Friday, February 18, 2011


Norbert Mao, 44, Democratic Party

NOBERT Mao is a lawyer, an orator and the leader of the Democratic Party (DP).

He was twice the MP for Gulu Municipality between 1996 and 2006 and applauded as an exceptional debater.

Born on March 12, 1967, Mao has branded himself the true candidate for national reconciliation.

He went to Namilyango College before joining Makerere University for a degree in law where he also became the guild president in 1990.

Although he has many good attributes, Mao’s disadvantage is that he has gone into this election leading a divided a party.

After losing to John Ssebaana Kizito during his first attempt to lead DP in 2006, Mao stood for Gulu district chairman and he won.
What he has promised:

Overhaul the education system

Establishing 16 public universities.

Increase agriculture and health budget allocations to 15%.

Massive investment in the reconstruction of war ravaged northern Uganda.

A transparent and citizen-centred oil and gas policy

Thursday, February 17, 2011


DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said he will revive the agricultural sector once voted to power.

Mao was addressing his final rallies in Lubaga and Makindye divisions, where he told his supporters that agriculture was once the backbone of this country, but had been neglected by the current government.

“Every financial year, this government allocates only 8% of the budget to agriculture, which has brought the sector that was once glorious to a stand-still.

"These funds cannot sustain the sector, which feeds a population of more than 30 million people,” Mao said.

He said his government would allocate a minimum of 15% of the country’s budget to reviving the agricultural sector.

Mao added that once the sector is boosted, the country will increase the production of food, which will also be used for export.

“During this government, the country has faced famine, which is a result of insufficient funding for the agricultural sector. This means the country will continue to suffer if nothing is done to boost the sector,” he said.

Mao, who was flanked by his wife Naome, pledged to set up agriculture-based industries throughout the country that will buy produce and make products for the local and export markets.

“Our products would carry great value once they are processed locally instead of exporting raw materials to countries that would use the residue to get more products. If we export finished goods, we will boost our economy,” Mao said.

He promised to subsidise imported agricultural equipment, saying this would encourage Ugandans to practise agriculture.

Mao, who addressed rallies in Nakulabye and Kasubi markets, said he would fight hard to reclaim the electricity distributing company that was sold to foreigners.

“Since the sale of many government-owned companies, our people have suffered with the high prices levied on products. If we bring those companies back, people will get services at fair prices, hence development,” he said.

He promised to reduce electricity and fuel prices if voted into power.

Mao assured his supporters that he would win the elections by 67%, saying he has electorate bases in the Northern region, among the youth, the poor and in his party.

He urged them to vote for DP’s Maxensia Nalubwika in Lubaga North and Joseph Lwanga of Makindye east.


Norbert Mao was elected president of the Democratic Party (DP) on Saturday February 20, 2010 and now set to run for president of Uganda in the 2011 general elections. His party (DP) faced a lot of challenges that led to a split and deep polarization at the height of 2011 presidential elections. Mao speaks Luo, Luganda, Runyankole and English fluently.

We’ve just been at Makarere University for the last rally in Kampala, how have you found the campaign trail in this election?

For me it has been very exciting, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the people. It has also given me an opportunity to share with the people some of my thoughts and my plans. It has been an opportunity to mobilize the party. It has been an opportunity to get questions. And also I have had to come face to face with ghosts of the past. In the Luweero Triangle I was asked by someone about the killings by government troops, many of whom were from northern Uganda. So this was an opportunity to help Ugandans to come to terms with the past, and also to rise above it. So the campaign trail has been fantastic.

And how do you feel things have changed politically, particularly in Northern Uganda, since the last election?

Right now the population is more dispersed. People were in IDP camps, and candidates would patrol the camps and find voters. President Museveni has made some concessions about northern Uganda. So the political landscape has changed a little bit. I believe he expects a little more support. But he has not dealt with the substantive issues of national reconciliation; he has not dealt with the reparations, paying war debt. And because the expectations of the people are higher during peace, President Museveni may not actually reap any dividends. We are now called upon to be more substantive, not just denouncing war and conflict and displacement. So in many ways it is not 2006, at least it is not 2001.

The north has a very large young population, as does the rest of the country, and I’ve seen and heard a lot of people referring to you as Obama. How do you feel about that nickname?

I feel flattered to be associated with a great leader like President Barack Obama, but it’s more about my ethnic mix. My mother is from Ankole, where Museveni comes from, and my father is from Acholi, in Northern Uganda. The same way that Obama has been a bridge between black people and white people in America, many people believe that my ethnic mix gives me a better advantage in being a bridge to unite the north and the south, to heal that long divide that we have been having. Obama challenges us to aspire to a greater future and I am also challenging Ugandans by telling them that we can’t do anything about the past, but we can change the future.

One of your talking points is “UB40”, Ugandans Below 40. Do you think that your party has policies that attract young people?

The Democratic Party has the most vibrant youth movement. Our programs for job creation, for support entrepreneurship amongst the young, of supporting education through more funding, providing for student loans and providing scholarships for students to pursue degrees science and technology overseas, and our program for reforming the education system so that students can have real skills instead of just a piece of paper, these ideas are so appealing to the youth. And by being a candidate whose online presence is very strong, young people relate to me. They know that we have a shared past. They don’t share any past with Museveni. They relate to the demand for jobs and better education.

Young people are always known for having more progressive ideas. Uganda has been criticized internationally for its stance on gay rights and apparent toleration of homophobia. What are your thoughts on this issue?

All ideas must progress through time before they are accepted. Uganda is going through the effects of globalization, and while in the West gay people declare themselves openly and have clubs and publish magazines, our society has not yet reached that point. There was a piece of drama named “The Vagina Monologues”, and it was thrown out of Uganda. There was no outcry over that. I supported the women who wanted to show that piece of drama. The prejudice being felt by homosexuals in Uganda has been felt by other societies. I believe that homosexuals are human beings and that they are entitled to their human rights, but I think the world should understand when we take precautions to protect vulnerable parts of our society. But also I think the world has been unfair to Uganda. There are so many Ugandans who are in jail unfairly, but President Obama has never said a word about them. I think human rights should be like the Ten Commandments. It doesn’t matter which one you break, you go to hell. When I become president I will encourage the western world to understand why this is a sensitive debate.

It should be noted that the bill, which called for the death penalty for certain homosexual behavior, resulted partly from a tour by some evangelical ministers from the US.

Well this cuts both ways. I am a sinner, and am taught to hate the sin but love the sinner, and I think we have no right to judge. People should accept the culture shock, but also we must take precautions against the manipulations by those who are sitting on moral high horses. People will exploit [the gay rights movement], but I think that Uganda is big enough to accommodate people of all sexual orientations, because we cannot have a moral police going round putting cameras in people’s bedrooms. There would be many things going on.

What are the most important changes you think Uganda needs with its next government?

Uganda is still too caught up with the “big man” politics. President Museveni is in the mold of Mugabe and Said Barra, leaders whose departures signal chaos, and they use that threat to cling on to power. I believe that we need to put power back into the hands of the people. Our elections are meaningless because they are based on bribery and the state machinery is used heavily to undermine opponents. I think the number one agenda is genuine democracy. We need to fight corruption. The president and his cronies use government funds like loose change. I think we need leaders who lead by personal example. We also need to deal with social injustices- the gap between the rich and poor is too high. The price of basic necessities is too high, the government needs to intervene. Even the education sector discriminates against the poor; even health services discriminate against the poor. So my most urgent set of reforms would be to restore term limits, that’s very healthy for a democracy. People get used to arrivals and departures. Museveni has overstayed his welcome and he needs to go. And we don’t need his permission for us to tell him that he needs to go, and to make him go. We need to deal with economic reforms, and also to support the strategic sectors such as agriculture. But most of that will not be done if we have a kleptocrat and his cronies in power. Fighting corruption is a key agenda for me.

You have spoken about Kenyan elections in your rallies and about the tribal coalitions it uses. What do you think Uganda can learn from Kenya’s successes and failures?

Firstly I think that the Kenyans have learned that no community can totally dominate the country, and that forces compromise. I think that compromise is good in politics we must learn the culture of give and take, and I think the Kenyans have learned the hard way. We don’t have to learn the hard way. Secondly I think we have learned that if you are marginalized because of your tribe, then you should not apologize for organizing on the basis of your tribe. That’s why women organize as women, because if your gender is the basis for your marginalization then you should organize on the basis of that marginalization. Thirdly, we should learn from Kenya that you need to talk. In Uganda the political classes don’t talk. The main political leaders have never sat in the same room and talked. But also the Kenyan politics has totally disenfranchised the ordinary people, because the people are used as bargaining chips. The wheeling and dealing turns the people into pawns that are used to gain political mileage, and that is something we should avoid in Uganda.

What can be learned from the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt?

