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

Sunday, January 09, 2011


WHEN he sang Tugende e’Kampala two years ago, local politicians aspiring for the Kampala Central parliamentary seat should have taken notice. They didn’t. Now, Eddy Yawe has made a startling arrival to claim the Kampala MP’s slot and the other aspirants are on their toes. For more than 15 years, Ugandans have known him as a music producer and brother to local musician Bobi Wine. Yawe’s candidature for the seat appears like another bad joke sprung on the electorate: a musician for MP? Can the Democratic Party really be serious? Yet Yawe managed to pull a fast one on the fiery incumbent Erias Lukwago when DP delegates anointed the novice over the well-known lawyer as flag-bearer for the 2011 elections. Backed by hundreds of supporters chanting his name at the Christ the King hall were the primaries were held, they endorsed the musician over the seasoned legislator and advocate. While many people think Yawe’s only link to politics was being the brother to the president of the fictitious Republic of Uganja, he dredges up a political history. Yawe says both his father and grandfather belonged to DP for decades. He says that as a first year student at Makerere University in 1996 he composed the song Olubengo and campaigned for former DP president Kawanga Ssemogerere when he ran for president in 1996. He also campaigned for former Kampala mayor and DP president Sebaana Kizito in 2006. Yawe also supported Lukwago in 2006 but is now one of those who decry the incumbent’s penchant for protest at the expense of his constituents’ development. Ssebaana Kizito has backed Yawe’s bid, telling voters that musicians make good leaders because they are creative problem solvers. His opponents are not quick to dismiss his potential. They know that this is an electorate that has voted radio DJs, under-educated candidates and dramatists in the name of ‘our man’. In an age where even the president and his principal private secretary are wooing voters of every shade with music, Yawe is not misplaced. In fact he might be at an advantage. Yawe does pose a strong threat. It is why people suspect the incumbent Lukwago avoided the competition and instead went to compete for the mayorship of Kampala. The 37-year-old producer and is one of the godfathers of local music production, having nursed most of the producers at his hit-making Dream Studios in Kamwokya. Primarily his business is music, but Yawe has proved to be quite an astute businessman in this. He is banking on his personal entrepreneurship past to show that he has new ideas that will take the city to desired heights. He wants to fight poverty in the city using new approaches. Perhaps Kampala is ready for a different kind of representative, one who can be practical in delivering solutions rather than politicking without tangible results, something they blame the incumbent for. While he has declared intentions to fight for Buganda’s causes, some are not convinced about Yawe’s zeal for the Kingdom. Yawe believes he is well-armed with contacts from developed countries like the Netherlands and the US where he has done studies in music, radio and television production. He plans to use these contacts to fund and spur modern developments in the city. Many musicians and music fans will rally behind Yawe whose campaign rallies are already turning out like free concerts when his popular brother Wine joins the trail. His opponents, Inter Party Co-operation’s Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja and National Resistance Movement’s Mohammed Nsereko are in the difficult position of sharing the Muslim vote. This could leave the narrow gate open for Yawe to run through easily. Compiled by Esther Namugoji

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Corruption in government institutions is thriving because President Museveni is also corrupt, Mr Norbert Mao has said. The DP presidential candidate said Mr Museveni is one of Africa’s most corrupt leaders, considering that he always lets tainted ministers get away with their loot.
“President Museveni is responsible for the mushrooming corrupt tendencies in the government departments. He has failed to tame his corrupt ministers and whenever they are questioned about the money they swindled, they just point at President Museveni,’’ Mr Mao told a rally at Kyazanga town on Thursday.

