Enter Amama Mbabazi
A month later, Mao was in love, with a new girl in the neighbourhood- Go Forward, whose father was John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.
Mbabazi used his first interface with members of the TDA and asked for time to be allowed to decide on whether to join the political bouquet or not.
Mbabazi asked for two weeks to make up his mind. Otunnu said it was good, Mao warmed his hands but Besigye and Muntu of FDC were quiet.
On September 25 2015, Mbabazi was elected flag bearer of the TDA and Mao was there to speak to the press from time to time.
Mbabazi two months later launched his rosy manifesto (November 22), at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
Speaking at the launch, Mao said Mbabazi was the most suitable candidate to bring about the desired change in Uganda.
“Many people only speak about change but there are those who bring change like Amama. He is an insider of the NRM with a reform agenda that can be embraced by the opposition. Mbabazi as a co-founder of the ruling NRM party, knows all the Musevenism and was best poised to deal with it,” he said.
“Musevenism has three legs; the man, the machine and the mindset. The machine that spreads fear and the mindset of the Ugandans that he cannot be defeated. Amama has come to remove that fear and defeat Museveni. There are those asking why I decided to support Amama. I am not in politics to make money,” he added.
During a campaign trail on February 4, 2016, an upbeat Mao started strategising for Mbabazi’s time in power, telling a group of journalists in Gulu district that Mbabazi was going to serve only one term ‘like Nelson Mandela”.
Calls back UPC 2015
Meanwhile during the TDA meetings, a group of people loyal to the UPC faction of Jimmy Akena ambushed delegates, broke into the premises where TDA meetings were happening, then made off with the UPC flag.
The UPC coup meant that a faction of the party had decided to jump out of the window, reducing the TDA numbers to only those loyal to Otunnu through UPC.
Mao however with pother TDA officials appointed former Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere, to try and bring the Uganda Peoples Congress warring factions of Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena and outgoing party president Olara Otunnu to order.
Indeed, Mao was not willing to be on the losing side.
Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) 2016
After the 2016 elections which were arguably massively won by the NRM, Political parties, under their umbrella organisation, Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) agreed to resolve their political differences through dialogue.
Founded in 2010, IPOD is consortium of political parties represented in Parliament which includes the NRM, FDC, DP, and UPC. It was initiated by development partners to bring those parties to a round table to generate consensus on various issues of national importance.
However, in 2018 DP under Mao withdrew from IPOD citing ‘bad behaviour’ by the ruling NRM. The party would return shortly after and Mao was appointed IPOD chairman in March 2019 after Jimmy Akena of UPC.
During his maiden speech as Chairman at the IPOD summit in Munyonyo, Mao made a poetic speech in which he also called upon President Museveni to think about attending a presidential inauguration where he is not the one swearing in.
Mao’s subscription to the IPOD is strong and unshaken and he had no fears expressing it during the summit. This is another point for him as a dialoguer and one who enjoys unity.
Mabike is now back into the party, together with his neither here not there SDP Party.
Mabikke, formerly a staunch member of the DP youth wing UYD, has been in and out of the party and this happens whenever the country is approaching national elections.
In 2005, just before the 2006 elections, Mabikke marched out on the party led by Ssebaana Kizito, claiming he was too vibrant for Ssebaana’s liking. He was consequently not given the party ticket for the Makindye East MP seat, choosing to view independently.
He succeeded in trouncing whoever stood with him. This gave him wings to start his own party, SDP but he ran for political office in 2011 and lost.
In 2015, Mabikke jumped out with his SDP and joined the TDA, but still did not register any success or aims in 2016.
Mabikke is trouble on his own when he walks into the DP offices, he has a way he rallies UYD members and can single handedly cause Mao havoc within the party. Mao has studied Mabikke is looking for relevance and he is willing to take a gamble and grant him stage.
Mao has finally let him back into his mother party and whether he will make it to his advantage or Mao will make it to his advantage is a debate we can only wait to start.
The writer is a private contributor to Nile Post