KAMPALA, UGANDA: A section of Democratic Party (DP) Members of Parliament have asked their President General, Mr. Norbert mao to resign from his position as party chairman after accepting to serve as minister in President Museveni’s ruling NRM government.
Mao, 55, was on Thursday, July 21 appointed Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, filling a position that remained vacant since the start of Museveni’s sixth term in office and had been occupied by Public Service Minister Peter Muruli Mukasa in an acting capacity.
The ministerial appointment of once the most vocal opposition strongholds came just a day after the Democratic Party entered into a ‘cooperation agreement’ with the National Resistance Movement’ to work together. The deal was signed on July 20th, 2022, witnessed by the two parties secretary generals, Mr. Gerald Siranda (DP) and Richard Todwong (NRM).
However, following his ministerial appointment, a section of MPs in the DP camp have strongly distanced themselves from the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed Mr. Norbert Mao and Mr. Museveni, saying the members were not involved in the decision making.
The legislators, in a press briefing held at Parliament, noted that the actions of their President were out of his individual decision which the party leadership didn’t know about.
Hon. Lulume Bayiga, Buikwe South Member of Parliament, revealed that as an individual, he is happy “because finally the truth has unveiled itself that Mao was not part of us” but working hard to join the government.
“All along, we have not been breathing because our party President had kept a knee on our neck. He worked his way out until he was appointed the Minister of justice and Constitutional Affairs,” Lulume said.
Lulume added that they have no doubt that Mao is qualified for that seat but it should be clears that he is joining NRM as an individual and not part of the party.
“We had a 45-min telephone conversation with him and he confirmed that they had engaged in the signing of an MOU which the top party leadership is not aware of. He thinks that he can eat his cake and have it. It’s not possible to be a Minister in the NRM Government and at the same time remain a DP party President,” he said.
Hon. Lumu Richard, the Member of Parliament for Mityana South, revealed that they have resolved to suspend monthly contributions to the party until the party top organs resolve to bring the whole situation.
“Democratic Party has been in existence for a very long time and it still exists. Whatever he (Mao) did was for his own benefits but not for the party,” Lumu said.
Another MP, Hon Richard Ssebamala (Bukoto Central) said that they are shocked to see that the person they have been defending among the people has betrayed them.
“People have been accusing him of being a mole but we have been defending him with hope that those were rumors but his actions have proved it otherwise,” Ssebamala said.
Luyimbazi Nalukoola, the Party Attorney General, noted that as the legal advisor, they are not aware of any MOU signing and in case it was done, the party is not responsible.
“We are going to follow proper procedures of the Party laws so that we can have another Party President and replace those who could have abandoned leadership positions. Those who will be in need of fair hearing, we are ready to listen to them,” Luyimbazi said.
These have therefore asked Mao and his group that went to State House to resign with immediate effect before being legally forced to do so.