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.

Citizens Coalition for Improved Service Delivery in West Nile: Follow up action points from the meeting on 1st September 2022 on the status of electricity in West Nile (03.10.2022)

Uganda: Kisembo Ronex Tendo, former EALA MP Candidate letter to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – Re: Grievances Arising from the Recently Concluded Elections for Uganda’s Representatives in the 5th East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) – (03.10.2022)

EALA Elections: NRM wins 8 out of 9 [and DP get the final seat]

UPDATE: The elected EALA representatives and the votes attained.

Akol Rose Okullu 422

Namara Denis 415

Kakooza James 405

Odongo George Stephen 403

Paul Mwasa 401

Kadogo Babirye Veronica 383

Mugenyi Mary 367

Amongin Jacquiline 338

Siranda Gerald 233” (NilePost, 29.09.2022).

My prediction got hit with one seat in the East African Legislation Assembly (EALA) Members of Parliament (MP). The one I thought was a go was the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) Fred Ebil. He didn’t get his seat and the UPC lost their seat in the EALA this period. Now, there is only National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Democratic Party (DP) who has EALA MPs in the 5th Assembly.

Today, the NRM got their 6 candidates, which was anticipated. They got in addition two more “independent” candidates. So, in the numbers they got 8 out of 9. Jacqueline Amongin is a member of the NRM and a Pan African Parliament (PAP) Member too. So, she has represented Uganda on a NRM ticket already. Now she ran as an “independent” but everyone should know that she is associated and a member of the NRM.

The second “independent” Babirye Veronica Kadogo was the Woman Representative in the 10th Parliament for the NRM in Buyende District. She lost her re-election bid in the General Election in 2021. She ran as an “independent” but certainly is connected to the NRM as well. To think otherwise is naive at this point.

That’s why it’s only Gerald Siranda who is from another party, the DP. The DP who had this in their agreement with the NRM. The DP-NRM Agreement had this stipulation and Siranda takes over the seat after two terms for Mbidde. Therefore, the DP gets a seat and an EALA MP.

While we saw a boycott from the National Unity Platform (NUP). The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had a candidate that was bound to loose. Justice Forum (JEEMA) also lost, which was also scheduled to happen, as it is associated with the NUP. However, the shocker was that UPC lost their seat and didn’t get Ebil elected. Especially, since the NRM was supposed to back the UPC with this seat, but that was hallow.

The opposition didn’t really loose much. They had nothing to get to begin with. The NRM was bound for a pyrrhic victory, but today was just a painful exercise. The Speaker decided to have an early poll before the deliberations in the plenary session. This is creating the possibility for “pre-ticked ballots” and open rigging. Which is just foolish, because the NRM got the majority in the 11th Parliament and this would be a walkover.

The ones that should feel betrayed is the UPC. They are surely not valued and isn’t getting real support. That is the party which has made agreements with the NRM. Now, their dialogue and such isn’t considered. That is saying something. We can see that Mao and DP got their way. However, the UPC was kicked out by NRM leaning “independent’s”. Peace.

Opinion: The IPOD is a lost cause

The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) who has gotten major funding from Democratic Government Facility (DGF) and Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). DGF is bound to only last a few more months until December 2022. While NIMD has ceased funding after IPOD has failed to get all parties to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The lasted MoU lasted until February 2022.

Now in September 2022 the IPOD Secretariat might feel at a loss. The ideal of IPOD might seem positive and worthwhile. Nevertheless, the results and the political forum has been more a sideshow than actually being fruitful. The majority party and ruling regime, National Resistance Movement (NRM) has used it more to poach the opposition and have publicity stunts. While the opposition like Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP) haven’t seen any sort of dialogue or proper platform to make difference. That’s why they rather distance themselves from it.

The IPOD was maybe made with the best interest in 2010. NIMD and DGF funded the organization to have a place and possibility to meet. IPOD could have been a safe space for the political parties, but we all know this haven’t been in the interests of the Head of State or the NRM. The NRM wants to either intimidate, strike or corrupt their opposition. That’s why President Museveni has himself promised to destroy and get rid of all opposition.

