In the wake of a “cooperation” agreement between opposition Democratic Party and ruling NRM that also saw him appointed Minister for Justice, DP president Norbert Mao has described himself as the Biblical Moses who will see Ugandans reach the promised land of transition.
“Uganda is in transition and it is not coming but has started. We(DP) have only done what a catalyst does. This is what DP has done and it is known as the shock doctrine. As to whether I will ever become a president that one I don’t know and I don’t care. Let me be the Moses who will not come to the promised land but Uganda must go to the promised land,” Mao said.
“Let me remain this side but I want to push you to go to the promised land and that is my job. I am not dying to be president but to see Uganda not wasting time in the Sinai desert of deception and confusion for 40 years. The journey to the promised land is 11days from the Sinai desert on foot. By 2026, NRM will have been in Uganda as a government for 40 years. Ugandans, don’t care about me but go to the promised land since I have led you. I don’t have to cross with you.”
The DP president was on Tuesday addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Kampala.
The newly appointed Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister told journalists that the issue of transition was explained clearly during the agreement that his party made with the ruling NRM party.
He insisted that his role in government is to oversee it and ensure it is realized, no matter the time.
“Uganda is at a turning point .In Uganda because of our history, we have never seen peaceful transfer of power but according to this agreement, the Democratic Party has an opportunity to participate in government on the issues of peaceful presidential transition. It is in the agreement,” Mao said.
He added that part of his being in government is to spearhead a national dialogue that he said is different from IPOD.
“When NRA came to power, amidst the problems of the country, they tried to patch it up with a lot of resistance and gave us the 1995 constitution and Ugandans said were finally happy that a president could lead for 10 years and he goes but that was not to be. They started removing internal organs from the constitution. This is the time to ensure people own the constitution and protect it. The national dialogue is to allow the building blocks of Uganda to come together and draft a new consensus on how we can live together in peace.”
Time to change
Narrating a story of a boy who uttered obscenities to a hill and was paid back in the same currency by the hill through echoes, Mao said for long, the opposition has done the same but nothing good has come out of the same.
“We have been shouting at NRM like that and we have been receiving the same echoes. When we threaten them, they threaten us more. When we abuse them, they do so even more. We need to change.”
Last week’s agreement and subsequent appointment to cabinet for Mao has left many with tongues wagging.
Many said the agreement had seen Mao “sell” the soul of the oldest party to the ruling NRM party whereas the members of the DP block last week said the deal would see the party MPs relegated to sit on the NRM side in parliament and that with time they would be kicked out of parliament.
However, addressing journalists on Tuesday, Mao allayed these fears.
“DP remains intact in this but as a matter of fact, it emerges stronger. Our MPs are protected in parliament. They will speak as MP and DP members in parliament and as president of the party will continue leading my party to fight for its space in Uganda,. In addition, we will also utilize the capacity of government to achieve some of our goals,” he said.
Mao revealed that before finally signed the deal with President Museveni, he had for more than a year briefed the party’s management committee, a constitutional body to do work on behalf of the DP National Executive Committee.
“I was very open to them and even told them that I was talks with president Museveni. I am actually happy for the management committee because nothing leaked for a full year. The fact that nothing leaked means DP leaders can actually manage government.”
He noted that he will be happy to be sworn in tomorrow at a function to be held at State House in Entebbe before he officially starts work as the Justice Minister.