Messed probes
Mr Mao wondered why whenever the government institutes an investigation into corruption, the chief suspects always meddle with the probe. The World Bank estimates that Uganda loses over Shs500 billion annually in graft, most through skewed procurement processes. In recent months, the question of how money meant for the 2007 Commonwealth summit was abused formed central discussion after a parliamentary probe implicated about eight top ministers in the scandal.
However, when the report was tabled before Parliament, MPs chose to absolve the suspects—with Security Minister Amama Mbabazi and junior finance minister Jachan Omach getting the first reprieve. On talk of cultural leaders, Mr Mao, without naming individuals, said some leaders were hoodwinking the public that they love the Kabaka, and yet they are driven by other selfish motives.
Mr Mao said only his party will return Buganda’s property and grant the region a federal system of governance. He said it is high time President Museveni retired honourably and went home to look after his grandchildren. The DP, Mr Mao said, would guarantee Mr Museveni security and provide him with other basics in retirement.
Speaking to excited supporters, Mr Mao promised to get the President a brass band and other music equipment to kick start a music career. According to Mr Mao, President Museveni is a gifted rapper. The President’s folklore rap titled Mpe Ekoni is a popular song, getting lots of airplay on radios.
Earlier in the day, Norbert Mao first held a rally in Katovu trading centre where he revealed that if elected President, he will improve universal education, timely salary payments to nurses and doctors, construct roads and fight corruption. He added that he is the only eligible candidate who is ready to bring change in the country because other candidates are not transparent.
Agriculture funding
The current government, Mr Mao said, was only injecting about 5 per cent of the resources into agriculture—and favouring rich farmers. He promised to increase the sector’s allotment to 15 per cent of the budget and also revive cooperatives. He said that Democratic Party government will establish agro-industrial banks for farmers to enable them access low interest agricultural loans.


By John Semakula
WHAT John Ken Lukyamuzi, the Conservative Party (CP) President, thought was going to be child’s play is turning out to be a wrestling match. Lukyamuzi is fighting to reclaim the Rubaga South seat, which he handed over to his little known daughter Suzan Nampijja in 2006. One of the factors giving Lukyamuzi headache is the clout the Democratic Party (DP) candidate, Vincent Mayanja, seems to have in the constituency. Rubaga is predominantly a DP constituency and the party is pushing to reclaim it. Although Mayanja is new to elective politics, his campaign strategies are novel. During rallies, the veteran journalist focuses on issues affecting the constituency, while Lukyamuzi resorts to political comedy. Whereas people in Rubaga used to fall for Lukyamuzi’s comics, this time they seem to be listening to Mayanja’s arguments. The other factor working against Lukyamuzi is that the electorate is wary that he wants to turn the constituency into a family property. Lukyamuzi and his daughter Nampijja have represented the constituency for the last three terms. In 2006 when he was blocked from contesting for elective offices by the Inspector General of Government for breaching the Leadership Code, Lukyamuzi fronted Nampijja, who won the seat. When Lukyamuzi won the court battles, he returned to politics and Nampijja shifted to Makindye East constituency. This is in contrast to Lukyamuzi’s criticism of African leaders who run governments like families. By remaining in politics and sending Nampijja to Makindye, his opponents say he is no different from those leaders. Others in the race include the NRM’s Farida Mayanja, a journalist working with Beat FM in Kampala. And Bukenya Kawonawo, an independent candidate.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


By Patrick murangira
THE democratic party presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, has said he helped president Yoweri Museveni end the war in the north by holding peace talks with the Lords Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony. Addressing a rally at Kabale taxi park on Tuesday, Mao said if he had not convinced Museveni to talk peace with Kony, the war would still be going on. He added that Museveni spent 20 years fighting with Kony in the north, which made development in the region lag behind other parts of the country. Mao said many soldiers were deployed to fight Kony but they failed because he was recruiting youth. Mao said the president had fought many wars and, therefore, needed to leave politics and retire. He observed that Museveni had spent 20 years fighting Kony and was now wrangling with Buganda Kingdom and fighting the Karimojong. He said the president had also failed to sack corrupt ministers, adding that he did not trust him to handle money from oil. Mao explained that, with money from oil, Museveni would be like Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi and refuse to hand over power.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Police in Hoima District are holding three police officers over allegations of stealing a radio from Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao’s car.
The constables allegedly broke into Mr Mao’s car which is grounded at Hoima Police Station from which they stole its radio. The midwestern regional police spokesperson, Ms Zurah Ganyana, confirmed the arrests.
“They will be charged in the police’s disciplinary court and later be criminally prosecuted in court,” Ms Ganyana said on Tuesday.
Daily Monitor has learnt that the Police Standards Unit is scrutinising the evidence to be lined up in the police’s disciplinary court while the Hoima officer in-charge of criminal investigations, Mr Ramathan Doka, is compiling criminal evidence against the suspects for prosecution in the civilian courts.
Day of arrest
Ms Ganyana said the accused were arrested on December 23 after detectives realised that two radios were missing from Mr Mao’s Land Cruiser and a Toyota Carib parked at the police station.
Mr Mao’s car is still grounded at the police station after it got involved in an accident near Hoima Town, slightly injuring the DP leader last month.The suspects held are those that were on night duty on the day before the radios were detected to have been stolen.
However, the three policemen have denied the accusations labelled against them.


