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.

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: Revisiting the TDA [and where are they now?]

5. The goal of The Democratic Alliance shall be achieved through the pursuance of the following objectives:

a) Building the necessary mobilization capabilities and organizational infrastructure of the Alliance and its members in order to win power;

b) Developing and presenting a common policy and governance agenda for elections;

c) Ensuring the attainment of an electoral majority by fielding candidates for all electoral positions across the country;

d) Fielding of joint candidates for electoral offices as set out in this Protocol;

e) Constituting a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) with the purpose of implementing appropriate political and economic reforms to build a strong and durable foundation for democracy, rule of law and economic justice” (Protocol of the Democratic Alliance, June 2015).

Because of the recent cooperation agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM). This has started questions about the legitimacy of the coalition that was one part of the opposition ahead of the General Elections in 2016. It is striking that this is happening now and it’s worth to look into what has happened ever since.

The TDA was a coalition made by a various set of parties. The two parties that directly went out of the coalition early was Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and the Forum for Democratic of Change (FDC). However, the others stayed behind and they went ahead to stand behind the former Prime Minister and Secretary General of the NRM, Amama Mbabazi. He became the Joint Presidential Candidate of the TDA and the Pressure Group of “Go Forward”.

The TDA was much larger than Mbabazi alone. It was the Conservative Party (CP), Democratic Party (DP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Pressure for National Unity (PNU), People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA). So, there were a handful of leaders in and around the TDA. There was also Olara Otunnu from the UPC and Dr. Kizza Besigye from the FDC. The UPC as a party left, but Otunnu stayed on, if I remember correctly.

The leaders who are vital part of TDA was Amama Mbabazi, Ken Lukyamuzi, Norbert Mao, Asuman Basalirwa, Beti Kamya, Gilbert Bukenya aka Mahogany and Dick Odur. There was also others associated and part of the proceedings like Mugisha Muntu and others. Therefore, it was a team of the opposition at the time who at certain points did their part here.

However, as time has shown us. Plenty of these people has sided with the NRM or returned to the NRM. The Presidential Flag-Bearer Mbabazi was a NRM Member and hadn’t revoked his membership as he was standing up against Museveni. So, that he returned and is in the good graces with the President is just natural. The stage of Go Forward was only a short sighted project and was over the moment the election was over.

Bukenya has also returned and is living the good life. His living large and having perks with titles and being part of the elite. The Former Vice President has no worries and was only for a minute or less an “opposition”. I doubt we will ever see anything of the PNU ever again.

Mao has just become the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. His working in cooperation with the government. Still part of the DP but he has a hectic period ahead of him. As insiders in the party wants him out and ousted. Since, this agreement wasn’t signed of from the party or the members. The DP Block has even dismissed him too.

Kamya has gone from being appointed Minister of Kampala. To lose her leadership of her party the UFA. Later becoming a NRM Member and changing Ministry. Now she’s the IGG but certainly not electable or viable candidate. She has become a typical crony of Museveni over the years.

Basalirwa has been close to the People Power Movement and the National Unity Platform. He has ensured popularity and gotten elected into Parliament as the only JEEMA MP. Therefore, his the first man here who is actual opposition from the TDA still.

Lukyamuzi has on the other hand lost his constituency and not become a third time re-elected to Rubaga South MP. He instead focused on finishing his degree, which he did in 2017. The Party President and former MP has been a vocal critic of the government. Even made a case against the Age Limit in the courts, which was dismissed. So, he is an actual man in the opposition. “The Man” is true to his missions and his goals.

Otunnu has been resigned from politics. He also lost the Party Presidency. The UPC has since then signed a secret agreement with the NRM. That’s why the UPC haven’t fielded a Presidential Candidate for two elections in a row. Otunnu has kept himself in the background and you can wonder if he will resurface or do anything for that matter.

Muntu also lost the Party Presidency. He lost to another candidate within the FDC. This made him create a New Formation, which is now known as the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT). That party was launched in time for the 2021 General Elections and he ran as President.

Besigye ran a the Presidential Flag-Bearer for the FDC and created the People’s Government after swearing himself in after the General Elections in 2016. Since then he has launched several of campaigns and the latest after the 2021 elections is the Red Card Front. A voice of the opposition still.

