Opinion: Mao – A deal is a deal and these are the cards your dealt…

President Museveni has said the Memorandum of Understanding that the NRM signed with Democratic Party in July did not include any agreement on political transition. In an interview with NBS TV which will be aired tonight, Museveni said Norbert Mao, the DP president general, was brought on board as a strategy to “bring the opposition into government” but not to oversee any form of political transition” (Josephine Namakumbi – ‘Museveni: “My deal with Mao does not include political transition”’ 17.10.2022, Nile Post).

The secret and sudden agreement between the National Resistance Movement and Democratic Party shocked the Republic when it happened. Certainly, certain aspects of it was in the cards. That has been shown ever since. However, DP Party President Norbert Mao has over-promised his reach. The agreement has been made like this for a reason. To not give him overreaching power or mandate, which would be out of control for His Excellency.

President Museveni would never ever trade away his leverage or his office. Neither would he be foolish enough to risk his stay in power. He fought a war to get it and he never intends to leave. Mao can make all the wishes he wants, but the initial agreement is obvious. The stipulated article, which is in the realms of reform is clear. There are opening for electoral reforms and constitutional reforms on Parliamentary Term, but nothing stipulated about the a political transition. That’s not in the picture and the President isn’t lying. Secondly, who would be bold enough to suggest that while making an agreement? When he has shown no intention of doing so since the 1980s….

Read Article 17 of the July Agreement:

17. Beyond these stated areas of cooperation, it is also the Government’s intention to work with political parties from across Parliament (including the Opposition) on issues that affect our democracy, including the recommendations of the Supreme Court on Electoral Reforms. Recommendations made to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Constitutional Reforms and the length of the Parliamentary term” (NRM DP Agreement, July 2022).

Then the day-dreaming of Mao:

The Democratic Party president general and Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Mr Norbert Mao, has asked youth to prepare for a peaceful transition of power in 2031. Mr Mao, who was speaking at the belated Youth Day celebrations at Bubangizi Secondary School playground at Mitooma on Saturday, where vice president Jessica Alupo was the chief guest, said the President gave him the assignment of ensuring a peaceful transition” (Felix Ainebyoona & Milton Bandiho – ‘I’m preparing Uganda for peaceful transfer of power – Mao’, 03.10.2022, Daily Monitor).

I have a hard time seeing Mao or the DP being able to pull it off. The agreement in other articles stipulates that the parties needs to consult before putting forward legislation. Secondly, there is supposed to be “no surprises” and private minister bill. Meaning Mao has to consult the President before doing anything. That is according to the agreement they both signed off. Meaning in the end, Mao’s hands are tied and he needs to get guidance before moving. He cannot act on his own accord or after his whims. No, he has to follow stipulations and get vouched for before putting forward any sort of reform or political transition for that matter.

Last fact is that Museveni only signed off on possible Electoral Reform and amendments of the Constitution. However, he cannot do so with a shocking twist or without coordination or consultation of the NRM. This means that he has to follow quorum and protocol before doing so.

Mao can lie about these things, but that’s doesn’t make it more true. Usually, I tend to think that Museveni lies. Because, he does that a lot and speak half-truths too. However, in this instance… Mao is naked and he forgotten his own agreements or proposed agenda. Peace.

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