What we have learned is that no dictator is invincible. Every tyrant has their Achilles heel; you just have to find it. But we also have to study the societies. Egypt and Tunisia have very high literacy rates, the societies are culturally homogenous, and they speak Arabic, which unites them. But otherwise I think that the Tunisian and Egyptian experience is applicable to Uganda.

Do you think that the events in Tunisia and Egypt have had an effect on the way Ugandan voters view these elections?

Yes. It’s like a giant who has been sleeping realizing its strength. Because of the power of the media, you say Tunisia every Ugandans may not be able to locate it on a map but they know that there was a long-serving dictator who was kicked out by angry masses. It is a good precedent for those who desire democracy, and a bad precedent for despots. Uganda is not like Egypt and Tunisia, but Museveni is like Mubarak and Ben Ali.

And finally, the election is in two days. If you don’t win how will you and your family be relaxing after these grueling months of campaigning?

It’s not so much about relaxing. I will take a few days off to catch up on sleep, maybe do some travelling, compile my diary and generally get back to the work of preparing for the next offensive. That is if the result is acceptable. If we have reasons to challenge the results we will not be reluctant. We will be in the trenches, challenging the results and asserting the power of the people. If I win I will be naming a cabinet, touring the country and forming a governing alliance. We have run a strong race and surprised even ourselves. The party is energized and no matter the results, the exertions will not be in vain.

Tags 2011 presidential elections, 2011 uganda, democratic party, elections in uganda, Government, Mao, mao uganda, Norbert Mao, uganda democratic party, Ugandan elections, Voting, Candidate, Election, Parliament, Party Politics, Politics

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


By Andrew Ssenyonga

DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao yesterday campaigned in Nakawa division where he told his supporters that he would uplift their living standards.

Mao, who addressed mini-rallies in Ntinda, Nakawa and Mbuya, said he would put in place health facilities, roads and projects to fight poverty.

“Some health facilities are in a poor state and need re-enforcement. The roads that are surrounding Kampala are also in a sorry state, something has to be done,” Mao stated.

Mao also promised to improve the education system.

“The standard of education in the country worries and if something is not done, our children might end up jobless.
“This is coupled with the rampant corruption in the education and the sub-standard graduates from the system,” he noted.

He added that most of the Government institutions were poorly funded.
Mao, who was accompanied by his wife Naome, told the people of Nakawa to embrace change.

At his rally at Acholi Quarters in Mbuya, Mao promised the residents permanent buildings once he is voted into power.

“You are not here because of your own will but due to the problems that befell the northern part of Uganda,” Mao said.

Mao also thanked the Kabaka of Buganda for welcoming the Acholi to his land. He added that it showed a sign of solidarity between the people of Buganda and those from the northern region. Mao advised the Acholi to only vote for DP members.

Mao told the residents that guns in the north had fallen silenct but the struggle to remove President Museveni from power was still on.

Mao campaigned for DP members Ketty Asabaawebwa (Kampala woman MP) and Nakawa division’s Kenneth Kakande.

He said DP had a strong, young and energetic team that would deliver better services and fight corruption.

Monday, February 14, 2011


MOSES Mulondo interviewed presidential candidate Norbert Mao on his chances of winning the February 18 poll and how he hopes to manage the country thereafter.

How do you rate yourself and all the other candidates in the race?
Well, we have got those we call the usual suspects who include the NRM and the FDC and the only new thing we have observed in them is style, not substance. NRM’s Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 25 years and FDC’s Kizza Besigye, who has campaigned for 10 years, are not like me who is new in the presidential contest. But of course I am not new in Uganda’s politics. To defeat an incumbent like Museveni you need to have a solid base.

What base do you have?
I have four different bases. As a candidate for DP, I count on the party’s traditional support base of Buganda, which has been re-awakened since I became the party leader.

I will certainly perform better than all other candidates in Buganda. My other base is Uganda’s young generation — below 40 years. I expect to win that vote. The 2011 election is about securing Uganda’s future and about closing the old chapter and opening a new one of brightness and hope.

My other base is the dispossessed, the ordinary people who constitute the majority of the voters.
Of all the candidates, I have taken the lead in fighting for their cause. Finally, the northern block will vote for me because my candidature pushes back the stigmatisation of the northerners.

I expect a resounding win in northern Uganda on account of my contribution to peace and reconstruction of the region. I believe this is an election we can win as DP and victory is in our hands.

Who do you consider to be the two leading contenders in the contest for the presidency?
Because of the power of incumbency, this election is between DP and the NRM.
Most of the people within the opposition fraternity believe I am the best alternative to the NRM regime because I have never been part of it and I am also the candidate of national reconciliation.
How do you now rate President Yoweri Museveni?
I still insist that President Yoweri Museveni enjoys the power of incumbency, but does not have sufficient numbers to win. It is possible that the election may go into a run-off. For him, power has become an end in itself.

How do you rate the FDC candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye?
The FDC still enjoys some level of support, especially from NRM members who have lost faith in Museveni as an individual but have not lost faith in the NRM. Besigye’s only drive into presidency seems to be kicking out Museveni, but Ugandans look beyond that because they are also interested in a better alternative.

Besigye has failed to galvanise his supporters. In fact, he depends on borrowed support from DP. FDC will suffer the dangers of a borrowed base. I believe that Besigye’s best days are behind him.

Are you saying 2006 was Besigye’s peak?
Yes. He has made two attempts and I do not believe that he can exceed his previous performance because he lacks a home, which I have.

And how do you rate the UPC candidate Olara Otunnu?
Ambassador Otunnu has in the past played national politics and at one time he was involved in peace talks between the Uganda government and Museveni, who was representing the NRA rebels. I look at Otunnu as somebody who is posing a moral challenge to Museveni. But having been away from Uganda for long, the time he has had on the ground is not enough to help him make an impact.

What about the UFA Presidential candidate Beti Kamya?
Beti Kamya is basically running a single issue campaign. She is very articulate and being the only woman candidate in the race makes her campaign more colourful.

But the issues she is raising are also being raised by all the other opposition candidates.

For DP, we have been fighting for federalism since the 1960s. Her candidature has surely created some level of excitement among people but it is impossible to win a national election on a single issue.

How do you gauge the PPP candidate, Bidandi Ssali?
I think Mzee Bidandi is clearing his conscience. He entered the race to show that he has offered his age and wisdom. He has run an impressive billboard campaign. I think his role is more as a moderating influence. I don’t think he is a serious contender.

What of Dr. Abed Bwanika of PDP?
Bwanika has some interesting ideas but he does not have any political base and that eliminates him from the serious contenders.

How do you rate Samuel Lubega?
Samuel Lubega lost disastrously two times in his attempt to become an MP. I think he is in the contest only to prove a point that he is also capable of running for president.

So, for him running for president is a great achievement and an end in itself. He is running a pathetic campaign which is unlikely to yield anything.

What do you think attracted this big number of people to contest for the presidency?
When you have many contenders for an office, it is a sign of fragmentation. But I think it also shows that many political leaders see 2011 as a turning point and they don’t want to be left behind.

What will you do if you are defeated?
If I lose in a free and fair process, I will congratulate the winner but if the process is marred with rigging and I am already seeing signs of rigging, I will lead a strong non-violent campaign to resist the perpetrators of the rigging. I will call out citizens to the streets to non-violently demonstrate against rigging.

If all goes well and you win, what will happen to Uganda?
It will be great for Ugandans to see a peaceful handover of power for the first time. It will be exciting to see a president who has no blood on his hands taking over. It will be exciting to see the Uganda army saluting me and paying respect to the office and not the occupant of the office which is what will restore faith in the democratic process. The Uganda I will lead will be sectarian-free.

If Museveni wins, would you accept an offer of a position to serve in his government?
To join in a Museveni government only means that you probably want the benefits of the office because it is very unlikely that you will be given the opportunity to serve.

So, my answer to your question is no. By the way, even if I were to join his government, he would be forced to dismiss me in a very short time.

But you can also find common ground even if you are not together in government. Cooperation must not only mean co-optation. So, I will agree to cooperate, but I will not agree to be co-opted in Museveni’s government.


For more than 44 years after independence, Uganda has had a nasty past and uncertain future. Ethnicity, greed, power struggle and arrogance has reduced this country to the blood pot of East Africa.

On February 18, like on December 12, 1980, Uganda will make history. The 1980 elections, believed to have been rigged by Obote, gave birth to the National Resistance Movement- formed as a result of rigged elections! The moral question remains: why has President Museveni’s NRM forgotten to respect the power of the people as enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution? Our past election was declared flawed and rigged by courts of law but the same Electoral Commission of 2006 is still in place.

The Democratic Party urges Ugandans to vote for Norbert Mao and own the process of transforming our country. All Ugandans registered must vote and put vote protection as a priority. DP will offer Uganda a lean, accountable and just government. We shall ride on the principle of truth and justice and restore respect for Uganda and its people. The regional divide responsible for past tension and violence will be erased with a president who appeals to all regions of Uganda. With a mother from Ankole and father from Acholi, Mao is set to build the otherwise broken social fabric and national cohesion.