There are several of other leaders who are in the opposition that was a part of the TDA in 2015/2016. These could be Mathias Mpuuga (former DP now NUP), Betty Nambooze (former DP now NUP) and so fourth. There are more people that has been involved and could be mentioned, but that would make this piece to long.

However, a huge pattern are still there. Plenty of the TDA high ranking leadership went either back to NRM or has found a home in government. That is really happening on a larger scale. We shouldn’t be surprised that Mbabazi and Bukenya went back home. However, the others should really be questioned…

This was a short revising of the TDA. An alliance built quickly and seemingly destroyed. It wasn’t meant to be. We shouldn’t expect the Go Forward or the PNU to be returning either. The era of the TDA is gone and it’s for a reason. The TDA was built on sand and not on mountain. If it had been real and a sincere enterprise. So many of these leaders wouldn’t have sought shelter under the wings of the man who they were promised to create a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU).

Obviously… things didn’t pan out, but it is a picture, which shows how the times are changing. 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.

Opinion: Mao is officially Museveni’s minion

The agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and National Resistance Movement (NRM) yesterday has in some regards made DP Party President Norbert Mao the underling of the Head of State and the Chairman of NRM Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni. Mao might not like that, because he might find the solution and the compromise reasonable. However, his quest and his journey is now ending in a culprit of the state.

Mao cannot say his not bound by it. The DP will be a significant partner of the ruling regime. Just like the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) has been since they signed a secret agreement in 2016. Both parties are no silent partners and trading off their integrity and possible options to get some favourable terms or perks from the NRM. That’s really it.

We know that Mao will act like he has won a price or become a bigshot. That’s only in his mind. He maybe gets a renewed title and a office. Heck, the party gets to continue to have Mbidde in the EALA. However, the party isn’t getting anymore action or traction for that matter. No, its just another hallow shell of its former self.

Chairman Mao can act supreme and use big words on NBS Frontline, but his game is rigged. There is no way he can reassure or ensure longevity now. The DP has already looked lack-lustre and the ones that fled did so wisely. The did leave the DP before it got totally compromised. The DP will now be a division of the NRM. They have signed off and ensured that with the agreement.

Mao will ensure that he is favoured and get pleasant gifts from the State House. The man who is now a softspoken ally of the President. There is no way he will defy or even stand up to him. No, he will kiss the ring and be the loyal servant that Yoweri always wished to have. He got that from Jimmy and now Norbert follows.

The man who has been the DP President for ages, who hasn’t been able to show political finesse for a while. A man who has burned all the bridges politically in the opposition. He had only one way left and that was to beg for mercy. Which he apparently did, but by doing so… his just another crony and another figurine in the cabinet of sold-out politicians to Museveni.

Museveni got a bargain. It is not a coalition agreement, but a cooperation agreement. Which means that the DP is compromised, but not finalized. His pushing the blood out and letting it blead out in public. There is no way the DP can survive the onslaught in a long run. The party would lose its edge if it had any left…

Norbert Mao has now ensured this, and he will be remembered for it. He will not be favoured or be remembered kindly for doing so. The government he traded the party with is doing what it can to silence and go after its critics. That’s why you know this deal is shady and will be sign of oblivion for his party.

The DP will not get any stronger or competitive. It will instead be more stagnate and lack charisma on the way forward. Because it cannot be a viable party when they are involved in the day-to-day politics of the NRM. That’s because the deal is signing of vital parts of the game, and they have to be loyal to the same cause.

Mao isn’t brave… and he has become Museveni’s fool now. Oh gee, the mighty have fallen… Peace.

Opinion: DP follows UPC’s journey into the hands of Museveni

Today was the day that the Democratic Party (DP) sealed its fate. It is following Uganda People’s Congress who signed a similar agreement in 2016. Both of the oldest parties of the Republic now has signed agreements with the President and his party the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The DP and UPC will now be gallant side-dishes of the political spectrum. They are neither in government or coalition partners, but they are in cooperation with the ruling regime.

