The problem with Ugandans is that we easily trash the lessons of previous occurrences forgetting that history by its nature has revolving behavior, it always repeats itself. In so doing, we write off the past and then focus our attention to the future as if there is any future without a past.
We forget that the future is nothing without carrying along the record of the past from which to compare notes and this is the very reason why many Ugandans are surprised, others are bitter while others are pointing an accusing finger at Norbert Mao and his followers for doing what they did.
On a soft note, I am one of those who credit Mao for having put up a good fight to remain relevant on Uganda’s political scene. In fact, Mao who hails from the Acholi sub-region should count himself lucky for having stayed at the helm of the Democratic Party for all these years and I will say it again and without mincing my words that Mao’s decision to officially take up a position in NRM Government was long overdue, for he was fought from day one and he has also been fighting to stay afloat as President General of the Democratic Party.
But of course, this does not stop us from asking; why did Mao lead a delegation of Democratic Party Members into a den of lions?
Any question that may arise and the answers that may be given to that question lie in Museveni’s past undercover plan to get rid of the opposition and or have an opposition arm of the NRM hiding among those that call themselves members of the opposition.
By their previous conduct, one is able to identify them by their fruits, for they always have a soft touch towards the ruling party with the underlying intention of showing donors that Uganda practices democracy and that political parties exist to provide an over sight role to enhance rule of law and democracy.
Ugandans may recall that just after being announced the winner of the 2016 presidential election, many of us expected Museveni to extend an olive branch to his opponents, instead he was bullish in his attitude towards them. He vowed that so long as he was the head of state, the Opposition would be no more by 2021.
In other words, Museveni was confessing the hardships he met in the 2016 election and would not want a repeat of the same.
True to his words, had it not been for the emergency of NUP, there would not have been any genuine Opposition in Uganda by 2021 and the behavior of the likes of Mao in attacking fellow opposition parties speaks volumes of what could have happened behind the shadows of darkness and for whom they were working.
For those who still had some doubts, now you know why the opposition has always failed to field a single Presidential candidate to take on Museveni. They instead spend a lot of time and resources fighting and discrediting each other.
To that extent, they have lowered their expectations as political groups and were more interested in enhancing their individual ambitions.
Even during IPOD meetings, opposition parties would hatch a plan to protest the engagement but to their surprise, Mao and Jimmy Akena would attend to sanctify the process.
A keen Uganda would be right to conclude that these two and their respective political parties were in bed with NRM to promote the agenda of Yoweri Museveni.
At a press conference solely organized by Norbert Mao to blackmail Erias Lukwago for choosing to join FDC, The President of the Democratic Party had no kind words for the Lord Mayor. “It is a great day when a person who has been cohabiting finally gets married”.
If that statement was made today, we would add and say “It is a great day when a person who has been cohabiting with the NRM finally gets married and immediately becomes pregnant with a Ministry of justice and constitutional affairs.
As between Lukwago and Mao, who is better, one who has been cohabiting and rejects a marriage proposal or one who goes ahead to marry a man they claim not to love and immediately get pregnant? That redundant question is for Norbert Mao.
Those who listened to Mao’s address that day could have questioned the source of his bitterness more so that Mao’s own allegiance to the Democratic Party and the opposition in general was partly to blame for the mass exodus of Party members.
Many of the DP members eventually found solace and comfort in the arms of National Unity Platform. Those who have been following the inside of DP politics will tell you that by the time Lukwago left to join FDC, Mao was already in courtship with the ruling party.
All that Mao had left at the door steps of the Democratic Party were his shoes to hoodwink party members that he was inside. I personally think that very position of Minister of Justice and constitutional Affairs had been reserved for him, the missing link was nothing but the right time. No coincidences involved here.
The likes of Betty Nambooze had already sounded a warning drum saying Mao was green on top and yellow on the inside meaning he was only in Democratic Party to hatch a plan of killing and later selling the remains of the oldest party in Uganda to Museveni.
From the look of things, Mao may have succeeded; the Democratic Party will never be the same again. His official departure now leaves room for Democratic Party to go back to turmoil of tribe and religion; they will be tempted to vote a catholic from the central region to take over as President General which again will limit their ability to appeal to other Ugandans who think the DP is a Buganda Catholic Party.
For those of us who underestimate Museveni need to know he is such a skilled cunning “fisherman” who begins his fishing escapade by cutting off supplies of food to the “lake” in order to starve the “fish” and make them vulnerable. If any of his targets has a business, he finds ways of suffocating its survival so the owner runs to him for bail outs. If one is a politician, he entices you to join politics with a promise to support you and then quickly creates a force to fight you.
Aggrey Awori once said of Museveni “he does not use worms to catch fish; he picks new notes from Bank of Uganda and uses them as a bait to entice his would be victims. But as is his practice, Museveni does not remove all the “fish” in the net, he throws some back into the water with one motive at the back of his mind, to spy on others and to entice others to get closer.
Now you know why a certain vocal lady veteran politician from Lango and another vocal veteran businessman cum politician from Bugisu speak no more, for there is no dog that barks with a bone in its mouth. Some of Museveni’s agents were left in their respective political parties to spy and disseminate information to him.
These politicians are always supported to contest and win parliamentary slots despite being “members of the opposition”. They keep winning and coming back to parliament simply because they serve the interests of the man in a hut.
By the time somebody comes out to declare their departure from the opposition, they would have served as discreet allies for Museveni for years. Sadly, many of them are dumped after serving in cabinet for a short time. Those who survive for long are the ones who stay on the sidelines.
At this rate, the opposition parties need to rethink their journey to state house. It has become so difficult to know who is working for Museveni and who is serving the opposition in earnest.
They cover their backs so well that you may think you have a common agenda only to realize that whatever you plan, they leak the information.
I recall Amuriat telling people of Omoro not to vote a NUP candidate and I wondered whose interests he serving. Now that the other political parties are wiped out, it only remains to be seen whether NUP will survive the turbulence when Museveni is busy paying salaries to those pretending to be fighting to remove him from power.
Wadada Rogers is a commentator on political, legal and social issues.
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