Now in 2022 and after 12 years of IPOD. The NRM is losing one of the few places where Museveni could actually meet the real opposition. Not the “opposition” who is already leaning towards him or co-operating with him. No, the ones defying him or wanting to remove him isn’t now a part of the IPOD.

That NIMD is saying it won’t fund IPOD before NUP and FDC joins is a failure. The parties themselves has decide. They have seen the works of IPOD and what it has “achieved”. The organization don’t have that much to show for it. This is why they cannot even write an MoU, which they cannot agree upon.

The NRM might feel like this is a “victory”. They can point at NUP and FDC. However, that is a very hallow “victory”. The FDC and NUP has done this for various of reasons, but it is clear that the NRM isn’t an honest actor. That’s why activists, candidates and associates connected to the NUP or FDC are either kept incommunicado, arrested or even extra judicially killed. The authorities are monitoring the opposition more than they look into crooks. Therefore, the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience is a well-known phenomenon in the Republic. That’s all because of their affiliation and who they are associated with.

If the NRM really wanted IPOD to work. They would have properly invested in it and not only used it for photo-ops ahead of polls and elections. While also using it more directly to create positive headlines Nevertheless, NIMD and DGF maybe want more for their coins. They want them to actually have inclusive dialogue and talks in a political forum. That sort of thing seems like a thing of the past.

It is not the fault of NUP or the FDC for the end of IPOD. The killer of IPOD is Museveni. Like everyone else it goes back to him. It is his choices and orders, which are reflected here. He is getting his will and certainly not … get a free lunch. IPOD is only destroyed and losing value, as there are no real progress or talks of substance. When an organization like IPOD becomes sub-standard forum and losing all value.

President Museveni cannot be happy with this, because this just shows how flawed his multi-party democracy is. When the one forum he had where all elected parties could meet and talk is now ceasing to operate. The funding of this organization is stopped. Because, FDC and NUP isn’t accepting the conditions of the current MoU. That’s a failure and lacking the general understanding of what it should be.

If Museveni wanted this… things would have been different. Nevertheless, expect the NRM to deflect it or blame the parties for not signing on. Because, why should they sign on to something… when it gives them nothing and only legitimizing the regime. IPOD only gives political currency to the NRM without giving the other parties anything worthwhile. The others are just getting an opportunity to see Museveni close by and be there in his presence. That’s a futile enterprise and if the NIMD see that is an asset. They should just continue to pursuit it. However, it isn’t the product that its portrayed on the tin. It is something else and the ones dismissing it has all the reasons to do so. Peace.

Opinion: The EALA MPs race is already finished

The ones expecting any sort of shocks or sudden changes in the East African Legislative Assembly Members of Parliament (MP) race will be in a dire loss. The EALA MP race which is already scheduled will most likely be a settled affair already.

It is the MPs that elects them and the majority will go to the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The NRM has already 6 candidates or Flag-Bearers and you should expect all of them to be settled in. The Democratic Party (DP) will get one MP as that was signed off in the DP-NRM agreement, which was signed of earlier in the year. That means 6 of the 9 slots is already taken. Further, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) should also get a candidate in for their loyalty and working relationship with NRM. That means 8 of the 9 MPs are already elected without much say. The last will be to a NRM leaning Independent and a “vetted” one like that. This is what you should expect and anything else would be weird at this point.

The NRM will have the majority and that is reflected in the NRM Caucus with their 6 Candidates. This is an easy pick and securing plum-jobs to former MPs and Ministers who has lost out. That’s why the EALA is a nice place for them to be put. When there is no parastatal or government entities to get appointed into. Therefore, the EALA is a well fitting place to do so.

The others are giving favourable and friendly parties of the Parliament a “shout-out” or “props” for their loyalty. They are getting a EALA MP slot and that’s why its easy to see the 6+2 or 8, which is al but missing 1 of the EALA MPs.

That Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is fielding a flag-bearer is futile. The same can be said about whoever the National Unity Platform (NUP) would pick or have in this role. The Justice Forum (JEEMA) has also a flag-bearer, but that person will not go nowhere either. As the JEEMA has been an ally of the People Power and the NUP. So, with that in mind these parties candidates will go nowhere. There is no way that the majority of the Parliament will give them way. They are really wasting their time and only playing into the procedural games of the state. Yes, they have a right to have a flag-bearer or a EALA MP candidate, but it’s totally pointless. The opposition could have the best man or woman. They could have the incarnated saviour of the planet and all souls. That person still wouldn’t have a chance, because the NRM has decided and there is no turning back.

The FDC, NUP and JEEMA has no chance here. They should just give up. The DP and UPC will get the other spots. There is little chances for the independent candidates in this race, if any. Yes there is a talk of 15 MP candidates, but as long as you don’t have suction or pre-arranged agreements. These shouldn’t expect much. They are fillers on a paper or if even that…

The ones believing this will be free and fair elections. I hate to say it’s partly sealed already. The only last seat is what is unknown. While that one will most likely go to a NRM leaning Independent and someone in favour of the NRM without being on it’s ticket. That meaning all of the 9 of 9 EALA MPs.

The ones thinking the FDC, NUP or JEEMA has a shot at this… well, I cannot see it happening. It isn’t like the NRM or the ones in power has allowed that before. No, they rather see their own there and no one else. The only reason why UPC and DP has a chance, is because of their working arrangements with the NRM. That’s why they are getting favour and office. Not because of their representation or the will of the people. No, it’s because of ceremonial reasons between the NRM and their allies. There is nothing else too this. Peace.

A DP MP plea for sanity: Where is the DP MPs placed in the order of Parliament Procedure…?

Today there might a talk after Democratic Party MP Michael Lulume Bayigga have issued a statement for the plenary session dated back to the 18th August 2022. Where the main grievances are if the DP is an “opposition” or a “government” party now. That means the 4 DP MPs has to sit with the NRM and not in Opposition. Neither can the DP MP partake in Opposition activities in the Parliament either.

This here is obvious questions and should have been resolved with the ushering in of DP Chairman Norbert Mao becoming the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Nevertheless, that has never been settled. This is why the MP has to issue this statement and get some answers.

One part that is really amusing and compelling about the agreement is this one: “We would like to state categorically clearly that we have never been part of a Party process that sanctioned any negotiations or Consultations to get the impugned agreement done, Hon Speaker, peaceful assembling organs of the Democratic Party were disperscd by the Uganda Police Force while scores of others were arrested on the 4th August at Tal Cottages in Rubaga” (Lulume Bayigga, 18.08.2022).

So, this undermines the agreement, as it was a solo-mission and expedition for the Chairman to get political relevance. Since, he was lingering on the outskirts of politics and only held some national relevance on the NBS TV Frontline show. The rest of the time he made statements and political aligned quotes on his Twitter. That’s about it.

He further states: “Hon. Speaker, whereas some of us sit on the National Executive Committee and

the National Council; which are the decision making organs of the Party, We state unequivocally and in no uncertain terms that neither the National Executive Committee, the National Council nor the Parliament Group has ever sanctioned a process of Negotiation for Cooperation agreement between DP and NRM at all” (Lulume Bayigga, 18.08.2022).

When an MP addresses the NRM-DP agreement like this. It really says something about what went on and how Mao himself made it happen. He didn’t inform or concerned about the party itself. It was only his own making and getting a title. The Chairman ensured his own safe-haven and a Ministry of his choosing. That’s how it looks, especially, when an MP from his own party writes this statement and wants it discussed by Parliament.

The MP wants also know “which side are they on”… if they are still Opposition or Government now. If the DP MPs can vote with the Opposition or is bound by an Agreement, which they didn’t sign off on. Because, if so… the DP MPs has to vote in concert with the NRM Party and cannot decide on their own. Also, if there will be any clarification to why the DP MPs are part of any Opposition Activities in the Parliament. That’s all that need to be addressed.

It is really fitting and wise decision to push this. Especially, when the MP seems to be pushed into a stance and place, which isn’t it’s own choosing. That is very apparent by the statement and the disappointment of not taking the party into consideration, as it made arrangement and an agreement with the NRM.

Here the MP shows how Mao did foul play with his own party. This is an interesting turn of events. I just wonder how this unfold in Parliament. Especially, knowing how partisan the Speaker and Deputy Speaker is. They are not considering anything else than the business of Mzee. So, it will be compelling to see how it will be handled. Because, this is surely a test of procedure and righteous test of the divide of who is “opposition” and who is “government”. Peace.

Opinion: Mwenda trying to knight Mao

Not breaking news, but the Independent Magazine editor and spin-doctor of the regime Andrew Mwenda published piece called “Thumbs Up for Mao”. That was published today. I will no digest the whole text, but only comment on the pieces that is worthy of discussing. Because, his sort of style is to whitewash and make the government insiders look good. He has become a talisman for the government and this article is no exemption. It is just the good old sort of spin to make the unreasonable look wonderful.

Mwenda’s piece is the norm now and nobody should be shocked. The mannerism and the attacks on Bobi Wine and Besigye is staple by now. The way he describes and goes after the opposition is just what he does. It’s like he has no other technique or abilities to understand their standing. Everyone is just supposed to think and move like he does. Be a government crony and get the kickbacks like everyone else Andrew knows.

The first part which was interesting to me was this one: “The cooperation agreement between NRM and DP is an important political innovation and landmark in our country’s politics. Uganda needs this kind of politics. Indeed, it should be a yardstick for political cooperation among the contending political forces in the country. Other political parties like NUP, FDC and JEMA should seek the same” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).

Well, we don’t know what sort of deal the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) did. Neither does we know what sort of deal Dr. Paul Ssemogerere did back-in-the-day or anyone else for that matter. Who has gone from being in opposition to working with President Museveni. We also know what happened to the allies of the UFF and UFM. Manhy of them are now gone and only a handful are still around in the upper echelon. So, seeing how Museveni betrays agreements and twists them for his own personal advances. The UPC and DP should know this. The Cooperation Agreement today could be diminished tomorrow when His Excellency don’t need it. The words to the wise of studying history and knowing how your enemy operates. Mwenda should know that NUP, FDC and JEEMA shouldn’t join hands with Museveni. Sooner or later they will end up as relevant as Beatrice Anywar or Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi. Please, we don’t want any of that in 2022 do we?

He continues: “From that experience I came to the conclusion that Besigye is an obstacle to democratic development in Uganda. It is hard for me to really know his subjective motivations. But the objective outcome of his actions impede democratization. This is because he sees all forms of political compromise as capitulation, negotiations with government as selling out. He has adopted an extreme position that there is only way forward for Uganda and that is the fall of Museveni and his (Besigye’s) usurpation of power – and through ultra-constitutional means” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).

I would have to counter with the words of Besigye himself in the 1999 dossier as he left the NRM to form the Reform Agenda, which later turned into the now known Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). In that he says this: “All in all, when I reflect on the Movement philosophy and governance, I can conclude that the Movement has been manipulated by those seeking to gain or retain political power, in the same way that political parties in Uganda were manipulated. Evidently, the results of this manipulation are also the same, to wit: Factionalism, loss of faith in the system, corruption, insecurity and abuse of human rights, economic distortions and eventually decline. So, whether it’s political parties or Movement, the real problem is dishonest, opportunistic and undemocratic leadership operating in a weak institutional framework and a weak civil society which cannot control them” (Besigye, November 6 1999 Dossier).

Why do I use these words in 2022? Well, that’s the reasons for why Besigye doesn’t believe in compromise and working directly with the NRM now. The NRM haven’t become better since 1999, but its much more ruthless and less concerned about how it portray itself. Mwenda is claiming Besigye wants power, but he wants a proper transition of power away from the guns and to a civilian rule. Because, the NRM today is based on the power of the army and the authorities, which can be used to take total control. So, calling Besigye is just to justify the means to an end for Museveni. Since Museveni usage of force, intimidation and state sponsored violence is legit in the eyes of Mwenda. While being on the barricades to defend liberty, justice and freedom for all is called extremism. That just shows which side Mwenda is on…

Yet Besigye has ignored the path taken by Mandela and instead embraced the one pursued by Yasser Arafat in Palestine. He has helped nourish a large constituency who reject politics as an activity that might – and should – involve compromise. The battle cry is never to seek any common ground. He and his radical extremist supporters despise any such, seeing it as selling out. Their motto is that we either win or they lose. This zero-sum approach to politics is very dangerous and can only lead to a autocratic government. This is because any government that comes to power without any negotiation or compromise will most likely to rule without any negotiation and compromise. And the reverse is true” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).

