Masaka- Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has gone back to the drawing board to see how he can effectively campaign in the districts of Greater Masaka where a sizable number of party stalwarts have defected to National Unity Platform (NUP) .
According to the campaign programme issued by the Electoral Commission (EC) between December 22 and 28, Mr Mao is supposed to campaign in Masaka, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo, Sembabule, Lyantonde, Rakai, Kyotera and Kalangala districts. The DP presidential flag bearer has so far failed to show up in Masaka, Kalungu and Bukomansimbi.
Mr Okoler Opio, the DP spokesperson, said the party is rescheduling its campaign programme after consultations with the district party leaders and EC.
“Party leaders are going to have a meeting to reschedule the programme and later harmonise it with EC to enable our presidential candidate campaign in the districts of central region he has missed,” Mr Opio said yesterday.
However, political pundits speculate that the change in Mr Mao’s campaign plan is calculated to avoid likely embarrassment since majority of party leaders in Masaka area, who would have welcomed him are rallying behind Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias, Bobi Wine.
Mr Mao’s camp suffered a setback last month after his allies and top party leaders including DP vice president Fred Mukasa Mbidde and party treasurer Mary Babirye Kabanda also declared their support for Mr Kyagulanyi.
They claimed Bobi Wine is the only candidate in the presidential race who has a good chance to unseat President Museveni, who has been in power for 34 years.
This came after 11 DP legislators, mostly from Buganda Sub-region crossed to NUP. Also, almost all DP candidates in Masaka and other parts of Buganda Sub-region have since designed their campaign posters with either NUP or People Power logos .
Mr Stephen Bonny Kasujja, a DP elder and party chairperson in Masaka City, said Mr Mao’s failure to show up in Masaka City on Tuesday is a clear manifestation that he lacks support in the area.
“As party leaders and elders in Masaka, we did not welcome his [Mao] candidature . We instead endorsed Mr Kyagulanyi because he has proved that he can cause change that the whole country badly needs, but a handful of members including Mr Mao went against our advice,” he said during an interview on Wednesday
Mr Kasujja said his team is busy campaigning for Mr Kyagulanyi who is expected to visit Masaka at the weekend.
But Mr Opio dismissed the claims, saying they are misguided statements from party members and will not divert them from campaigning for Mao.