Democratic Party president, Norbert Mao, has reminded Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, that he if he could meet Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) warlord, Joseph Kony, he can then make peace with anyone.
“The truth is that we have bent over backwards in order to engage in a process of dialogue with those who disagree with us. If I could talk to Kony why would I not talk to Lukwago, Lulume and Lubega?” Mao queried while addressing DP delegates at Katomi Kingdom hotel in Wakiso district.
He said instead of embracing his dialogue initiatives, Lukwago’s group has remained extremely adamant and unreasonable.
“They have incited violence leading to attacks on the party national headquarters. They have continued to abuse, malign and demonize my leadership team.”
He said the breaking point came when the entire group gathered in Kampala last week and proclaimed Erias Lukwago to be the President of the party.
“They even claimed that they would hold a parallel delegates conference in Luweero,” Mao noted, adding, “Due to the intransigence of the Lukwago group the National Executive Committee decided that the talks should be halted because those we have been talking to have been extremely unreasonable.”
He said while DP leaders can make compromises but they cannot go against the party constitution.
“We are ready to compromise but we shall never act outside the party constitution.”
Mao went into records and pulled out an archive of how he engaged President Museveni in working for peace and post war rehabilitation.
“I spent weeks in the LRA bases for the sake of peace. With such a record, I cannot fail to spearhead unity, stability and reconciliation within DP. Indeed, if I can talk to Joseph Kony and the LRA surely I can talk to anyone in DP!”
He said in line with its constitutional obligation the National Executive Committee collectively gave a decisive response to the calls for a clear roadmap taking us to the National Delegates Conference.
“Our leadership remains committed to both change and continuity. The change we desire requires a party with a well-defined platform and a profound obligation to its values. It must be a party that offers a totally new politics.”
The DP strongman said they take seriously the root causes of the divisions in the party and distinguish between petty squabbles and principled disagreements.
“Squabblers are like hecklers. Their interest is to disrupt ideas they don’t agree with.”
“Those who disagree on principle on the other hand should be assured of an open door and our commitment as the leadership of the party that they will never lack a platform to present their views. We ask those who disagree with us to embrace the spirit of sober deliberation. Surely, we can disagree without being disagreeable.”
He said the National Executive Committee elected in Mbale in 2010 is still intact but the National Publicity Secretary resigned his membership of the Democratic Party and consequently relinquished his position.
“Compared to the 2005 and the 2010 National Delegates Conferences where the sitting party presidents went to the delegates conferences with only a tiny fraction of the respective NECs, I am proud to report that amidst turbulence, amidst storms, I have captained the ship and have brought it back safely to the shore.”
Mao was proud to note that his role is still that if a team builder, a uniter not a divider.
In the same way the DP confronted and unmasked Kabaka Yekka in the 60s, our generation will fearlessly face and confront the descendants of Kabaka Yekka.
“Like wolves in sheep skin these retrogressive elements come under various guises but they will never deceive us.”
Mao went back to 2011 elections saying when the elections ended he emerged number 3 in a field of 8 candidates.
“The entire opposition won in 7 districts. Col. Kizza Besigye won 4 districts. I won 4 districts.”
“Our inspirational message shook up the politics of Uganda. For the first time in decades we had candidates in far flung areas like Karamoja, Kapchorwa, Kisoro and Koboko. The party increased its parliamentary membership from 7 to 15.”
Mao now sees the dawn of a better day for Uganda because people are awakening.
“In due time they will rise up and reject the crumbs falling from Museveni’s table and demand their fair share of the loaf of freedom and prosperity. In due time they will stand up and fight. Their battle cry will be “Enough is Enough!”