We all know the game-plan here. Mwenda wants compromise to look good and make the resilience of Besigye to look bad. Alas, the main issue with this here and using Mandela as an example. It is not like Museveni wants to promise a new beginning or reform in which his leaving. The white minority rule (apartheid) government made that agreement with the African National Congress (ANC) which lead to a new start in the rainbow nation in 1990s. Something we know that the NRM and Museveni has no interests in. They only wants that prolongs the life of the Museveni era and the NRM clinging on to power. That’s why this sort of mental gymnastics isn’t doing anyone a favour. The dictator and his party would never really negotiate themselves out of office or offer a soft landing for a free and fair election. We know that Museveni would never do that… it isn’t in his character and certainly after 36 years. He will not do that… Museveni will never compromise to the levels of sincere approach or a possibility of losing power. No, his to conning to do that.

He continues: “Mao needs to be applauded for his courage, for leading the way, for breaking this fear that to work with Museveni is detrimental to the interests of Uganda. Museveni and his NRM are a deeply entrenched reality in Uganda’s body politic. They are unlikely to be removed from power any time soon. But Museveni is also a practical and pragmatic politician who is always looking out for opportunities to win over his opponents – or even to compromise them. That should not stop politicians of principle from being pragmatic, recognizing that building Uganda requires some cooperation with him” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).

I can applaud Mao for showing his true character and lack of spine. His a sell-out and the deal will be breached. Sooner or later the President and his men will see no value in the DP or Mwenda. He will be as valuable as Beatrice Anywar aka Mama Mabira. Calling Museveni practical and pragmatic is joke. When he calls people’s parasites, insects and calls to destroy his opponents. A man who uses either the hook or the crook to go after his enemies. So, calling for pragmatic solutions with Museveni is hopeless. Sooner or later you will be lost and have no way to go. It is just showing the manner of which everyone else is supposed to beg for mercy, but Museveni is allowed to do whatever. Calling him pragmatic and practical. Well, say that to the tortured victims, the political prisoners and the families who has lost political activists in extra judicial killings because of their affiliations. That’s ruthless and not practical. So, Mwenda isn’t sincere here…

Mwenda further states: “Thus Besigye has built this cult that someone cannot compromise with Museveni without being compromised by the president. Yet one can work with Museveni without working for him and recognize the president’s accomplishments without endorsing his failures. This inability to see nuance and complexity leads me to believe that Besigye has despotic inclinations. His belief in the total annihilation of Museveni as the one and only path to Uganda’s democratization and development is dangerous” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).

When Mwenda writes like this. It is like he has never listened or bother to care about the messaging of Besigye. Because, he has make Museveni look cool or like a likeable character. While demonizing and depict the enemies of the state as the worst. Alas, that is just what Mwenda does here. While not considering the implications of doing so. How can anyone have negotiations between the parties, when the spin-doctor of the other party calls Besigye that? That doesn’t make sense. Secondly, Besigye don’t have power and haven’t been in office of decades… FDC has proven to be a coordinated and a party machine which is ruled by proper protocol. So, why would he be dictator? It isn’t like Besigye is the Party President and a high ranking official there now.

Just to continue my reasoning. Let’s take another document of Besigye. Where in 2017 spelled out what was needed for a transition of government:

The following needs to be done to terminate the Junta’s control of our country:

1) Intensify the “awakening campaign”, for most Ugandans to become active in the processes of achieving a transition. Everyone has a role to play in achieving this.

2) Forming activist networks to make it possible to act together and to be coordinated.

3)Everyone seeking a democratic transition should take deliberate actions, individually or in concert with others to disempower and break down the Junta. Each one’s actions, however small, contribute significantly towards the desired change.

