Uganda’s opposition, especially DP lovers, are up in arms against Mao’s and Museveni’s work together pact that exposed their hypocrisy and created huge shenanigans. To actualize the pact, Hon. Mao was appointed Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
36 years, six sham elections as you call it yet you participate, war, revolution, and elections you plan for won’t bring change. You rejected IPOD dialogue, apart from getting to leadership positions and seeing youths jailed and die, Ugandans suffer yet you party after party. If Mao is wrong, what is your solution?
The pact received mixed reactions from Ugandans but condemnations from opposition.
I think Mao didn’t invent a new normal, but xeroxed DP tradition. From 1954 to date, DP has been a party of dialogue and peace. Mao did what Dr Ssemogerere and Hon Ibingira did in the post-independence parliament when they opted to join the UPC government. Whatever their reasons, I think we must, for peace purposes, understudy democracy in Uganda.
In 1961, DP’s Ben Kiwanuka was elected PM but gave up when an unholy alliance with Kabaka Yekka brought in UPC’s Dr Obote, but for peace, DP gave up.
In 1986 Dr. Ssemomogere led DP to NRM, and sadly left members like Dr. Kazibwe, Prof Bukenya, Kasamba Mugerwa and many others to NRM. To hurshly condemn Hon Mao is to admit our hypocrisy. To me history will condemn hypocrites who pretend to be holy and time will prove them wrong.
I am a mentee of Mao who served as his legislative assistant in sixth parliament and as elected national spokesperson of DP. This made me know him. He believes in truth and justice. He hates corruption and believes in personal integrity. Mao promised Acholi to run for two terms in parliament, he left when still loved. To me, Mao is not a traitor or bought but loves Uganda more. I am sure the NRM is happy for a big catch and his detractors, but I think we must use wisdom to understand him.
Conclusively, the moral questions are, who is the only hope and messiah for Uganda? What can bring constructive change in Uganda, Shall we have peaceful transfer of power like Kenya or Tanzania? Do we have opposition? Dr. Besigye whose wife works with the government at night? Bobi wine? Lukwago, the Lord Mayor who can kill to be mayor earning over 30 million shillings monthly with no replacement? or Betty Nambooze, in parliament for two decades earning over 20 million shillings monthly and many others? They can afford birthday parties for wives and children but look at suffering Ugandans. Ugandans, wake up. I understand why President Museveni has been in power for so long and all talk of the Muhoozi project. If Muhoozi, Mao, Bobi wine, Winnie Kizza and many others can reboot Uganda, why not?
To me, the best way is a national, transitional government. In the 21st century, bush war can never succeed, in Uganda demonstrations or the Arab like spring styles might not work. We saw revolution in Sri Lanka, but a dream here.
The ruling class in Uganda cannot make fiscal mistakes. In Sri Lanka they failed to pay debt. While in Uganda we have money, though we lose 500 billion shillings yearly on corruption. The American government gives us up to 950$ million dollars yearly for health and other development.
35 years of NRM, has seen both patriots and villains. Patriots who shed their blood and villains who engaged in acquiring ill gotten wealth with untamed appetite and those massacaring the constitution.
President Museveni, a lover of a monolithic government, makes any agreement of parties working together suspicious. Remember he vowed to end opposition in Uganda. By the way, opposition ended with the Mao’s , Okulu Epak, Cecelia Ogwal etc. They had a cause. Today, we have money makers and scammers. In fact, president Museveni will be remembered if he conducts his transition well. Uganda is at take off. With his recent strategy, and if we as Ugandans can open our eyes, we will smile now and after president Museveni .
Having looked at six different elections termed as unfair and a sham by opposition yet they legitimize the same by participating, I see Ugandans must wake up from the slumber nightmare.
To me since, war, elections, and revolutions can not bring change, to stop the so-called opposition and government from spending billions in elections that sees many dead, youths arrested and with no hope, instead of cracking night deals, running for fake elections, opposition must come and dialogue now. Let’s stop hypocrisy and rhetorics giving Ugandans a raw deal .
Dr. Mwaka lutukumoi
Ugandan Scholar and Author based in USA, Former Deputy RDC Lira and Kitgum.