The Democratic Party-DP President Norbert Mao, has asked the aggrieved party loyalists to embrace the cooperation agreement he signed with President Yoweri Museveni on behalf of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM government.
On Wednesday, July 20th 2022, Mao signed the pact giving leeway to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to appoint him the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to administer a ‘strong, cohesive, united and all-inclusive Uganda’.
However, Mao’s decision to join the government has attracted bitter criticism from some members of the DP National Executive Committee-NEC, who accuse him of committing the party to the agreement without prior consultations. While addressing journalists at the party headquarters at City House in Kampala on Tuesday afternoon, Mao explained that he consulted several DP NEC members.
In the two-hour long press conference, Mao said the agreement he signed with the NRM is in line with DP’s strategic objectives, which NEC endorsed on October 25th, 2021 during a meeting at Essela Country Hotel in Najjera.
Mao reiterated that NEC endorsed three key strategic objectives during the meeting having lost in the January 2021 general polls. The three objectives included; capturing power, attaining majority parliamentary seats in the main opposition party, or sharing power with the reigning government.
Mao downplayed the reproach by other opposition political parties that he has technically defected to the NRM. He dismissed the accusations describing it as a mere ‘pessimistic’ response that time will prove right or wrong.
He observed that the cooperation agreement is not peculiar to what his predecessors did, and assured Ugandans that DP’s agenda is to establish a national dialogue, the constitutional review commission, and a peaceful transition of power will succeed to the benefit of the country.
According to Mao, in the next two election cycles including 2026 and 2031, the country will enjoy an all-party government that will serve Ugandans without party affiliations, regional belonging, or tribal sentiments, the prevailing situation that has torn apart the country.
Aged 55, Mao will take an oath of all allegiance and secrecy on Wednesday at State House Entebbe and Parliament respectively to become the 18th Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs since independence in 1962.