4) Public servants, including those in the security and military are called upon to join the struggle for democratic transition.

5) In coordination with other political and civil society formations, we’ll soon start various activities that will disempower and bring the, now fragile, Junta to an end” (Besigye, 11.06.2017).

If you read this sort of text it isn’t a script of a demagogue or a dictator, but of a man who wants a public uprising and people power revolution to overthrow the current regime. Where he wants organizations and parties behind who all pull their weight. This is a game of getting all stakeholders to choke the government and stop it. So, it has to cease operation. So, when reading about the compromise. It is just like Mwenda wants to breathe new life into the Museveni government. Instead of actually offer a transition or a proper representation of the general public in government.

He ends with: “Most democracies I know in the world work through coalitions. This means they have to share power with those they don’t agree with. Why not Uganda?” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).

Besigye’s own words in the 1999 described this: “After some years of NRM rule, some in the leadership began to feel that there was sufficient grassroots support for the NRM, such that one could “off-load” the “broad–based” elements in government at no political cost. These factors were at the centre of an unprincipled power-struggle which was mostly covert and hence could not be resolved democratically. It continued to play itself out outside the formal Movement organs, with the results of weakening and eventually losing the concept of consensus politics and broad-basedness” (Besigye, November 6 1999 Dossier).

When this have been public knowledge for decades and it hasn’t become better. The main problem for the way the government is operating is starting from the top. That’s His Excellency and the orders his issuing. The way of the NRM CEC, NRM Caucus and the way the Parliament is doing it’s business. Therefore, the Mwenda’s of the world speaking of coalitions. The ones who signs off and works with Museveni. Sooner or later will realize that they are being used and will be dropped off shortly. They will not have long shelf-life, unless the agreements signed gives them eternal pass like Gen. Moses Ali. The rest are left astray and without any house to keep. Museveni will not budge or give way. He wants it his way or your got no choice. That’s why calling him pragmatic and practical. Its just ridiculous and utter garbage.

Mwenda should study the patterns and the Leopards Anus. However, he rather try to spin to make the current regime look good. That’s all his busy doing now. Peace.

A breakdown of the vital articles of the DP-NRM Cooperation Agreement – ‘no surprises’

Yesterday the shocker of the Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and National Resistance Movement (NRM) is finally revealed. This agreement is leaked as there is internal in-fighting in the DP Party and DP MPs wants change of the leadership of the party. Secondly, DP Party President Norbert Mao is already appointed as the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. So, in that regard… I will digest and write what I see as important in the cooperation agreement that was signed yesterday.

Also, it is not a shocker that the agreement includes the DP getting an EALA MP, which they have tended to have. That’s why the DP has had one Member there, which happens to be Mukasa Mbidde who has had two terms and expires this year. That means the party needs someone else, because Mbidde has stayed the total 10 years in the EALA. So, an ally of Mao will be designated and picked for the slot, which is signed in the agreement. This is not giving up anything for the NRM who has offered this seat before to the DP. It is just continuing the partnership that way.

In addition, this is an agreement that gives both parties what they are asking for. The NRM seems to trading away things, but really they are not. They are getting a partner and a party which will follow their party line as government. That is initial parts of it and I will show that… It is not shocking, because it is not like President Museveni would trade away power or his ability to control the operations of government.

As I continue, I will first take an article from the agreement and right after it discuss it. Before, I in the end summarize and end it with a short take, which will not surprise anyone.

3. The Democratic Party agrees to cooperate with the National Resistance Movement in supporting the overall governance agenda and supporting parliamentary votes on matters of confidence and supply for the full term of this Parliament. In addition, the Democratic Party will support the National Resistance Movement Government on procedural motions in the House and at Select/Sessional Committees on the terms set out in this agreement. This will provide Ugandans with the certainty of a strong, stable Government with support from the Democratic Party over the next five years” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

If you think this is beneficial for the DP… think again. This sort of agreement is a minor party supporting a vast majority. The NRM don’t need the support of the DP to pass legislation. However, the indirect support only malign the position of the DP who is becoming a branch of the NRM by doing so. This is why Museveni is happy. He gets even more “Good DP” on his side…

