Is Mao being judged harshly in his solitary path for political transition?

It may be already one year and a half since Democratic Party( DP) President General, Norbert Mao took the bold leap to jump onto the National Resistance Movement (NRM) bus in what he described then as a move towards a political transition dialogue with long time leader, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

The July, 21, 2022 announcement came with a lot of backlash, especially from members of his party and the rest of the opposition who accused the two-time presidential candidate of being a traitor. Mao, in a later explanation, defended his actions on grounds that his decision to accept the then vacant Justice and Constitutional Affairs docket was premised on an agreement between him and his NRM counterpart,  Museveni on the political transition in the country.

President Museveni would later characteristically disown Mao publicly on this specific subject. 

With just about two years to mark two years in government,  all eyes seem directed to the DP leader regarding what he will bring to the table regarding the purported transition agreement as 2026 draws closer.

It ought to be remembered that Uganda has not had a peaceful transfer of power since independence, with the burrow of the gun speaking on all the occasions since the very first change if leadership in 1966.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will have ruled the East African country for an unprecedented Fourty years when his current term comes to an end in 2026. A section of Ugandans have been indicating a preference for the man who will be 81 in 2026 to retire and pave way for a new government. Mao belongs to this group understandably.

Within the ruling NRM, a popular consensus is that the veteran ruler continues steering the country, latest until 2031. These are led by NRM Secretary General, Richard Todwong, Special Presidential Advisor on Political Affairs, Hadijah Namyalo who vigorously continues to make a case for Museveni at the next polls with the “Jajja Omalako Tova ku Main,” loosely translated to mean “ Grandpa is still fit to continue ruling,” and veteran LRA General, and Minister of Internal Affairs,  Xaverio Kahinda Otafire.

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Gen Otafire has outspokenly preached against a possible Muhoozi presidency, recently spitting venom on what he called family rule against the democracy “we fought for” and challenged General Muhoozi to prove his suitability for the top seat other than his birthright.

Most probably, the transition from Museveni to Muhoozi is not what Mao would wish to see but under the current pressure, anything is better than nothing.

While speaking at a symposium on transitional justice, Mao made it clear that he joined the government in agreement that there would be a peaceful political transition.  He also challenged his political rival cum ally, Gen Museveni to gift the country with its first peaceful transfer of power, adding that it would be far more appreciated than constructing new roads and bridges.

Moa, who seemed uncharacteristically tensed at the event said he wasn’t out to pretend by reading speeches written for him by his very good educated staff but to speak what is at heart.

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By the look of things, Mao seemed to indicate a willingness to accept being axed, or in the worst scenario,  walk out of the government if the things agreed upon are not respected.

On the other hand, he will continue praying that the solitary path he took of embracing cooperation with Museveni vindicates him in the long run amid the provocative eyes of rivals in the opposition who continue treating him with ridicule.

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