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has dismissed claims that President Museveni has gained support in northern Uganda.
While addressing a rally in Kamwenge Town Council on New Year’s Day, Mr Mao said there is no way the people of northern Uganda will vote for Mr Museveni since he brought insurgency in the area that claimed lives and property. “Museveni is deceiving himself that he has double support from northern Uganda. Last time he managed to get 11 per cent but the people of the north haven’t forgotten the pain they went through during insurgency brought by Museveni himself,” he said.
In the last three elections, the President and his party have performed poorly in the north and north-eastern parts of the country where many believe the war was deliberately enforced by the NRM.
Some observers, however, say with the rebel LRA defeated, President Museveni’s fortunes could turn as part of the peace dividend. This view though, is contested by those who look at the widespread poverty, poor social services, disease and deprivation that still haunt the region as determining factors in influencing voter opinion.
Speaking in Luganda, Mr Mao said: “As per my manifesto, I want to focus on changing the system of education by putting more emphasis on technical education as opposed to the NRM’s universal education programme.”


DEMOCRATIC Party presidential candidate Norbert Mao has said he has better ideas than President Yoweri Museveni. Appearing on the Sunday Talk show on Radio West, Mao said Museveni was not the only person to lead the country. “Ugandans should not think that President Museveni is the only person with a vision to run this country, I have better ideas.” He promised to start a housing scheme for teachers, soldiers and the Police. “Our plan is to equip teachers, soldiers and the Police with incentives because we don’t want family members of Government workers to suffer,” Mao said. He also promised free lunch for every pupil under the universal primary education system. “Museveni introduced free education but forgot to provide lunch for pupils and this has affected their performance. No pupil can concentrate on an empty stomach,” Mao added. He said he would give farmers subsidies to grow maize and beans and have it stored at district level so as to provide more food. Mao hailed Radio West for its programmes aimed at development, health and education which he said had benefitted the community.

Monday, January 03, 2011


By Fred Turyakira
DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao wants the Electoral Commission to display election results at every polling station for two weeks to avoid vote rigging. Addressing supporters in Mbarara town on Thursday, Mao said there was need for a new mechanism to fight vote rigging by displaying results at every polling station. He said if the Electoral Commission chairman, Eng. Badru Kiggundu, did not control vote rigging, he would call on his supporters to display their voters cards and resort to a head count. “We know we are in a democratic crisis where President Museveni is dictating for the Electoral Commission to announce the results that he wants. This time we shall deal with him,” Mao said. He urged supporters to stop thinking that Besigye was the only person with a chance of defeating Museveni because he was a soldier. “Those who still believe in guns should forget because we need democracy with a relationship between leaders and voters. We need to use our resources to get us out of poverty and not importing everything from abroad,” Mao said. He said he was the only candidate who could defeat Museveni after FDC’s Kizza Besigye challenged him twice and failed. “Museveni fears me. He knows how dangerous I am and I can defeat him because of my past winning record against NRM party members,” Mao said. “In 1996, I defeated former Museveni’s cabinet minister Betty Bigombe for the MP seat. I also defeated Col. Walter Ochola in 2006 for the Gulu district LC5 seat. After defeating the colonel, I am left with defeating General Museveni,” he said. Mao also accused Museveni of failing to end corruption in Government institutions. “Museveni has failed to control corruption in this country because he hobnobs with corrupt ministers. People who were frustrated with former president Dr. Milton Obote and thought Museveni was a liberator are in darkness,” he added


Uganda’s regional policy has been arrogance, wars and aggression. It is epitomised by the 1979 war, the aggression and war in Rwanda in 1994 by Rwandan-Uganda Generals purportedly supported by Uganda, the Congo invasion in the 1990s with devastating effect on the image of Uganda, the ‘legitimate’ war on the LRA and now Ugnada’s presence in Somalia.
The latest terror attacks that dogged the country at the eve of the World Cup celebrations in 2010 claiming tens of lives in Kampala would have been avoided.
The terrorists claimed they were revenging against UPDF stay in Somalia. The zero sum politics and the bypass of Parliament made it possible for the Somalis to imagine it is not AMISOM but UPDF in Somalia. To appease western powers, the NRM goverment opted to push UPDF and popularised it as a Ugandan initiative.
To the extent that Ugandan Generals in Somalia were threatening real war on Al Shabaab as opposed to the AMISOM peacekeeping mandate in Somalia. The NRM government has used foreign policy as a bait to cling to power. The American interest in Sudan, the British Interests and the other world powers interests on democracy can be compromised by strategic interest!
For instance, whenever Western powers get tough on Uganda, our government threatens partnership with suspicious Iran, brings in China and Gadaffi’s Libya.
The Democratic Party will change Uganda’s foreign face. Uganda’s support to the SPLA, legitimate or not, forced Sudan then to support the LRA menace. The arrogance and militarism in our current leadership made it possible for war to flourish in Northern Uganda, a war that could have been avoided through dialogue but claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions across the world and above all spread across East and Central Africa further denting our image for the past 24 years.

