Mao hits back at party critics

Friday February 21 2020

Responds. Democratic Party president Norbet Mao

Responds. Democratic Party president Norbet Mao addresses journalists in Kampala last month. File Photo 

By SHABIBAH NAKIRIGYA

Democratic Party (DP) president Nobert Mao has hit back at critics demanding accountability and an emergency National Council (NC) meeting.
Speaking to Daily Monitor yesterday, Mr Mao said the party MPs are merely playing politics because their demands for accountability were fully addressed, adding that the national treasurer, who is the principal signatory to all party accounts, sits in Parliament.
“DP has a finance committee which is also in charge of procurement. We have a full-time accountant and our accounts are regularly audited. So the demands for accountability by the MPs is only of nuisance value,” he said.
His remarks come after the party parliamentary caucus and stakeholders tasked the leadership to present accountability for the past 10 years, and called for a meeting.

Claim

“We would like to know how the treasury has spent all the money in the past 10 years and how they have invested. It is not fair to ask party members to pay for party cards yet we bought a printer worth Shs380m,” Mr Medard Sseggona, the Busiro East MP, said yesterday.
However, Mr Mao said during the last NC meeting, the treasurer invited all interested leaders to the party headquarters to inspect books of accounts, including bank statements, adding that the invitation still stands.
“As for political accountability, we take decisions through the organs of the party. Accountability has to be mutual and across the board. We all have to be accountable. Unfortunately, the press conference held yesterday was top-heavy with those who have perennially undermined the party and its leadership,” he said.
“Fortunately, the party has moved on and has become stronger in spite of their efforts to kill it. The current leadership of the party have revived the party brand,” he added.
When asked about changing the venue of the next National Delegates Conference, Mr Mao said the decision was taken transparently by the appropriate organ.
“The suggestion that the last delegates conference had agreed on Mbarara District is totally false and baseless. The only meeting which was scheduled for Mbarara was the National Council. That was, however, later changed,” he said.
Mr Mao also urged the MPs to desist from promoting violence and hooliganism in the party and threatening party leaders.
“We also urge them to stop the baseless smear campaign against party leaders. On some of the opinions expressed about NEC (National Executive Committee) decisions, we acknowledge them but advise the MPs to note that they do not have a veto over NEC decisions,’ he said.
Mr Mao also backed the proposal for continuous dialogue to deal with conflicts in the party.
“We also recognise the right of the MPs to disagree with the party leaders but disobedience will attract disciplinary measures. We can accept disagreements but we will not tolerate disobedience, indiscipline and blackmail,” he said.
Mr Sseggona said the meeting should be convened to resolve its pending agenda and the controversy surrounding the restructuring programme of the party.
“The current situation calls for a key stakeholders meeting involving members of NEC,NC, party leaders, all MPs, DP Bloc leadership, Uganda Young Democrats leaders, women and local government leaders,” he said.
Mr Sseggona added that Mr Mao has avoided accountability and resorted to rebuking those who demand it.
He said it was unfortunate that the party president had quickly eroded the hope, gains, momentum, and leadership hitherto restored by the DP reunion and DP Bloc towards a united vibrant party.
“Mr Mao has most specifically seized the power and roles of the other office bearers and organs of the party and increasingly relies on cliques in the running of the party affairs where upon he has arrogated the powers of the [National Organising Secretary], treasury and public ity secretary to his cronies,” Mr Sseggona said.

Reaction

As for political accountability, we take decisions through the organs of the party. Accountability has to be mutual and across the board. We all have to be accountable. Unfortunately, the press conference held yesterday was top-heavy with those who have perennially undermined the party and its leadership- Nobert Mao, DP president.

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