DP under the leadership of Norbert Mao will end corruption through leading by example. We will set a foundation for democracy and good governance with stringent laws on corruption. We will ensure better service delivery in sectors such as education, health, infrastructures, minerals and the entire economy. DP will create and respect strong institutions of governance of state to promote rule of law besides ensuring respect for human dignity and justice for all and equality before the law. We shall have a people-based and sustainable economy.

Uganda’s economy is a paradox of poverty amidst plenty. While the economy is said to grow by seven per cent, relative and real poverty is on the rise! 80 per cent of our population depends on agriculture yet it’s the most neglected sector. DP will invest heavily in agriculture and make it a priority besides the manufacturing industry. This will create 1 million jobs within the first three years of our leadership. DP will also reduce the unfair tax burden on the society and create citizens economic empowerment fund to support enThe Democratic Party is the only party of hope for lasting peace in this country. Uganda will lean on the peaceful principles of DP for peace and prosperity. We shall improve the education sector through heavy investment. Teachers will have a living wage and accommodation.

DP will ensure quality of education, not access (enrollment numbers)! Lunch in schools will be a right and students from both poor and rich backgrounds will have the same education through loan schemes for institutions. The health sector too, will be boosted. DP will increase the health budget; Ugandans will have health insurance and above all, maternal health will be a priority besides combating HIV Aids. DP will create a fully-fledged ministry of youth and add up to their representation in Parliament.

At the end of the day, we ask: what has gone wrong in our country? The answer is Ugandans must heed to the voice of change- genuine change based on background and character of the leader being elected. We must put an end to arrogance and militarism; we must reinstate term limits and vote a president who transcends tribalism and stands on truth and justice. That president is Norbert Mao.

Mr Mwaka Lutukumoi, DP’s national spokesperson, wrote this article on behalf of his party leader

Sunday, February 13, 2011


DEMOCRATIC Party presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has promised to lower taxes and boost businesses.

He said he would also embark on infrastructural development in the area of roads, railways, education and health.

While addressing a rally at Boma grounds, in Koboko over the weekend, he told a jubilant crowd that he would also raise the agriculture budget to 15%, restore the defunct cooperatives and establish a farmer’s bank to make farming attractive and lucrative.

He also promised to set up an export processing zone at Oraba to tap the lucrative market in South Sudan and create employment opportunities for the youth. At Oraba border, Mao pledged to support South Sudan to join the East African Community.

Earlier in the day, Mao traversed all the seven sub-counties of Koboko district, bolstering support for Dr. David Dronyi, the DP parliamentary flag-bearer for Koboko.

He castigated the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme for lacking quality and serving as a dumping ground for children of the poor.

“Why should the future of our children depend on the wealth or poverty of their parents?” he asked. We are all of equal value. Every child has dreams that must be nurtured in life.”


Written by Michael Mubangizi
Sunday, 06 February 2011 21:09
With presidential election campaigns almost entering their last week, DP presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, is sparing no effort in persuading Ugandans to choose him ahead of his rivals.

Mao, the outgoing Gulu LC-V chairman, is currently campaigning in his home region of northern Uganda. He winds up his tour of the West Nile districts of Arua, Nebbi, Zombo, Maracha, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani tomorrow, before embarking on Gulu, Amuru, Lamwo, Kitgum and Pader districts.

The main targets of his message have been President Yoweri Museveni, Dr Kizza Besigye and Olara Otunnu.

Mao says that Besigye, who is president of the Forum for Democratic Change and flagbearer of the Inter-Party Cooperation, cannot win the presidency because he has no support in his home region – western Uganda.

“I come with a bloc vote from the north, an area that has never voted for Museveni. Join me so that we defeat him,” Mao repeatedly told his supporters in Jinja recently.

“Charity begins at home. A person without support at home cannot defeat Museveni.”

Besides losing in his home area, Mao says, Besigye has lost in the two previous presidential elections (2001 and 2006) and thus exhausted his chances of becoming president.

“He has missed two penalties. Which coach can give you a third penalty kick?” Mao asked at a rally in Arua town last week. He repeats this analogy at most of his rallies.

Mao also throws barbs at Otunnu, the Uganda People’s Congress flag bearer. Although he rarely mentions Otunnu by name, Mao often says that unlike him who stuck with his people in their time of suffering during the conflict and helped highlight their plight, “his brother” was away, making phone calls asking about the war and the situation in northern Uganda.

“Now he has come back and is asking for votes. You don’t bring someone an umbrella when it has stopped raining,” Mao frequently says, ridiculing Otunnu, who spent several years overseas working with the United Nations as the war raged on in his Acholi homeland.

With the end of the war in the north, pundits predict an improvement in President Museveni’s political fortunes in the region. But Mao has been telling voters that Museveni, flag bearer of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), cannot claim any credit for ending the war in northern Uganda.

“You can’t put someone in a ditch for 20 years, then remove him and ask for votes from that person! The first thing that person will ask you before giving you a vote is why you put him in the ditch in the first place,” Mao said at rallies in Jinja.

Most of his campaigns in West Nile hinged on his record as a leader (MP and Gulu district chairman), which he says he has used to highlight the suffering in the region.

Mao also speaks of significant support from other parts of Uganda, particularly Buganda, where he says DP has strong support, and western Uganda from where his mother hails. He also brags about having a good following in eastern Uganda where he attended school.

However, contrary to Mao’s claims, history shows that people do not necessarily vote for candidates because they hail from their regions. For instance, his predecessor, Ssebaana Kizito, lost to President Museveni in Buganda.

Analysts also say that neither of the other presidential candidates, all Baganda, is strong enough to win in Buganda in the upcoming elections, and that the winner will be from another region. They are Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, Sam Lubega, Beti Kamya and Dr Abed Bwanika.

Predicting a rerun
Mao predicts that none of the presidential candidates will have an outright victory. Therefore, he says, he is confident that he will win in the subsequent re-run.

“This election will go into the second round, so if you in the north vote me, plus Buganda where DP has strong roots, then my [relatives] in the west and friends in the east, I will be the one to defeat Museveni.”

Mineral wealth
Mao also talks about the discovery of oil and other mineral wealth in parts of northern Uganda – citing oil and gold in Amuru, and gold and uranium in Rhino Camp, Arua – and cautions voters that NRM and Museveni cannot be entrusted with this wealth because of corruption.

“Leaving NRM in charge of oil is like leaving a hyena to guard your meat,” he said in Arua, adding that Museveni will become “even more despotic” with oil.

Mao claimed that influential people in government were buying land around the oil wells in a bid to take control of the ‘black gold’.

“They want to grab our land after impoverishing us,” he lamented.

Several people living with HIV and AIDS attended the rally in Arua town under their umbrella body, Arua District Network of People Living with HIV/ AIDS.

They demanded to know Mao’s policies about the pandemic. They also wanted assurances that his government would avail medicine in national hospitals.

Mao signed a memorandum of understanding with the organization, undertaking to raise funding for HIV/ AIDS prevention and treatment, and to increase funding to the health budget to 15%. He also promised to transform all Health Centre IV facilities into hospitals.

Mao’s rallies are normally cheerful because of his blend of wit and humour as he addresses issues affecting Ugandans. He normally reads out his mobile phone number at rallies for people to report to him cases of intimidation and to volunteer as DP agents.

He is, however, hampered by the lack of DP structures in some areas and this often affects preparations for his rallies.

In many cases, people in Mao’s convoy have to disembark and mobilize people to attend his rallies because DP has no one in the respective areas specifically responsible for this.

Friday, February 04, 2011



THE Democratic Party presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has said the Electoral Commission should get ready for physical head counting of voters, if the NRM rigs the elections.

“If your Museveni and Kiggundu attempt to steal votes, I shall mobilise the voters across the country for physical head counting,” Mao said.

Mao said he does not trust the commission, headed by Eng. Badru Kiggundu.

He said voters should be ready to come with voters’ cards for physical counting.
Mao said Uganda needs a civilised democracy where there is a line separating the Government and the President.

“We need a new design of running this country, the President has the right and duty, but all programmes should not be attributed to him,” he said.

Mao said he would beat Museveni for top office because of his cross-cutting background and his support among the youth.

He labelled the Inter-party cooperation an alliance without a symbol, alluding it to three men fighting over a woman, who tells them to go and negotiate among themselves, saying she would be willing to take anybody they agree on.

Mao accused SUUBI of practicing tribal politics, saying they are not supporting him because he is not a Muganda. He promised to fight corruption in Uganda.
Mao said corruption has led to poor road network and shortage of drugs in hospitals.