President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni has gotten these two parties for cheap. He don’t even need to dance or play the violin. Just throwing some EALA MPs slots and possibly seats in Parliament for the high ranking officials. Heck, he might appoint someone from the parties to an honourable parastatal and call it a night.

Museveni now has two silent partners in Jimmy Akena and Norbert Mao. They have both diluted their parties for a treat or a favourable office of sorts. Who knows how beneficial it really is. The UPC isn’t trying to run for the Presidency any longer. The DP might follow suit, because why bother right? They are already entangled and they get coins for doing so. This is easy money and the parties don’t even have to work for it. They are just served by the President and his getting no challenge from them.

The DP is now trading off. The DP can now just rebrand itself or becoming silent on issues. The UPC isn’t that vocal. They rarely have pressers or releases statements. The UPC doesn’t challenge in the plenty of races and back-downs easily for the NRM. Now we can expect the same from the DP.

Museveni should be happy he gotten cheap trade-offs and it doesn’t really cost him anything. These parties will lack trust within the electorate and neither strengthen their leadership either. Mao will soon look like and sound like Akena. Because, he cannot be vocal or challenge someone he has partnered up with.

That’s why we know Museveni was happy to announce the agreement today. He knew he got the best deal and the DP is the losers. The DP is the “Good DP” now, because the NUP took all the “Bad DP” away from him. The party has shifted this and it’s obvious. Mao has given up and rather be another stooge.

Both parties are now eating of the hands of Museveni. This is why they will be toothless and be silent partners. It is really tragic… and the founders of these parties would have vomited or turned in their graves. Because they would never have believed that their predecessors could sell their parties this cheaply. There is nothing long-term to gain and neither is there anyone who will trust them now.

The NRM-UPC deal has tarnished the party since 2016. No matter what the UPC leadership and others says. They cannot say they have become a vocal voice of reason or a party to seek. If so, why are there no face or MP, which the people are listening to from the party? Secondly, the DP will become the same sort of tragic party in Parliament. Not that it’s showed finesse or ability to sell it’s vision of late. Nevertheless, the NRM-DP will be a slow death of the party.

If you thought the DP Block or the SPV was a failure of an enterprise… well, the recent development will be like a massive downturn or a self-made recession. The DP will go into a depression… while the leadership will have their SUVs and bank-accounts filled to the brim. However, their wealth will not salvage their parties. No, they are being traded on the altar of being in the mercy of Museveni. That is just asking for a brief or prolonged death. Museveni will not see any value of them for long. Sooner or later, when the steam and the additional costs are seen as unsustainable.

The only other way they believe they have the same sort of maverick moves like Gen. Moses Ali who always linger around the President. In the same way his never leaving his sights. Mao and Akena better hope that they are treated like the old general. Because, if they are not… than they have traded their gold and heirloom for shiny things that only glimmer, but has no initial value. Peace.

Opinion: The DP isn’t Green anymore – it has turned itself Yellow

I met with Democratic Party President Norbert Mao at State House Entebbe. We signed a cooperation agreement between the NRM and the DP. I salute the DP leadership for this gesture of mature, foresighted and constructive politics” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 20.07.2022).

We have seen the shift over the years. The NBS Frontline commentator and Party President Norbert Mao has today signed an agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM). It a cooperation agreement and by doing so… the DP party is certainly dying.

The DP Party has lost their strongholds. The DP has been weakened over the years with Mao at the helm. He might proclaim and act like it isn’t true. However, the Parliamentary Group is weakened and the party itself has lost it’s purpose. That’s why a deal like this will breathe life onto it, but also trade it all away.

The DP party cannot be seen as an opposition party. Mao and his associates has now ensured his pockets. However, the party is now tainted. The DP is now working directly with the tyrant and his tyranny. The cooperation agreement is selling the soul of the DP. Not that’s its shocking, but inevitable.

This just shows the power of the People Power Movement and the National Unity Platform (NUP). The NUP already took away most of the base of the DP. The DP lacks strong grass-root support and the NUP has gained on their territories. The youths and the like rather go to the NUP or the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). Than going to a moderate and elitist party, which isn’t directing its energy towards the problematic sides of the NRM regime.