8. This agreement supports the advance of the Government’s priorities by allocating portfolios and establishing areas of cooperation that are consistent with the direction and goals of the NRM Government, as well as contributing to addressing the Democratic Party’s aspirations” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

This here is just tragic, but man Mao has sold the DP Party for cheap. The DP will support and advance the NRM Government priorities, but they are hoping the same NRM government will consider their aspirations. The aspirations will fall flat when the DP has to support and advance the majority of the NRM. That is a fallacy and I cannot believe the DP leaders accepted it. The wording makes it easy assess that the winner takes all and the DP might aspire to achieve something. Regardless… we continue…

12. Ministers from the Democratic Party will attend Cabinet Committees for items relevant to their portfolios and receive Cabinet Papers relevant to their portfolios, as provided for in the rules regulating Cabinet” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

This here was to be expected. That is given, but shows that the DP Minister and Mao himself will get an established role by the agreement. He will not be junior minister, but an entitled and honourable of that.

16. The Parties will work together in good faith and cooperate with each other in respect of Executive and Parliamentary activities to advance these shared goals, including any public statements. The President may from time to time issue letters of expectations to Ministers and other officials from the Democratic Party and these letters will reflect the areas of policy cooperation and consultation processes required” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

Here the NRM got the DP whipped into submission. The DP has to follow and work in coordination with NRM. The DP will only release statements in accordance with the NRM or the Executive. This means the DP cannot defy or even spread any sort of message to the public without notifying the NRM. That is muffling them and ensuring total loyalty, which again shows the DP to be a branch of the NRM party here.

20. The National Resistance Movement Government will also brief the Democratic Party on:

A. the broad outline of the legislative programme

B. broad Budget parameters and process” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

Here the DP get a nice catch after becoming a part of the NRM brach. They are at least getting briefed on the matters of budgets and process of the government. A government they are a part of. That shows they are an internal feature now. It says brief, so it doesn’t mean the DP get a say on the budgets, but get a first look and understanding at least.

24. The Leader of the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement will meet every three months or as required to monitor progress against the areas of cooperation set out in this agreement. The Secretaries General will meet regularly” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

This is a micro-IPOD. The State House visits will be more frequent and the Minister/DP President will be a welcomed guest in the presence of His Excellency. The stipulation is securing a steady relations between and also coordinating efforts. Which will be the verbal agreements ahead of any sort decision made.

26. The parties may establish a process in order to maintain different public positions on the areas of cooperation. The parties agree that matters of differentiation will be dealt with on a ‘no surprises’ basis” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

Just as the two leaders are talking on the regular, the DP already informed by vital aspects of government. The DP has to ensure they are not publishing or releasing any information without consent or agreed upon. This is further sealed off here and the DP has to await the “thumbs up” to speak their minds in public and within the lines of which are in “good faith”.

30. In accordance with the Cabinet Rules , Ministers from the Democratic Party must support and implement Cabinet decisions in their portfolio areas. However, Ministers from the Democratic Party will not be restricted from noting where that policy may deviate from the Democratic Party policy on an issue. If this is required, it may be noted in the Cabinet minute that on a key issue, the Democratic Party position differs from the Cabinet decision” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

Here the DP Minister becomes practically a soldier for the NRM. The party emblem and the DP is undermined totally. Not only by the other provisions, which is already mentioned. That is undercutting and taking away the liberties and freedoms of the DP. This here makes it possible not to aspire, but to be a tool of implementation only. Meaning whatever the DP aspires too. That will not go anywhere… when the DP minister just has to follow Cabinet decisions and earlier promise to “support” and “advance” government priorities.

33. Ministers from the Democratic Party will be bound by the principle of Cabinet confidentiality, as set out in the Cabinet Rules” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

This is a continuation of the “not speaking to the public until being told”. The DP has to await clearance and be vouched for before being public. It is surely designated to ensure secrecy and silence of the ones anointed into the government. Mao and DP really has to contain themselves, as they cannot renegade or act in any sort of defiance. They just have to follow “command and obey”.