He urged the people to shun candidates who say they will bring development because they are close to the President.
“Look for quality leaders with a good record and people who do not preach hatred,” Mao advised.

I do not think there is any person close to the president apart from his wife,” he said amid applause


Wednesday, 2nd February, 2011 E-mail article Print article


THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has pledged to rebuild all health centre IV’s in the country to hospitals, fully equipped to conduct operations.

He said the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni had built health centres but had failed to stock them with drugs and equipment.

While addressing supporters at Koc-Goma sub-county headquarters in Nwoya district on Tuesday, Mao said since the NRM came into power in the 1986, it had failed to build any hospitals. It had also failed to manage the ones constructed during Obote’s regime.

“Museveni’s NRM in its 25 years in power has never constructed a single hospital. Museveni even failed to maintain and equip the national and regional referral hospitals to standards expected from what they were before the colonialists left them,” said Mao.

He added that when elected to power, his government would upgrade the current health centre IV’s into hospitals and equip them with theaters and modern equipment.

He attributed the poor state of the health sector to corruption practices by the NRM government.

Mao also said he would lead Uganda with non-corrupt practices so as to promote the quality of education. He said that this would be easy for him and his government if elected because the initial ideas of universal primary and secondary education put in place by the NRM was stolen from DP.

Mao promised to improve on national infrastructures like roads and schools and added that he would link major towns to major tarmac roads to improve on transport and communications in the Country.

He warned the NRM against intimidation.
“If you people vote for me, I will be sure that this election goes into a re-run, where I am sure that I will beat Museveni to the presidency,” said Mao.

Mao, who addressed a rally at Koc-Goma, later held rallies at Alero, Anaka and the Nwoya district headquarters before proceeding to West Nile region.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mao to cut tax on fuel, scrap PAYE

The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Nobert Mao, has pledged to cut taxes on fuel and scrap pay as you earn tax (PAYE) on low salary earners.

Addressing rallies in Wakiso recently, Mao said the current government has fixed huge taxes on fuel and individual salaries which has consequently hiked prices for essential commodities in the country. He said it is also useless to tax salaries below Shs400,000 since it infringes on peoples’ purchasing power and ability to live a sustainable life.

“Uganda has the highest fuel prices in East and Central Africa because of high taxes. This is why essential commodities like soap and paraffin are too expensive,”
High fuel prices
He said “it is high time we changed the whole system and handover leadership to realistic leaders.” Fuel prices in most petrol stations have since last year shot up ranging between Shs3,300 to Shs3,050. Paraffin has risen to Shs2,200 while diesel to Sh2, 500 per liter.

However, a government official from the industry who preferred anonymity says that the high demand for petrol during the festive season spilled over into the New Year yet the pipeline capacity has not been upgraded to increase on its output.

The DP presidential flag bearer also pledged an overhaul in the education and health system where he would review the education curriculum, rehabilitation of staff and wage increment.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Free Namwanga Immediately or Take Her to Court

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 After one week of not knowing where DP stalwart Annet Namwanga was being held I decided to mount a physical search by visiting JATT Headquarters in Kololo Summit View and later CMI Headquarters near Mulago. All our previous efforts had yielded no useful information. We spoke to several security officials but they were tight lipped about Ms. Namwanga.
At JATT the officer there simply brushed us off by saying "we also read about her in the papers". Obviously he was not willing to share information. On account of his rank (Captain) he was probably not authorized to talk. I contacted the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) where an official told me that he would "try to find out more information" and get back to me. I never heard from him.
We then contacted a senior CMI official. That is when we learnt that Annet was arrested from her place of work at Mulago in a joint operation with the police.
Ms. Namwanga is wife to Lawrence Kiwanuka, a journalist who was hounded into exile by persistent persecution. He is the immediate past President of the US Chapter of the Democratic Party and still sits on the branch executive committee. He is also a member of my campaign's fundraising committee and the Democratic Policy Study Group (DPSG). Ms. Namwanga is a quiet, unassuming and reliable person. On occasion she played the role of receiving funds from the US members on behalf of our party. The transfers, though regular, did not involve very large sums of money because most of the transactions are online via our websites.
We now know that the CMI handed Ms. Namwanga to the police but we do not know for how long they had held her and where. We have no idea of the charges but since she is being held alongside others, we suspect that it may be concerning alleged subversive activities. At least Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye has given a hint about that.
No matter what crimes Ms. Namwanga is alleged to have committed, as a citizen of Uganda, she is entitled to protection by the constitution. By holding her incommunicado for one week, the security forces have violated her constitutional rights. Her right to due process has been violated. She has been denied access to a lawyer and to members of her family. I also requested to be allowed to visit her in detention but my request was denied.
We condemn in the strongest terms Ms. Namwanga's illegal detention and the uncouth manner of her arrest reminiscent of Idi Amin's dark days. We demand that she should be released immediately. If there are any charges against her, then she should be produced before a competent court immediately.
We are also concerned that Ms. Namwanga's arrest may be connected to her role in my campaigns and her being a spouse to an exiled dissident and strong critic of President Museveni and his regime. The timing and manner of Ms. Namwanga's arrest is clearly intended to strike terror in the hearts of opposition activists.
Ms. Namwanga must have her day in court. All allegations by the state must be tested in open court. The Democratic Party will stand solidly with her and provide the legal support to ensure a vigorous defence against all charges. We believe that Ms. Namwanga is innocent and talking about her alleged crimes in the media by the security forces is prejudicial to her case and undermines her right to a fair trial.
We call upon our members not to be intimidated. We must intensify our campaign efforts. We must innoculate our people against fear. We shall remain steadfast and unbowed. These are the last kicks of a dying regime and the birth pangs of the New Uganda we seek to build. A Uganda based on the rule of law and not the arbitrary law of rulers.

Norbert Mao, Esq.,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mao campaign official goes missing

MISSING: Ms Namwanga.
A Democratic Party (DP) mobiliser has gone missing in what party officials say was a kidnap by persons dressed in military uniform.

Ms Annet Namwanga, an employee of Mulago Referral Hospital, was reportedly picked up by unidentified men in uniform at 2pm last Tuesday but her whereabouts were still unknown by press time.

Eyewitnesses say Ms Namwanga was last seen being involuntarily dragged by unidentified men towards a waiting vehicle which later sped out of the hospital gates.

Unconfirmed reports indicate Ms Namwanga is being held at the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT) headquarters in the upscale Kololo suburb, where she is being questioned.
“We were looking everywhere for her,” Kampala Central MP Erias Lukwago told Daily Monitor yesterday. “When we first went to JATT headquarters, we were told she was not there. But later some good samaritans told us that she was being questioned in there.” By press time, police spokesperson Judith Nabakoba had no details on Namwanga’s whereabouts. “Please speak to the army spokesperson as we in the police dig deeper into this incident,” she said. When contacted, the Defence and Army Spokesperson, Lt. Col Felix Kulaigye, also said he was not aware of the incident. “I do not think that is true but I will find out,” he said.
According to sources that preferred anonymity, funds for political mobilisation from DP supporters in the Diaspora have often been channelled through Ms Namwanga.

During the launch of the DP manifesto, Ms Namwanga reportedly handed an undisclosed amount of money to DP presidential flag-bearer Norbert Mao, which she claimed had been given to her by the latter’s supporters in the United States. This, according to sources, could have sparked off an investigation into her financial dealings.

Mr Mao has since confirmed knowledge of Ms Namwanga’s disappearance, describing it as dirty politics.
“I was informed of her disappearance and we want her released immediately,” Mr Mao told Daily Monitor on Friday.

Legal action
Ms Namwanga is wife of Lawrence Kiwanuka, a journalist critical of the government. Mr Kiwanuka is currently living in exile and chairs the DP –US Chapter.

“I am very worried about my wife’s whereabouts,” Mr Kiwanuka told this newspaper in a telephone interview from the US. “I was called by her sisters who told me how she was taken. They have no idea where she is. There is no formal notification from the police that she has been arrested.”
Mr Lukwago, who is also Ms Namwanga’s attorney, said he would file an application to have her immediately produced. “We are left with no other choice but that,” he said.

Monday, January 24, 2011

DP promises to take services closer to people

By Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi (email the author)
Posted Monday, January 24 2011 at 00:00

Norbert Mao


Any ship without radar is a lost ship! A country without presidential term limits, a country where there are good policies, and laws but not followed, a country where districts are created each time there is a necessity to gain political patronage is a lost country!

Uganda is governed under a unitary system based on decentralisation. A well managed and implemented decentralisation system can move services closer to the people. The people elect their leaders at local levels. This makes them more accountable to the people they serve. But unfortunately under the NRM regime, decentralisation and district creation has become the epicentre of corruption.