That’s why the DP lost in the two last elections. They haven’t gained anything and only gotten some people in high ranking offices, because they wanted to work directly with Museveni. Now Mao is doing the same and there is no subtle way to describe it.

The DP was formed as a reaction to the Progressive Party in 1956. Now in 2022 it has sold its soul to the dictatorial party of 36 years the NRM. The former Catholic party with a base in Baganda and Catholic North. Has now traded away its glory and possible moderate answers to the dictatorship. It is instead becoming a crony and an ally.

Not that this is shocking. It explains why Mao has targeted the NUP and Bobi Wine in the recent time. Anyone who has followed Mao has seen his rhetoric and actions, which could been a well spoken Ofwono Opondo. Now his becoming a stooge of the President and he surely cost barely nothing.

Museveni blasts DP in 2004:

How can you say for 50 years I have been here doing nothing and you also celebrate?” (…) “To remain in a deserted home and you celebrate for remaining there does not make sense” (New Vision – ‘Museveni blasts DP’s Ssemogerere’ 05.04.2004).

A man that speaks like about your party and later signs an agreement with you. He will destroy you and use the deal to undermine you. Museveni has promised to crush the opposition and take it down. Just like the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) deal hasn’t strengthen that party either. Instead it has taken seats and also ensured new MPs by doing so. Therefore, the DP will now go down the same path.

Mao should look onto Jimmy Akena and know that his becoming a similar party leader. Since his in favour of Museveni, but not being a big national figure. Secondly, his not even fielding candidacy to become President of the Republic. The UPC agreement should be studied and the results of it. Because, the DP-NRM agreement will most likely deliver similar results.

Mao has now traded his soul and all his ego to safe his accounts with fresh shillings. Peace.

Omoro County By-Election: The Son of Jacob will only win by force and not by “winning hearts”

It is only 5 days to the polls in the Omoro County By-Election, which is scheduled for the 26th May 2022. The campaigns will last to the 24th May 2022. However, things are already spiralling out and the price of the politics is clear.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) are acting like everything is going after normal programming, as they are campaigning to retain the seat in Parliament and get the son of the late speaker, Andrew Ojok Oulanyah elected. However, that couldn’t be harder from the truth.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had to change their candidate in the last minute before registration, because the NRM had bribed their candidate and instead nominated Justine Odong. Therefore, from the on-set the NRM is using all means to win.

Just like today it’s reports of beating up and direct arrests of National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters in the county. There is also reports of checkpoints and authorities putting up road-blocks in the area too. So, like before… the state is making an election into a war-zone to ensure total victory.

There is reports that the Special Forces Command (SFC), which is a part of the Uganda People’s Liberation Force (UPDF) that is behind the brutal arrests and detaining the opposition members in the county. So, if he NRM believed this was a certain win and a walk-over. They wouldn’t need to do this…

As NRM Secretary General Richard Todwong was earlier in the day proclaiming that they had turned about a 100 NUP Members in Omoro County into NRM. Nevertheless, that is just the ordinary propaganda and most like a photo-op to sincere. As this is a way of people getting free t-shirts and possibly a cash-donation to “vote” for the NRM. So, yet another grand scheme.. because the real supporters of the opposition is meeting a blunt force. Not smiles and greetings from the comrades of the likes of Todwong.

If Andrew Ajok Oulanyah thinks his campaign is solid and great. He should have asked the authorities to not use these means. Because, this is just showing that the barrel of the gun and the use of violence is what the NRM needs to get votes. The NRM needs the blunt force to beat people into submission. Not because of a manifesto or a political programme.

That is the message the NRM is sending here. As they are targeting the opposition. While sparing no concern or mind for their own campaigns. It is all smiles and joy for Oulanyah, but I can tell you. There are plenty others who suffers. This campaign isn’t friendly, free or fair.

There is one campaign for the NRM and another for the rest. That isn’t just and the world needs to know.

The Son of Jacob isn’t winning because of his charisma, character or political promises. No, if his winning… its because of how the government and the authorities targets everyone else who dares to challenge him. Peace.

%d bloggers like this: