I can’t midwife transition alone, says minister Mao

The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr Norbert Mao. PHOTO/ COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Mao say the Democratic Party believes in working together to bring change.

The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr Norbert Mao, has asked the public to stop bothering him about the leadership transition, saying the process cannot be done by an individual.
Mr Mao, who is also the Democratic Party (DP) President General, signed a cooperation agreement with President Museveni in July last year.
Since then, he has experienced several attacks, including those orchestrated by some DP members, denouncing him as their president.

Although the majority of the public did not access the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the DP and NRM top leaders, they expected the deal to steer a peaceful leadership transition.
However, President Museveni later said the MoU did not include any agreement on a political transition.
Speaking to the media during their weekly press conference in Kampala yesterday, Mr Mao said the DP believes in working together to bring change.

“There are reports going around that Mao was appointed to ensure the transition, but I cannot do it alone because I am just a midwife for transition,’’ he said. Mr Mao added that the transition should come from Ugandans.
“The enemies of the cooperation made the issue go viral that President Museveni denounced the presidential transition because they wanted to make news,” he said.
The DP leader said they never talked about a peaceful transition with President Museveni and he would not go around telling people about what they discussed.

“The cooperation was signed and we did not have anything stating that one of the priorities of DP is a peaceful presidential transition and we are ready to protect DP between the misled and misleaders,” he said.
Mr Mao cautioned the electorate against political leaders who move from one group to another and create new slogans, saying they have all failed to make a change.
“This is a great time to be alive because I don’t know whether we have leaders or entertainers. Instead of having a joint coalition, they instead keep on creating pressure groups,” he said.

Mr Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the deputy spokesperson of National Unity Platform, said Mr Mao chose to work for President Museveni, which means he supports his governance.  “We cannot trust Mr Mao anymore because at first, we trusted him with the views of Uganda, but he sold them when he joined the government,’’ he said.
The deputy secretary general of the Forum for Democratic Change party, Mr Harold Kaija, said delivering the presidential transition was not Mao’s responsibility.
“What Mr Mao is talking about is no longer his responsibility, he must work on orders of Mr Museveni. The presidential transition is not on his agenda. He is just fantasizing,’’ he said.
Mr Jimmy Akena, the Uganda Peoples Congress party president, said seeking a transition is a good idea, but it is a long process.

“This sort of system [presidential transition], which we need in place, is more like planting trees and it may not be them to benefit from the process, but the future generation,’’ he said.
Responding to information that has been circulating about the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago allegedly getting help from Gen Caleb Akandwanaho, alias Salim Saleh, Mr Mao said Mr Lukwago is not the first person to work with the ruling government.
“The note signed by Gen Saleh is genuine because I talked to the author and he said there is more on the way, he has more pages in his notebook and he is not a malicious man,” he said.
The DP president added that the focus should not be on whether the Lord Mayor met the General, but “the issue is that he [Lukwago] was helped when he was stuck”.