Decentralisation comes with its pros and cons. Fragmentation of district in guise of bringing services closer to the people without plan is more dangerous than having none. Granting districts without the money to fund the administration does more harm to the populace, besides creating conflict. It’s like giving a plate of food without food!
According to chapter on sub-national development under the National Development Plan (2010-2014-15), the visionary foundation is a transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous county within 30 years. How can this be achieved with creation of myriads of districts without facilities. Many districts still harbour staff that sits/works in ramshackle structures or no structures at all?

How can it be achieved with institutionalised corruption where perpetrators go unmolested? DP will build a lean government that will ensure better service delivery with zero tolerance for corruption. Currently, creation of districts means bulging Executive and Parliament. From 56 districts that were there in 2002 to 80 in 2008, with the campaigns and Presidential pledges districts rose to something like 112. Due to bulky staff in created of districts, the President awards over 112 RDCs with their deputies!
This combined with Presidential advisers and other staff, the number is way above 300. The figure that goes to support the State House budget is far above Shs90 billion.

In order to build effective state institutions, DP will reduce the bloated public administration in Uganda. The Norbert Mao DP administration will put in place lean central and local government. We will review the Constitution within the first 100 days to grant federal system based on democracy and good governance. This will cut the waste and inefficiency in government.

DP pledges to stop the indiscriminate creation of public administration units, review and rationalise the appointment of RDCs and presidential advisers, run a public service focused on efficient customer service delivery; engage in career development of public service employees at the work place.
Since the enactment of decentralisation policy in 1993, Uganda was focused on sub-national development. DP will not make district creation a den of rewarding cadres but rather the people. Fragmentation of district is like digging a hole to fill a hole! It’s ridiculous! Sub counties must be supported through decentralised districts to have the basic facilities like a mini or fully fledged referral hospitals with adequate facilities. DP will ensure that jobs are created for the youth, and the people. A Norbert Mao administration will promote rural development. Sub-counties and counties will have the services they deserve.

When chasing a hyena, we are told to reserve energies in case it turns to chase us! Let’s be mindful of the actions we take now. If it’s not sustainable, the entire act will boomerang! Democratic Party will be the new beginning Uganda yearns for, not the old wine in a new bottle.

Mao attacks Nambooze on IPC support

DP presidential flagbearer Nobert Mao addressing a rally at Mukono taxi park

By Henry Nsubuga

THE rift between the Democratic Party (DP) presidential flag-bearer, Norbert Mao and the Mukono municipality Member of Parliament, Betty Nambooze, has widened.

On Saturday Mao attacked Nambooze for supporting the Inter-Party Corporation (IPC) and independent candidates against DP candidates.

Mao described Nambooze as an inconsistent legislator who keeps on changing her statements.

Addressing a rally at Mukono taxi park, Mao accused Nambooze of presenting a list, while speaking on CBS radio, of people who have grabbed land in Buganda. He said Dr. Kiiza Besigye, the IPC flag-bearer, was one of them.

“The same person who short-listed Besigye among the people who grabbed Kabaka’s land is again the one backing him! Nambooze has to be serious,” he said.

“I talked to my sister Nambooze today morning on phone. I told her what she is doing is making us fools. We gave her the party flag for Mukono municipality parliamentary candidate. Why is she fighting DP candidates?” Mao asked.

Mao said Nambooze has continuously campaigned against him as the DP presidential candidate and other party candidates, causing chaos in the party.

“We treat everybody in DP equally. Althoug I am the party president, I am not bigger than any other member. How about Nambooze?” Mao asked. He advised Nambooze to stop singing that she was beaten and kidnapped to the extent of losing her life as she was fighting for DP, saying what she underwent is too minor compared to what people like Benedicto Kiwanuka experienced.

Mao asked voters in Buganda to stop tribalism if Uganda is to get a capable president.

“Criticising me because I am an Acholi is not good. I am DP’s presidential candidate, not Acholi’s presidential candidate,” he said.

Mao also attacked political candidates who put Kabaka’s picture on their posters, saying they are engaging the Kabaka into partisan politics.

He said the Kabaka supports everybody in Buganda and Uganda at large. Mao warned Buganda on people who pretend to be too loyal to the Kabaka, saying they are opportunists.

who will not be with in times of difficulty.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stay put, Mao tells Baruli


The Democratic Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao has advised the Baruli to give up President Museveni’s alleged divisive politics and remain united under the leadership of Buganda Kingdom. He said the current regime was playing the divide and rule politics to cling onto power at the expense of unity.

Addressing a rally in Nakasongola, the DP president said Mr Museveni is concentrating on promoting ethnic division as his campaign tool instead of explaining his manifesto.
“Don’t be deceived by Museveni that once you secede from Buganda you will be any better. You should remain united under the Kabaka of Buganda to develop,” Mao said, adding: “Buganda is an accommodating kingdom, that’s why every tribe is here and practices its culture freely.”

He warned that the politics of sectarianism would cripple the country and cause chaos in the future. “It’s like creating new districts; government is increasing the number of plates instead of increasing the volume of food on the plate,” he said.

Mr Mao described the ruling government as the most corrupt in the world and lacks the moral authority to manage public funds. He said government has failed to use anti-corruption measures to curb the problem, saying no Ugandan can trust them with oil money. “They are increasing abject poverty after failing to establish clear avenues to enable communities generate income,” he said.
Mr Mao said the proposed traditional leaders Bill should be withdrawn because it was brought in bad faith. However, NRM spokesperson Mary Karoro Okurut said she was “disappointed Mao is turning to smear politics”.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A day on Campaign trail with President Mao

By Enock Mayanja Kiyaga
My first day on a campaign trail with President Mao was very interesting as summarized below.

I got in touch with Ronald Kato this Morning at around 7am and headed to Mao’s home in Ntinda, a Kampala surburb.

On arrival at around 7.30am, we met the campaign coordinator Elvis Kintu. We were later joined by the security and the rest of the crue. We kept chatting until the President General came out of his house. We were later joined by a senior DP official, Mr. Mujjuzi who gave the candidate a brief of the area, we were going to campaign in, which is a strong-hold for the ruling NRM which others call a “yellow zone”.

We set off for the trail shortly after 10am and headed for Nakasongola, an area which is embroiled in ethnic tensions with the Buganda government in central region where they are constitutionally located, and on many occasions their leaders have advocated secession. In 2008, the Kabaka of Buganda was blocked by government from visiting the area, claiming that he had to seek permission from the area cultural leader, which Buganda government does not recognise and insists he is a government creation in view of weakening by dividing the Kabaka’s subjects.

I was fascinated with the vehicle, that moves ahead of us dubbed “air force one”, with a team of around 7 vigorous, energetic and young men who mobilize people for rallies using whistles, vivuzelas and loudspeaker, inviting people for the mini- rallies and announcing the venue for the main rally which was in Nakasongola town. This group also moves around with a book in which they gather and register names and telephone numbers of the converts who offer to work as our polling agents and setting up party structures before and after the elections. The number of converts is quite impressive.

The first stop over was at Kakooge town where we found a very attentive audience. When Mao started speaking, the audience started to grow. Mao said that constitutionally Nakasongola is part of the Central region and the area is under the Kabaka who is a traditional leader with several cultural leaders including the one of Buruli who has a right to practice their culture without any interference.

Mao emphasized that Buganda is a nation with several ethnic groups who are free to practice their own culture without any interference from the Kabaka. He gave an example of himself an Acholi who lives freely in Buganda and is free to practice his culture. He made further reference to the Bagisu, who occasionally perform their cultural Imbalu dance, the clans and other cultural leaders without any interference.

Mao said the Kabaka of Buganda does not segregate and has never discriminated against his subjects arguing that the current tension is political perpetuated with President Museveni to divide and rule. Mao called upon the Baruli to reject Museveni and his politics in the next elections and embrace DP so that they can live harmoniously with the Baganda as it has always been.

He said, DP’s vision is to create a healthy Ugandan, who is educated and wealthy. He assured the residents that a peaceful change of power is possible if they cease to vote out fear. Mao told the attentive audience that Uganda will change whether Museveni likes it or not but Ugandans should use the forthcoming elections as an opportunity to have a peaceful change of government.

Mao also said, gone are the days for military dictatorship and Uganda is ready to return to full civilian authority by electing him as President in the forthcoming elections. Mao added that he’s a clean politician who will lead by example and his party DP has never committed any political sin.

The President further addressed other mini-rallies in Katuugo, Ssassira , Migyeera, Kalungi, Nalukonge in Bwabyata sub-county, Kabusombwa, Lwampanga, Zengebe, Kasenyi Landing site in Budyebo, Kibuye and main rally in Nakasongola town.

In all the rallies, Mao introduced himself as new to the Presidential race but not new to elective politics having defeated Museveni ministers and army generals. Mao also gave out his number in all rallies and people took it up and often called immediatelty after the rally to cross-check and spoke to the candidate, assuring him of their support.

People always kept asking for posters to pin up in their houses and shops. Mao also used the platform to identify with the voters but enumerating his humble beginnings and how he was able to achieve despite his humble begginings.

