Some advise I take. Some I disregard. Is that abnormal? I am glad that the resurgent DP is a subject of great interest. I think unfounded speculation is not healthy. Even if some of you oppose me politically or even dislike me personally, character assassination and slander is not only bad politics but bad manners.
I have never been NRM, I am not NRM and I will not be NRM. Please know who the real Norbert Mao is then you will find that the output of the fertile imaginations on this UAH forum are merely undermining constructive engagement.
The crisscrossing among party faithfuls did not start today and will continue. Each party has a long list of crossers. But speaking for myself, I ask that you excuse me from the speculative list. Some of us are in our parties out of conviction not convenience. We are like the “Anthills of the Savannah”. We have withstood fires, rain, storms, hurricanes name it. From the first days of NRM we pointed out that the NRM carries the seed of totalitarianism. Those of us from the North were dismissed as suffering from “nostalgia” about the “lost glory”! We were right then and we are right now.
You cannot launch a missile from a canoe. The backfire can sink your vessel. If we are serious we have to build a solid base from which we can launch our missile for democratic change.
So rather than speculating and pushing endless innuendos why not put forward straight questions? I believe in straight talk and I pledge straight answers. Some of you may not agree with or even like what I say but then there it is. I take a stand and leave people to sort themselves out. If I am persuaded to adopt another view I am not afraid to eat humble pie.
Opposition in Uganda and EALA drama
Do you know that even when there was a resolution by opposition parties to boycott the EALA polls the very next day FDC Secretary General Alice Alaso wrote to the Clerk of Parliament seeking more time to organize primaries to sort out FDC EALA candidates? In the same letter she also asked for nomination forms for FDC candidates! Is that the conduct of a party committed to a boycott? The attacks on me and DP are unwarranted and malicious. Such hypocrisy cannot build a true partnership.
When I shared the information with UPC parliamentarians they also decided that the so called boycott had lost meaning and nominated a candidate. Meanwhile FDC was saying they would get an injunction to stop the nomination. Infact John Kazzora told me in parliament that Abdu Katuntu was in Arusha to file papers. As I descended the stairs of Parliament I met Abdu Katuntu entering parliament!
DP has only one candidate for EALA. Only the Secretary General can sign nomination forms or someone authorized in his absence. DPs Deputy Secretary General Vincent Mayanja was out of order to purport to sign Kenneth Kakande’s nomination papers. That will be the subject of disciplinary proceedings.
And then on my “attacks” on Besigye and Lukwago. My speech in Kasese was not about EALA. My concern was simple. Do DP members believe in establishing a government led by DP or do they have another objective? I have legitimate concerns that I have even discussed with Kizza Besigye.
But anyhow why isn’t Besigye called to order on UAH when he attacks me? Is it OK to malign Mao on UAH but when he complains about the conduct of FDC/Ssuubi then he is called all sorts of names? Why should I keep quiet when lies are peddled about me? For instance I still see some of you suggesting that my wife works in State House! That is cheap falsehood. Naomi has never worked in State House and does not work there. What is the intention of spreading such falsehoods? If she was working there I would not deny it. Such smear campaigns should stop if we want to find a way to work together!
My ultimate goal is that Uganda should have democracy and equitable development. Whenever I reflect on my presidential ambition I ask myself one question: What is it that I cannot do for my country unless I am President? So for those who vow that I will never (and they repeat never) become president I say if your life’s goal is to keep someone down, then you have to stay down with him! History is replete with the achievement of impossible dreams. I may yet have the last laugh. If it is God’s will that I lead Uganda nobody (I repeat nobody) can stop me!
I think what we are going through are necessary birth pangs. There is need for a rebirth of the opposition.
What about DP? Next month we shall convene the National Council of the party. MPs, Parliamentary Candidates, District Party Chairpersons and the NEC sit in that body. I intend to call for a confidence vote. You all know the import of a confidence vote.
I have also told the DP Parliamentary Whip Hon. Ssebuliba Mutumba, that if a majority of DP MPs pass a resolution that they have no confidence in me then it would mean that it is time for the party to get a new leader. I am not at all in doubt about how to go about things including managing a crisis if there be one. My record in Makerere, the Legal Aid Project, Parliament, Amani Forum, the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank, Gulu District Local Government etc can bear witness to my commitment to leadership with integrity. I hold no fear of the political wilderness. I have been there before. Some people danced on my political grave but I came back. I can face the wilderness again and I am sure that like Moses, I will come back to tell the Pharaoh to let my people go!
