northern and eastern Uganda, now Buganda and even western Uganda has problems with him; where is Museveni’s support base now?” Mao told the crowd at Kisenyi.
He added that Museveni will not get the required 51% to gain an outright victory. Accusing Museveni of condemning the people of northern Uganda to internally displaced persons’ camps for two decades, Mao said the IDPs cannot vote for him now, much as they are out of camps.
Mao, who spoke in a mixture of Luganda and Runyakitara, said: “First of all, he is the one who condemned us into IDPs, now he expects a thank you, but instead we are asking him why he condemned us to the camps. We cannot vote him.”
He added: “I defeated his minister when I was 28 years with only Shs 60,000 (Gulu municipality Parliament race). I defeated his colonel (Walter Ochola, in the Gulu LC-V chairman race). I have now come for him - the general, no shortcut. I will defeat him too.”
Rigging fears
At the Kisenyi rally, Mao warned of vote rigging and unveiled DP’s vote guarding strategy. He said the party will have four officials at every polling station.
Mao added that the party officials will not only append their signatures on the declaration of results forms but also a thumbprint. A thumbprint, he argued, cannot be forged like a signature.
He also said that DP is pushing the Electoral Commission to declare and display the results at the polling station soon after vote counting.
He warned of bloody consequences should the election be rigged. “If the election is rigged, we shall stage mega protests until it is nullified. I will personally lead the demonstrations across the country because I’m a veteran in protests,” he said.
17 public universities
Mao pledged to overhaul the education system and create market oriented courses. He said the current system mainly produces white-collar job seekers and not job creators.
Mao promised that DP would re-construct what he called historical schools, arguing that such schools united Ugandans on top of providing quality education. Giving himself as an example, Mao said he learnt Luganda because he studied at Namilyango College in Wakiso district.
Still on education, Mao told his supporters at Kasende trading centre in Ruteete sub-county that his government would launch 17 new public universities within his first term as president. He said this would boost the quality of education. Uganda currently has five public universities.

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