Mao assured the voters that when they vote for DP, there will no retribution to President Museveni and offered on behalf of DP to buy him modern recording studio as a retirement package to develop his new singing talent and look after his grand-children.

After the main rally in Nakasongola town, we headed straight back to Kampala .

Overall, the performance was so impressive and it was evident that we have made inroads in the yellow zone, by painting it green and white. I was so humbled by the zeal, commitment, vigour and spirit of the team on the trail despite the logistical challenges and I am looking forward to join the next trail to the neighbouring Nakaseke, Luweero, Kayunga, Mukono before heading to Busoga.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I want a new beginning - Mao on the future

By Michael Ssali (email the author)

Posted Monday, January 17 2011 at 00:00

Democratic Party President General and presidential flag bearer, Norbert Mao, spoke to Michael Ssali about the coming election, his prospects and Uganda’s future. Excerpts:-

Q: What is your general impression of the campaign so far?
A: We are overwhelmed by the support we are getting. We even had a very successful rally in Rushere which is Museveni’s home. And the feedback we get is that our politics inspires confidence and does not frighten people. We have faced a number of problems in the campaign. Sometimes we have unexpected things like an accident that we had recently, but that did not stop us. Sometimes vehicles break down because of the bad roads. So you sometimes find yourself incurring very high unexpected expenditures. In some places, the Electoral Commission has interfered with our campaign schedules like in Ntungamo.
We also believe that the EC is biased in favour of President Museveni. He campaigns at night but the EC has never warned him. But when Norbert Mao is seen campaigning at one minute past six they want to portray him as someone who does not obey the election guidelines. But over-all the campaign has been good. We are running a strong campaign amidst all the challenges of a divided party, weak grass root structures and the lack of candidates in many places. Amidst all those problems, I believe we have given it our best shot, and the feedback is good.

Your father is an Acholi. Your mother is a Munyankole and you were raised and educated in the Central region and in Busoga, Eastern Uganda. Which one of these regions is giving you the greatest support?
It may surprise you that my base is not primarily ethnic. My base is generational; my base is a demographic base. There is an age group that identifies itself with me. That’s why I have about 15,000 supporters on Facebook. I have the best website. That’s why I am not so much bothered when the media deliberately ignores me. Because on average you can sometimes have over 40,000 people viewing my Facebook page!
The other base is that I have always been in the north. The north identifies with me and they know that no one else cares about peace and reconstruction than me. I also enjoy some linguistic advantages. I am fluent in many languages. When I was in Busia I was able to speak in Kiswahili fluently. When I am in Buganda I can communicate in Luganda. I speak Luo which is spoken in parts of Teso, Tororo, Lango and Acholi. I understand Runyankole perfectly and I can speak it although not as fluently as other languages. But I know enough of it to get the message across.
I am a non-threatening candidate because many people see me as a representative of their backgrounds – humble background, brought up in a village, but who has managed to achieve a lot.

You seem to be running a single issue and individual focused campaign --- Museveni, corruption, Museveni’s government, corruption …
We have a manifesto. So you cannot say we are not in the campaign for issues. But obviously in a ten minute speech you cannot speak about everything. Our core issues are national healing, which is the most important issue. Sudan is breaking apart. Uganda can run into that direction if we don’t learn to play inclusive politics. I have a very strong feeling about the demonisation of people from the north. I think that the core of my message is national healing and reconstruction. There is no tribe which is God ordained to lead a country. And to exclude one from leadership simple on the basis of their tribe that is a formula that is destroying Uganda.

Our second issue is clean government. Social services are not delivered because of corruption. And you cannot fight corruption if you are corrupt yourself. When Parliament was investigating the Chogm theft, the Vice-president brought a letter where the government was ordering him to divert funds. Even [Foreign minister] Sam Kutesa pointed fingers at the President. I think the President has no moral authority to fight corruption. Corruption is a very important issue because it is an illegal tax on people. There are other issues, like how to handle the oil wealth. We have an important agenda to ensure transparent handling of the oil wealth. We are afraid that President Museveni and his government may just become commission agents to the big foreign companies.

Now, what do you have to say about the persisting allegation that you and some of your close associates in the DP executive are a Trojan horse, planted into the opposition by President Museveni to serve his purpose?
I think the question is: Do I have the right to run for President as Norbert Mao? If I have a right to run for President then I think it is wrong and very cheap for anyone to say that I am anybody’s Trojan horse. The Democratic Party was founded in 1954. Museveni is not a founder member of the Democratic Party. And the agenda of the Democratic Party is to capture state power. Those who are peddling that line are running a smear campaign to portray us stooges of the NRM. But that will not work.

I have been a consistent opponent of the NRM from day one. Those accusing us are the ones who brought the NRM. I think DP has a right to present a candidate. DP has a right to vie for power. Because if Dr Besigye is elected is it

Norbert Mao who will be sworn in? If FDC takes power will it be a DP candidate to lead?
I have heard lots of rumours including those who say my wife works in State House. My wife has never worked in State House. They thought DP should always be a passenger in their vehicle. But this is now a new DP which is more aggressive and anybody who attacks us should run for cover. We will fight back very aggressively. And I have found no evidence of secret dealings with the NRM or Museveni by any of my members in the party leadership.

I am the Chairman of Gulu Local Government and I have official dealings with the government. I think we should campaign on issues. Of all the candidates no one has caused more casualities to the NRM than me. I am the one who threw out the late Noble Mayombo from student leadership in Makerere. I am the one who defeated Cabinet Minister Betty Bigombe when I was still in my 20s. Recently, I threw out Col. Walter Ochora. Is it Museveni who sponsored me to defeat his ministers? I want a new beginning for Uganda. There are those who see my candidature as a threat to them.
But this is a general election. It is the people to decide. I have heard a lot of stories about [our national legal adviser Mukasa] Mbidde. I have investigated and found that they are based on their relationship with Ssebaggala. Ssebaggala was Besigye’s chief campaign mobiliser at one time.

Supposing we had a Kenya situation or Zimbabwe, would you share power with Mr Museveni?
I am not in politics just for myself. I have read in the papers where I am described as extremely ambitious and so on. But I am not as power hungry as some of the leaders we have in this country. I don’t see any reason why I should compromise my ideals and join a government which I know cannot accommodate my views. I believe that if anyone like me is to work together with President Museveni, it has got to be a different dispensation. It cannot be this kind of dispensation because the situation in which we are now many of us cannot survive. It is like mixing oil and water; the two cannot mix.”

There is a feeling, especially in urban areas, that the elections will still be rigged even next month and so it is no use bothering to vote ...
Some of the candidates in this race are also going around discouraging the voters. Assuming you are the hunter and you wake up in the morning and you pick up the hunting gear, the spear and all the other equipment, obviously you go into the hunting ground knowing there are wild animals out there. There are snakes and unpredictable situations. But you set your objectives. The candidates who keep saying the elections are going to be rigged should get out of the contest. They are the ones demoralising the voters. In fact they are playing into the hands of the NRM. The NRM too has also resorted to that kind of talk and it is that which will lead to low voter turnout and if we have low voter turn up then Museveni will emerge on top. What we need is to inspire voters. How can a person like me go to Gulu which has the biggest barracks in Uganda and dare a whole cabinet minister and get her out of Parliament? This is not a time for lamenting. It is the time for inspiring our troops to go forward.I have won elections against so many odds. I believe we can win against odds. What we need is a plan to counter rigging. That is why we will have poll watchers and citizens’ committees for protecting the vote. That is why we are insisting that after voting we should have a display of the voting results for two weeks so that we know where the voting stations from which the votes came from and look at all the signatures. We are mobilising international opinion in favour of that.

We believe there could be non-existent polling stations. We even doubt if the voters register does not still have ghosts. Mathematically, it is very difficult to think of 14 million voters out of a population of 33 million and where we say that close to 60% of the population are children. Mathematically, it does not add up, there is something wrong with that. We have challenged them on that. Then they said they removed over one million ghost votes from the register; who put the ghosts there in the first place?
Museveni is busy bribing voters and no one is talking about him, he is like a player to whom the referee has surrendered the whistle and the cards. If you tackle Museveni, he blows the whistle.

That should be the referee’s job. If you tackle Museveni then you hear that he has shown you the red card. How can a fellow player also flash a red card at you? It is a David and Goliath contest but the odds are in our favour. What we only need is stronger leadership from the opposition.

The campaigns have become greatly monetised. Recently each NRM parliamentary flag bearer was given Shs20 million for campaigns.
The NRM goes around arm-twisting investors and other rich people. Some of its people go about blackmailing investors and telling them the amount of money each is supposed to contribute and they tag a threat to such statement like: You know the President is watching who has contributed and who has not. And, of course, Museveni is also going around spending public funds. He goes around tampering with the budget.
Even in Gulu he had made some pledges, then he didn’t have the money then he wanted us to divert Shs170 million out of our district budget to meet those pledges. We wrote back and said that this is money that the central government sent for a specific purpose. We have passed our district budget. We have allocated this money. Even the contracts have been awarded. So we don’t have the money. State House arm-twisted the Ministry of Education to tell Gulu District to divert the money.