The LRA war was big bait, a war that in 2003 alone ate over $1.3 billion through different operations. Corruption flourished as junk choppers, ghost soldiers became the order of survival of some unscrupulous fellows in charge of the war. DP will revisit our foreign policy and regional strategy. With the coming referendum in Southern Sudan and possible independence of the south, Uganda will be at the centre and a player in the next challenge in Sudan.
Our government will make it possible for the good governance principle of checks and balances to take its course in international relations to suit our character of a peaceful and strong economic bloc of East Africa and the Great Lakes region.
With oil discoveries, and with President Museveni ruling with no term limits and the Constitution tampered with, Uganda needs Norbert Mao with a strong DP foreign policy and oil policy that will spare our country from the oil curse that has be-devilled many oil economies.
In a nutshell, the Democratic Party realises that the country’s objectives of economic development, social welfare and democracy, is inextricably bound to the international economic, social and political settings under the present conditions of globalisation.
DP’s foreign policy will be premised on regional and international cooperation to protect the country’s vital interests and for mutual socio-political and economic benefits focusing on accelerating greater integration within the East African community, energy security, strengthen relations with Europe, South-North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East-India, China and countries of south east Asia and Australia.
Mr Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, the DP National Publicity Secretary, wrote this article on behalf his party leader.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


The Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Norbert Mao, has petitioned the Electoral Commission protesting what he called President Museveni’s interference in his campaign programme.
In a petition dated December 29 to the EC chairperson, Dr Badru Kiggundu, Mr Mao said he was scheduled to campaign in Ntungamo District on December 29 according to the official EC programme only to be told that President Museveni was going to campaign there.
“According to the programme unanimously approved by all presidential candidates on October 29 2010, I was scheduled to be in Ntungamo District today (December 29). The programme also schedules candidate Yoweri Museveni to be in Ntungamo (today) and yet he was there from yesterday,” Mr Mao stated in the petition.
According to the EC guidelines issued to the presidential candidates, a candidate is required to spend one day in each district. Two candidates are barred from campaigning in the same district on the same day.
Mr Mao claimed that candidate Museveni colluded with some of the EC staff who altered the programme to suit the NRM candidate. “This morning, we spoke to the Vice Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mr [Joseph] Biribonwa, and we raised our complaint. He told us that we should check the online version of the presidential campaign schedule where the programme has been amended to show that today we are not in Ntungamo but instead are supposed to be having a rest day. All this is new to us,” Mr Mao complained.
No notification
DP’s Secretary General Mathias Nsubuga, according to Mr Mao, was never notified about the changes in the schedule. He said: “....the Electoral Commission deleted our programme in Ntungamo and never made provision for another date. This means the Electoral Commission does not expect us to campaign in Ntungamo at all.”
Ntungamo District is Mr Museveni’s birthplace. Currently his wife Janet Kataaha Museveni is the MP for Ruhaama County which is in the same district.The Electoral Commission spokesperson, Mr Charles Ochola said Mr Mao was being unfair to the EC. “I think candidate Mao should be more direct to his objectives. The programme we have here says candidate Museveni was supposed to be in Ntungamo District on December 29. According to our programme, Mao was supposed to be in Kabale District on December 29. We are working on the old harmonised programme and connivance cannot happen,” Mr Ochola said.
Mr Mao has demanded that the Electoral Commission apologises to them and also amend the programme. “We also demand that a meeting of all candidates’ representatives be convened to review and harmonise the campaign programme,” reads the petition in part.
Meanwhile, Mr Mao, who visited Mbarara Hospital yesterday, expressed concern over the poor conditions patient subjected to. The patients at the hospital, many of whom sleep on the floor due to shortage of beds, said they also compete for space with rats.
“Instead of coming for treatment, you are getting more iffected. I am very worried, especially over new born babies in this hospital,” Mr Mao said. Mr Mao accused the government of not caring about people’s welfare.