Hon. Odonga Otto speaking for the FDC conceded that perhaps “it was God’s plan that FDC boycotted the elections.” He congratulated the newly elected members of EALA and wished them the best.
Hon. Odonga’s speech salvaged the image of the FDC whose floor leader Hon. Nandala Mafabi had earlier angrily sacked DP and UPC MPs from the Shadow Cabinet and Oversight Committees. Speaking on the floor of the house Hon. Nandala prefaced his announcement with the following chilling words “Now let me show you that I have power…”
Commenting on Hon. Nandala Mafabi’s action which was rather rash, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire (also known for his colorful language) said that “one should never fart in anger, lest other stuff also accompany the gas as it exits the bowels soiling one’s garments!”
I also think flogging the boycott thing is becoming a charade. The facts are there for all to see. One can tell a boycott when one sees it. Our friends from Najjanankumbi cannot be called boycotters! Maybe Jeema can with a straight face say they boycotted the process. Even Kony is a better boycotter of Uganda’s political processes!
And concerning the court case filed by Hon. Katuntu, I would appreciate the case file number. I think legal minds (and we have a few in DP) can offer advice. However what I know is that one who is not an aggrieved participant in an election process cannot challenge the outcome through a petition in court. That is what court told Ngoma Ngome when he tried to challenge Mbarara Municipality results yet he did not contest elections. I don’t know about EA Court but courts tend to be persuaded by other courts.
So where do we go from here? If we want to work together we should find a formula that works. Mutual pretense is a dangerous form of cooperation! We cannot pick up the many fallen pieces from the IPC and EALA fall outs but let us at least pick up the lessons.
I used to do some amateur boxing in Namilyango. When your back hits the canvas in the last round and you are staring at the ceiling lights or the sky for that matter then you need to engage in some serious strategic thinking. There will always be another day, another fight. Another tournament. As Sun Tzu said “strategy without tactics is the longest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”. I have hit the canvas many times and I know what I am talking about.
As for the circus of our DP colleague claiming to be the party candidate I can only compare it to a situation where a player is not fielded by the coach but insists on dashing into the field to play and with the sole focus of tackling his fellow team mates!
We can be called all sorts of names but we kicked that EALA door open and that is what allowed other players, besides NRM and FDC to participate. We persuaded the court to throw out the rules. We had a goal to send DP to EALA and we have achieved that goal. It may look small but it is something especially coming from a “spineless party” and “weak leader” like Norbert Mao!
Insulting Norbert Mao and DP will not provide any glue for opposition unity
Mbale Delegates Conference
I will post to you Justice Lawrence Gidudu’s judgement which dealt with the question of DP leadership. Truth is no one has ever challenged the MBALE delegates conference in court successfully. The ruling being peddled was against the election of Matia Nsubuga as Secretary General. Believe me if ever there was a ruling declaring that we were in office illegally I would have resigned long ago.
Forgive me for quoting Otafiire but I am sure he is not the author of the saying. All I wanted to do was illustrate a point. According to Grace Ibingira, Dr. Obote was fond of quoting Milton’s Paradise Lost where Lucifer harangues his followers thus: “to rule is worth ambition, for it is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven”. I am sure this does not mean Dr. Obote approved of Lucifer’s character.
As for our policies, we published a manifesto. It states our programmes relating to key national issues. Please find a soft copy at http://www.norbertmao.org. It was also on our DP website but some people hacked into the site and disabled the page.
Concerning the question of locus standi in election petitions, I was leaning on a decided case that is still authoritative in Uganda. As for what applies outside our Ugandan jurisdiction I defer to your opinion on account of your professional seniority and exposure and so I stand corrected. If the matter comes before the East African court then we shall know what the position is.
I don’t believe that I am beyond criticism but I ask for fairness. Unfair criticism does not help anyone.
Let me hope that deliberate lies about me will reduce…
DP PRESIDENT AND UAH FORUMIST