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WHY ELDERS CAN’T RESOLVE MAO, DP LEGISLATORS WAR

By Mulengera Reporters

At their press conference yesterday, DP Mao faction leaders namely MP Deo Kiyingi, VP Mukasa Mbidde, SG Gerald Siranda and MP Leander Komakech called on party elders to spearhead reconciliation between the Oracle from Gulu and party renegades who want him out.

The renegades last week escalated things, led by Medard Segona, by calling a news conference to accuse Mao’s administration of fermenting corruption contrary to what the EC says about the Mao leadership when it comes to accountability. 

The renegades further escalated things when they convened a meeting Saturday afternoon in Masaka where they purported to expel Mbidde from the position of being DP Masaka chairman and coordinator for the entire Greater Masaka. Mbidde now calls this comedy and an act of illegality for which the renegades, who defiantly installed MP Florence Namayanja in his place, must pay.

But in this briefing we want to argue that calling in elders won’t yield much (especially at a time Mao clearly has little appetite to listen to such groups) and here is why. DP wrangling isn’t new just like Mao keeps rightly pointing out.

And party elders have always had the opportunity to get involved but to no good result. On the eve of PK Semogerere departure as DP president, elders led by Mzee Tyaba and Mzee Boniface Byanyima tried to reconcile him with a faction led by Seya’s Youth Brigade which had the likes of Micheal Mabikke, Henry Lubowa and others. That never worked and instead violence and chaos only escalated in DP until elderly PK was humiliatibgly forced out.

And his very disgraceful exit, which Betty Nambooze and Erias Lukwago blame on actors Mao sympathized with, was preceded by forceful exit of Organizing Secretary Damiano Lubega and SG Mariano Drametu.

At a subsequent Delegates Conference at Namboole in 2005, more chaos played out when Seya (seeking to succeed PK) sneaked in sacks of money (some of it in dollars) trying to bribe voters. Mao, the other candidate, refused to accept the results and made his defiant speech in Luo protesting the election of old man John Sebaana Kizito. He urged delegates from outside Buganda to actively reject what he called results of a sham election that was rigged to favor Sebaana who he perceived to be a key member of the Semogerere clique.

Mbale in 2010 was equally chaotic with defeated Seya quitting DP as Mao cruised to victory. But Mbale was preceded with involvement of elders like PK Semogerere who urged unity between Mao and his foes led by the likes of Lulume Bayiga, Sam Lubega Mukaku and others. They never succeeded as protagonists would wake up the following morning to publicly do things totally contrary and opposite to what could have been agreed at elders-mediated talks the previous night.

As a last minute effort, Cardinal Wamala, whose Catholic Church has a lot of history with DP, took initiative and called the DP belligerents to his Nsambya residence where Sebaana and Mao (he was perceived as backing) joined Nambooze and other renegades for what seemed to be like a lasting deal.

A document was executed and signed binding parties at the meeting the ageing prelate personally chaired. The idea was that the legitimate Organizing Secretary Deo Njoki, who had been thrown out, had to resume his office and be the one to organize a proper Delegates Conference after consensus emerged that the Mbale DC be called off.

Sebaana, Mao and others nevertheless moved on and went to Mbale where Mao was overwhelmingly elected with then Kampala Mayor Seya, who controversially ferried in UPDF mattresses and sacks of money, emerging to lick his political wounds before calling it quits with DP at a news conference he dramatically held at KCCA-owned Sezibwa House near Sheraton Hotel and Kampala Club.

Currently it’s even more complicated for the elders to play any mediation role than ever before. This is so because with many of them expiring into the next world, they have diminished in number and it will be hard for PK Semogerere and a few surviving others to converge and successfully talk over the DP row without pessimists like Mao and his supporters perceiving them as a Ganda Conclave meeting to conspire to crown the next DP leader from their native central region.

Truth is elders today would be synonymous with PK Semogerere, his right hand man Henry Bazira Sewanyana, ailing Damiano Lubega and a few others majority of whom will have to be from Buganda. And with the death of Boniface Byanyima, the DP fraternity would struggle to get other easily recognizable elders outside Buganda who are still active and interested in DP fracas.

In any case, Nambooze says the indifference with which the Cardinal’s mediation role was in 2005 defied convinced other would-be interested elders to realize that such wouldn’t be time well-spent. Imam Kasozi, another analyst with deep insight on DP matters, says members of the Mao faction like big man Mukasa Mousse have materially become too successful to give any meaningful attention to whatever poverty-stricken elders will be saying at such reconciliation meetings.

Nambooze also says that Mao has lately crossed the red line by showing extreme hostility and contempt for young politicians from Buganda claiming he one time told Makindye Mayor Nganda Mulyanyama that he will crush Baganda politicians in DP and ensure by the time he leaves the DP chair, none of them can stand anywhere outside Buganda and claim having any credibility. Nambooze says Mao said all this to his right hand man Mulyanyama during a phone conversation which she listened into. (For comments on this story, (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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