Museveni is doing that in the weaker districts. They have no way to resist it. The other day he went to Gulu and announced a new district called Oket. He knows how districts are created. Districts are not announced by the president through political announcements on the roadside. Districts are created by resolution of the council. So, after that the PS of the Ministry of Local Governments wrote to Gulu District saying, “Can you send the resolution you passed requesting a district? And we said we have never requested a district. So, Museveni is now stuck with his pronouncement.

State House has arm-twisted Parliament to provide him with millions of shillings and that should explain to you the illegal sources of NRM funding. If Ugandans succumb to the bribery and the intimidation by NRM then they should not complain. They will continue to be victimised until they wake up. I condemn very strongly the criminal manner in which the NRM has raised money through illegal encroachment on the public coffers, through blackmail of the people, the business community.
And the Electoral Commission should be condemning this. The fact that they are not condemning it means that they are accomplices of Museveni’s corrupt electoral practices.

Election Platform: Why a DP government will be loved not feared

Friday, January 14, 2011


THE National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Democratic Party (DP) has asked the Government to withdraw the traditional and cultural leader’s Bill, saying it is unnecessary. The party’s top organ, which sat in Masaka on Monday, observed that the country has enough laws to regulate traditional leaders, adding that the Bill is designed to crack down specific cultural leaders. The contested Bill seeks to effect Article 246 of the Constitution, which regulates the conduct and operations of traditional and cultural leaders. Addressing a press conference on wednesday at DP offices in Kampala, the party’s deputy spokesperson, Kenneth Kakande, said the decision by NEC to demand for the withdrawal of the Bill was taken after extensive analysis of the Bill. “Deletion of clauses is not enough. The Bill should be withdrawn in its totality,” Kakande said. According to Kakande, NEC, which was chaired by Muhammad Beswale Kezala, also accused President Yoweri Museveni of usurping the powers of Parliament in order to pass the Bill. The president last month directed Cabinet to delete clause 9 (2), which provides for traditional leaders to rotate as titular heads of a regional government in regions where there is more than one traditional leader. The clause, according to the President, was smuggled into the Bill by unknown individuals. Besides the deletion of clause 9(2), the chairperson of the Buganda MP’s caucus, Rose Namayanjja, on Monday told the press that the President had reportedly agreed to delete a number of clauses in the Bill. During a Sunday night meeting between the President and NRM MPs from Buganda, Museveni reportedly agreed to drop clause 4(3) of the Bill which outlaws compelling a person to pay allegiance to anybody installed as a traditional or cultural leader. The President also reportedly agreed with a proposal from MPs to drop the clause that sets conditions for recognising a traditional leader and grounds for withdrawing the recognition. The MPs, according to Namayanjja, further agreed to drop clause 8, which spells out the jurisdiction of cultural leaders. During the same meeting, the MPs proposed that a list of recognised traditional leaders in the Bill be dropped because it places the Ssabaruuli at the same level with the Kabaka of Buganda. The president reportedly agreed to the proposal.


By Andrew Ssenyonga and Eddie Ssejjoba
DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao on Wednesday abandoned his campaign programme in Mpigi district to canvass votes for the party’s Kampala Central flag-bearer, Eddy Yawe, at Mengo Social Centre. Mao said many DP youth had abandoned the party due to leadership wrangles and joined other parties like the NRM and FDC. He urged them to return ‘home’, saying things had normalised. Mao told voters in Mengo to shun the NRM candidates because they were liars. “Do not throw away your votes to people who have lied to you for over 25 years. They will do nothing for you,” he said. He urged voters to support Yawe and other party flag-bearers in Kampala district. “Yawe is the only person suitable for the seat because he knows Kampala quite well,” Mao said. On the Government relationship with the Buganda Kingdom, Mao said Buganda was the focal point for all monarchies in Uganda and anything that affects it spills over to other cultural institutions. He said that a serious government ought to handle Buganda issues with care. Yawe promised to set up income-generating projects for the youth and to fight for the rights of ordinary citizens. Other party flag-bearers at the rally included Charles Sserunjogi, who is contesting for the LC3 seat and Woman MP aspirant Ketty Asabaawebwa.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has promised to create one million jobs for Ugandans if he becomes president. He made the promise yesterday while launching his manifesto at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. Mao promised to initiate measures to build houses for public servants including soldiers and policemen. “In the course of building houses for the over 500,000 public servants, and through other public works, more than one million jobs will be created,” Mao explained. He also said his government would provide lunch for school children. Mao promised to implement this through direct support to farmers who will contribute a portion of their harvest to the school-feeding programme. All schools, Mao said, would have sufficient desks within one year and classes would reduce to an average of 50 pupils per class in three years. Identifying the agriculture and the health sectors as foundational pillars of Uganda’s development, DP promises to increase the national budget of each by 15%. Mao pledged to upgrade health centres to well facilitated hospitals within five years. The party will also spearhead a national reconciliation agenda to ensure unity. Mao promises to re-instate presidential term limits and guarantee the independence of each of the three organs of state for sound democracy. The party pledges a government of zero tolerance to corruption. Mao lashed at the Inter-Party Cooperation, saying it lacks the necessary political bases to win the elections. “The Kenyan coalition worked because the groups that came together had strong regional bases, which is not the case with IPC.” Mao said unlike Col. Kizza Besigye, who lacks a home base, he has the support of the Northern region. “In 1996, 2001 and 2006, the Northern region voted against President Yoweri Museveni. Since I have been the one fighting for their rights and wellbeing, they will vote for me,” he argued. Mao also claimed to have the support of down trodden ordinary Ugandans, Buganda region and the youth. He dismissed media reports and polls putting Museveni at 67%, saying they are overrating him. “I have traversed the country, but I don’t see the support for Museveni portrayed by these polls. Even in Western Uganda where he has previously been getting overwhelming support, his support has gone down. It is not likely that Museveni will win the election,” Mao said.


THE Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, surprised NRM party supporters in Lwemiyaga county, Sembabule district when he campaigned for the NRM parliamentary flag-bearer, Theodore Ssekikubo. During a rally in Ntusi trading centre and on several stopovers in Lwemiyaga on Tuesday, Mao lamented DP’s lack of candidates in Sembabule district. “We shall officially announce the DP favorite candidates from other parties in Ssembabule district, since we do not have our party candidates here,” he said. Mao, who addressed rallies in Ntusi, Mitima, Ssembabule and Mateete town councils, said he admired Ssekikubo’s bold stand on truth. “Ssekikubo always sticks to the truth, which is one of the DP ideals. “In fact we support him and we have no problem if you vote him back to Parliament,” Mao said. Ssekikubo, who officially starts his campaigns next week, is to face his arch-rival, Patrick Nkalubo (independent). Ssekikubo beat Nkalubo in the NRM primaries with a difference of three votes after a vote recount in the constituency. Reacting to Mao’s support, Ssekikubo yesterday said Mao is a seasoned politician, who has served Parliament as MP, Gulu district as chairman and now his party, with distinction. Despite being the DP leader, Ssekikubo noted, Mao never shies away from appreciating President Yoweri Museveni where he performed. “In the same way, where I have made a mark, he is not shy to mention it. He has a right and I have no quarrel with it, although I remain strongly committed to my party and urge all people of goodwill to join it,” he said. Partisan politics, Ssekikubo added, should not blind Ugandans from their main agenda of developing the country. In the 2006 elections, DP presidential candidate Ssebaana Kizito campaigned for the Ssembabule district chairman, Herman Ssentongo, since the party had not fielded a candidate in the district. In Bukoto East in Masaka, a prominent NRM supporter, Hajji Bull Katale, campaigned for DP candidate Florence Namayanja against NRM’s candidate and ICT minister Alintuma Nsambu, citing the latter’s arrogance and vanity. Mao, who was accompanied by the party secretary general, Mathias Nsubuga, regretted that Ssembabule district residents were still loyal supporters of the NRM party, even when they still lagged behind in development. “When I was coming here, I thought the Masaka-Ssembabule road was tarmacked. To my surprise, the road is in a sorry state. Be careful because President Museveni makes empty promises,” he said. Mao asked Ssembabule residents to vote for him because DP will give the Kabaka and the Buganda Kingdom total protection. He promised to help Museveni go back to Rwakitura with a gift of a modern music studio, since he has of late developed a love for rap music,” he said, attracting deafening laughter from residents in Ssembabule town council. Mao accused President Museveni of failing to fight corruption, citing the CHOGM incident, in which Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya attributed some of the mistakes done to Museveni, who authorised some of the deals.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


