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MAO TELLS OFF HIS DP CRITICS; ‘I MAY NOT BE AN ANGEL BUT I’M STILL BETTER THAN YOUR SEBAANA & PK SEMOGERERE’

By Mulengera Reporters

DP President Norbert Mao has responded to his ever-growing critics in the party by saying, notwithstanding all the mistakes he might have committed, he is still way much better than his predecessors namely Sebaana Kizito (2005-2010) ad PK Semogerere who reigned between 1980 and 2005. Mao has lately come under growing scrutiny from sections of Party members accusing him of being draconian with specific reference being made to his well defended refusal to allow the filling of Secretary General, National Chairman and other NEC positions that continue to remain vacant following the death of SG Matia Nsubuga and defection to NRM of National Chairman Mohammed Baswale Kezaala.

Mao says it hasn’t been easy but he has done his best & will do more to leave DP a better party than he found it

The last week the National Council meeting, at which many expected the positions to be filled, ended without anything like that happening after the EALA big man Mukasa Mbidde, who deputizes Mao, came to the microphone and rightly argued that SDP’s Mike Mabikke and SDP’s Abed Bwanika who were plotting to grab the two lucrative positions at the NC session, weren’t eligible for the same because after all (according to EC Secretary Sam Rwakojo) they have never dissolved their two political parties to effectively become DP members.

The two political protagonists and their supporters (who have been celebrating their coming to DP culminating into the DP Bloc formation) then opened war on Mao while dismissing his blue-eyed boy Mbidde as Mufere. The meeting, the first of its kind to be held at DP’s newly acquired Nakulabye 2021 campaign headquarters, ended prematurely with supporters of rival factions throwing punches at each other.

In an interview with Mulengera News, Mao blamed his adversaries (Bwanika & Co) for resorting to violence and banging of tables after realizing they had no favorable facts nor legal provisions to counter the truth his Vice Mbidde was putting before them. He blames the chaos at the meeting on the fact that the trio-Mabikke, Bwanika and Sam Lubega Mukaku-were never honest when they sought partnership with his 65-year-old party. That unlike him who was honest, the trio had the “undeclared intention” to grab executive positions at earliest opportunity.

Mzee PK Semogerere served for 25 out of the 30 years preceding Mao’s ascendance to the DP Presidency. Seen here chating with Bobi Wine, Semogerere is revered by many though the circumstances of his day sometimes forced him to trust few culminating into mostly confiding party business in Damiano Lubega and Sebaana Kizito who were the two most reliable party elders especially during the final years of his Presidency. Mao right argues that his Management Committee has led to a more transparent and inclusive dispensation in DP than what prevailed during Semogerere’s era

BETTER THA PK

In the same interview, the 3rd term-seeking Mao also defended himself against claims that he had used the Party Management Committee (which critics say is alien to DP Constitution; a fact he too admits) to sideline and deflate NEC members he considers not to be adequately subservient to his interests. He said the operations of the Committee, including weekly meetings held at his Ntinda home, were dully authorized by NEC through a resolution that was properly procured.

On this very point, Mao says that (all its imperfections notwithstanding) his committee is still much better than PK Semogerere during whose time as Party President, decision-making was narrowed “to just three people: himself, Damiano Lubega and Mzee Sebaana and others just had to fit in.” Mao says his critics should reflect on such a past and realize that, imperfect as it is, his administration has greatly improved democracy and inclusiveness in the party.

He also said that in just 10 years he has achieved much compared to what the party registered in the 30 years (1980-2010) his two predecessors served as Party Presidents. That Semogerere only managed to initiate the process to acquire the Kabakanjagala Road plot for the Party which himself has followed up, paid all the pending obligations and the title is now fully registered in party names.

PK Semogerere leading a squad of elderly party members during a recent DP ceremony

Semogerere left when the property was in the names of Damiano Lubega, Sebaana Kizito and lawyer Joseph Balikuddembe because it wasn’t possible to register the same in DP’s name as Article 269 had notoriously proscribed party activities-making it impossible for DP to own anything in its name. “We completed everything and they should be grateful because, working with our partners, the structure [on the Mengo plot] will be in place by end of 2022.” Mao also faults his predecessors for failing to ensure the party didn’t lose the prime plot it owned (since the days of Ben Kiwanuka) along Jinja Road near current UBA headquarters.

Mao says he also acquired a printing press which printed campaign materials for all 2016 DP flagbearers. He says its still available and the same will happen in 2021. Yet that isn’t all. Mao says his broad national-looking leadership has cultivated party support beyond Buganda (even when Baganda politicians intriguingly continue causing severe imbalance by dominating N EC positions) to the extent that two Acholi families recently donated land in Pader and Kalongo townships for the construction of office structures for the party. He says resources have been earmarked to erect the 2021 campaign offices for the party on the land in Odonga Otto’s Pader district. Mao says such acts of generosity never used to happen outside Buganda in the days of his predecessors.

Mao says it’s his vibrant leadership that has made DP an acceptable brand to popular celebrities like Jose Chameleon in Buganda and other parts of the country

TRANSPARENT LEADERSHIP

He also says he has led very transparently enabling the party to use the money it gets from government (for having MPs in the House) to acquire two prime plots for DP in Nakulabye along Balintuma Road. He says every quarter, DP (basing on its numeric strength in the House) receives Shs100m which his administration has been receiving and recently used savings arising from the same to raise Shs650m with which two properties (complete house) and vacant plot were recently acquired in Nakulabye.

He says “we shall be launching our political missiles and shooting at Museveni directly from our own Strategic Political Command Center in Nakulabye come 2021.” Mao refutes claims that the party was forced to relocate and rent at Nakulabye after property mogul Sudhir chased them from City House after reneging on rent payment for years. “That is totally untrue because that Nakulabye is our property. We have two plots and two titles there and in total we now have three titles in Kampala all in party names,” brags Mao adding “we could have done much more if we were getting as much as FDC gets from government.”

Mao says even in terms of leadership and party management, he has achieved much more cohesion than his predecessors. “Do you remember the [Youth Brigade] violence that used to take place at Party headquarters protesting Dr. PK Semogerere’s leadership? That hasn’t happened during my time and it takes leadership because things don’t just happen. I became President when the party had over 30 cases filed in court by disgruntled members and we have resolved all of them even when it hasn’t been easy. The Mbale delegates conference [of 2010] that brought me in happened after the party got a court order vacating an injunction Haji Sebaggala had obtained and that was during Mzee Sebaana’s time when Lord Mayor Lukwago was Legal Advisor of the party. I was not anywhere in the Executive and we are now going for the February 2020 delegates conference with complications but the truth is we have less conflict today than during the days of my predecessors,” says Mao renowned for sometimes saying it as it is (and not as it ought to be). (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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