40. The Parties agree to a ‘no surprises’ approach to new private Members’ Bills. However, neither party is under any obligation to support the other party’s private Members’ Bills” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

Again, ‘no surprises’ and its for the reasons stated before. Everything is supposed to be coordinated and ensure to follow the ‘correct line’. This is streamlining the working relationship. We know the DP already has to support and vote for government priorities. So, the issue of no obligations of supporting “private bills” are hopeless. When that is a sort of way to get the Executive what he needs and wants. The DP Party President knows this and certainly there will be times when this article is useless…

42. The Democratic Party undertakes to keep full voting numbers present whenever the House is sitting where the Democratic Party has committed to support the National Resistance Movement Government and on matters of confidence and supply. The Democratic Party also undertakes to keep full voting numbers in Committee, unless otherwise agreed” (Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Party and the National Resistance Movement, 20.07.2022).

This here is just showing the DP has to be loyal, submissive and just do as they are told. That is the endgame of the ‘no surprises’ paradigm. It is really something else. The DP might aspire to things, but in the end they will be swallowed and eaten alive by the priorities of the NRM government. No way this is ending well. No, Mao got his role and the game is rigged for him. Museveni wouldn’t have signed this agreement, unless he knew who would get the upper-hand and he did so by a landslide.

A brief summery:

Mao will not ‘surprise’ anyone and the DP will still aspire to things. The NRM has gotten a new branch and a new unit working under it’s “umbrella”. The Democratic Party sold itself very cheap and there is little in the agreement that gives Mao or the DP any sort of possibilities to gain much power. They are within the reach of the Executive and get to hold talks. However, the DP has to listen and “obey”. The DP isn’t allowed to operate without consent. That is really the gist here and they have to serve the NRM. While the NRM don’t have to do or act in any sort of way. They are furthering their “priorities” anyway and the DP MPs has to vote in accordance. Peace.

Opinion: Should we fear Mao as a Minister?

My father taught me many things here – he taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” – Michael Corleone (Godfather II, 19744).

The day after Democratic Party President Norbert Mao signed a cooperation agreement with the National Resistance Movement (NRM). It has been announced that his been appointed to the become the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. This means that Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu is demoted because of this trade-off.

I’m not worried about Kamuntu… he will find a plumb-job and that’s because the President favours his sort of kind. The blind loyalty to the throne and accepting the duties, which the President sees him fit. Now the bigger question is what Mao plans to or intends to do as a Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

Mao can push forward with constitutional changes, which could easily be amendments to the rights of land. The newly minted minister could force changes that the President wants with Mailo-land and appease the abilities to expropriation of land or speed up “development projects” or “investor-friendly” enterprises.

The other important aspect like in the previous Parliament is the government system and laws surrounding the current President. In the 10th Parliament the MPs abolished the Age limit in the Constitution. Ensuring the longevity of the presidency and legalize the continuation of Museveni on the throne.

Mao could push for the constitutional amendments that makes the Parliament able to elect the President. Where the MPs will elect the President instead of by the universal suffrage. This would change the electoral laws and the parliamentary system. Which would be similar to United Kingdom where the MPs are electing the Prime Minister, the head of state there. However, we are not sure about this.

We don’t know if Mao will accept the changes of the Constitution so that the MPs and the majority of the Parliament can elect or appoint the Inspector General of Police (IGP). That’s also been tabled private bill and we can wonder if this is even feasible.

Certainly, there are rumours that Mao will work to deregister and ensure the demise of the National Unity Platform (NUP). That is not yet clear, but the rumours are worrying and we know that the gig of targeting the NUP has paid-off for the Chairman already. Therefore, thing are bound to happen and it is just a matter of time.

We know the likes of Mao wants to prove himself. His an unelected minion of Museveni now. Mao will do like Beti Kamya did in the Ministry of Kampala. That’s what we should expect, because he wants to show he was worth it and is a guy of the President.

He will turn into one the most loyal subjects of the President. The sort of crony and associate we have never seen. This man will go head over heals to defend the government and it’s ills. He won’t mind to attack and use the law for personal gains. His selling the party he represents and his own career over a high ranking office. When you are willing to do that for personal gains. You know the man will easily do whatever he can to serve his new master. Peace.

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