HAJI Bull Katale, an NRM supporter, has called on voters in Bukoto East to support the Democratic Party flag-bearer Florence Namayanja. Katale is also the Buganda Kingdom representative in Buddu region. This was during the campaign launch for Namayanja at Kitengesa trading centre in Buwunga sub-county, Masaka district on Monday. Namayanja, who is the outgoing deputy mayor for Kampala, is facing the ICT state minister, Alintuma Nsambu, who is the NRM flag-bearer. Justine Juuko, the former US-based professional boxer, who is the Inter-Party Cooperation flag-bearer, is also standing for the same post. Katale drew cheers from the crowd when he asked them to vote for President Yoweri Museveni and Namayanja at the same time. “You all know me very well as a staunch NRM party supporter. However, this time we shall not tolerate MP Nsambu who does not have any respect for our Kabaka and the kingdom. Let us vote President Museveni and Namayanja, who have our king at heart,” he said. Katale said Nsambu was a wasteful leader, who preferred to go to his constituency in a hired helicopter, while the residents languished in poverty. The Rev. Christopher Wasswa, a priest attached to Kako Cathedral in West Buganda Diocese, also prayed for Namayanja to win. “We pray to the Almighty God to bless our candidate Namayanja to register success in these elections for our constituency to flourish,” he said. Wasswa said Bukoto East lacked accessible roads, safe water and electricity to improve people’s living standards. In Lango, the Catholic and Anglican bishops have suspended two priests for engaging in active politics. Namayanja said she had already embarked on self-help projects that would enhance the incomes of women in the constituency. She said she had also contacted friends in Sweden, who would provide toilets for the elderly. Nsambu, who also held rallies in Matanga and Mpungwe trading centres in Mukungwe sub-county, said he had supported schools by distributing computers. He said he also assisted needy children and orphans. Nsambu said he had already constructed a modern secondary school in Nkunke, his home village, and had more developmental projects for the constituency and Masaka municipality. He promised to revive the lost glory of Masaka region.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) president Nobert Mao has asked a Kampala lawyer, Damian Lubega, to stop using the party name, symbol and colours. Mao said it was wrong for Lubega to refer to himself as DP’s flag-bearer for Kyotera county in Rwakai district yet he refused to apply for the party ticket before nominations. “We know him as one of the party supporters, but I would like to clarify that Lubega is not our candidate for Kyotera. He defied the party rules,” he said. Mao was on Friday responding to complaints raised by the residents that DP had two candidates for the seat. “We do not know who to vote for on the DP ticket because Lubega is saying he is the party’s favourite, although John Mary Sebuufu was given the party ticket,” one of the residents said during a rally at Kyotera Old Taxi Park. Mao warned the residents against listening to DP candidates who joined Ssuubi, a pressure group that is supporting FDC’s Kizza Besigye. He added that he was sure DP would win in the general elections and warned that he would call for a head count if there were reports of rigging. He held rallies at Bukunda, Nakatoogo, Lwanda, Buyamba, Lumbugu, Rakai town council, Kibaale Kooki, Sanje, Kyotera town council and Kalisizo.


THE Youth in Kampala Central will have their talents developed as a means of fighting poverty, Eddie Yawe has promised. Yawe, who is the Democratic Party candidate for Kampala Central parliamentary seat was addressing a rally in Mengo-Kisenyi on Thursday. He said previous leaders had forgotten about talent development as one of the things that can improve the country’s economy. “We have seen many Ugandans emerge through their talents. Many youth have different talents, but these need the good will of their leaders to be developed,” he said. Yawe cited many musicians, footballers, artistes, models and comedians among others, who had started small businesses from which the country earned revenue. He also promised to support small scale enterprises in the city. “There is need to reduce taxes imposed on these businesses. If foreigners are given tax holidays, why not our own people?” Yawe asked. Yawe, popularly referred to as ‘music producer’, said many people in Kampala were working in poor conditions that threatened their health. “Kampala Central has been poorly managed by KCC leaders who continue to extort money from traders. I cannot accept that,” he added. He said he would lobby for a gazetted area near town for street vendors.


Mukono MP Betty Nambooze has been given up to January 12 to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against her by the Democratic Party (DP).
Speaking at a rally in Masaka on Saturday, the DP president, Mr Norbert Mao, said Ms Nambooze faces disciplinary action because as a member of DP, she cannot campaign for Dr Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader and the presidential candidate for the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC).
“When she campaigned to go to Parliament,” Mr Mao said, “Mr Kizito Ssebaana, many DP executives, and I went to Mukono and we participated in her campaign as a fellow member of the DP.
She declared publicly that she recognised me as the president general of DP and that I should expect her support in the bid to become President of Uganda. Now the same Nambooze has been going all over saying she belongs to DP but asking everybody to support Dr Kizza Besigye to become President.”
Mr Mao said Ms Nambooze and the former Buganda prime minister Joseph Mulwanyammuli, recently “embarrassed’’ the people of the Acholi region when they went there with Dr Kizza Besigye and they declared that all the people of the central region had decided to support Dr Besigye’s bid for presidency.
“The people they were telling this had just returned from the internally displaced peoples (IDP) camps and had not forgotten yet the role I played to get them out of those camps which often involved my going on foot to the forests of Congo to sweet-talk Kony and resigning my position of MP to become district chairman (Gulu) because I wanted to be closer to them and to be part of the process to get them out of the IDP camps,” he said. “There now was Nambooze telling them not to support me, and vote for Dr Besigye and still claiming to be a DP member!” he said.
Mr Mao said the IPC is a loose relationship which cannot work. “It has even almost disowned Michael Mabikke in his bid to become mayor of Kampala and Dr Besigye is at a loss whether to support Erias Lukwago or Mabikke when it is well known that Mabikke is president of a political party,” he said.
Mr Mao criticised the Buganda pressure group Suubi, which he described as a doomed small group. “How can Mulwanyammuli claim that he and Suubi made an agreement with Dr Kizza Besigye that when he wins, Buganda will get all her demands fulfilled? Such an agreement cannot be binding since Mulwanyammuli in his present capacity cannot sign any agreements on behalf of Buganda.


The biggest challenge to any development is implementation! Uganda’s economy lags behind because we have many good policies, but poor managers of State resources. These have been marred by the zero sum politics where power is over concentrated in the Presidency.
The budgetary allocations under the Democratic Party will correlate with the need of the populace not the regime as it is now. For example Agriculture constitutes 80% of the livelihood of every Ugandan yet the budgetary allocation is less than 10% but defense spending is higher in many instances.
Whereas billions are swindled in corruption, the government always pleads for a subsidiary budget. Yet according to the African Peer Review Mechanism, Uganda can save Shs30 billion yearly if corruption can be confronted.
Uganda is in a Catch-22 situation with an NRM administration that has outlived its implementation strategies with a stagnant manager without new ideas. Uganda needs a new beginning. The Democratic Party will ensure accountability and zero tolerance to corruption.The 1980s IMF structural adjustment programme that came along with retrenchment and privatisation did no good to the citizens.
The NRM government emphasised privatisation while making it a preserve of foreigners and a few cardres. The government is running away from its responsibilities by adopting a mentality of sell it all! The NRM government now abdicates its responsibilities to private companies.
The Democratic Party will have business to do business. Most public goods are sold off like Uganda Commercial Bank, the Uganda Electricity Board that has in turn made the lives of Ugandans miserable through high tariffs charged by the successor private entities running the energy sector.
The Democratic Party believes that government can manage the budget well and as well have strong control on strategic sectors that directly affect the citizens. If Eskom that today runs electricity under Umeme, the Kenya Commercial Bank that has over 11 branches in Uganda are government of South African and Kenyan government partner bodies, why can’t Uganda control public goods and rescue Ugandans from exploitation?
Democratic Party through private public partnership will ensure a smooth running and growth of the economy and transparently manage public expenditures as allocated, designed and set to transform the economy. It’s all about leadership. The ultimate strategy is to have regime change. When organisation is to function, when all institutions are set free to operate and all the checks and balance in governance take their course, then the ills in the management of public affairs can be eradicated.
Democratic Party will ensure that government takes charge and invests in such public goods as railways, water transport, electricity and other sectors of economy that are pertinent to national growth. Our economy is recorded as growing at 7%, but with external debt burden est. at $2.05 billion (31/12/09) against a GDP of $5.8 billion in 09/10 (having fallen from $7.2 billion in 08/09). Uganda is still heavily indebted. The foreign debt is over 35% of GDP. Every Ugandan therefore has a debt of about $90.
To ensure effective management of public expenditure, the Norbert Mao administration promises a lean government, a government that will be small enough to manage public good with maximum accountability and transparency. The best answer requires the best formula. That is a new beginning with Mao.
Mr Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, National Spokesperson Democratic Party, wrote this article on behalf his party