VIDEO: Museveni, Mao sign 'cooperation agreement'  

A video grab of President Museveni (left) posing for a photo with DP president Norbert Mao (centre) and DP secretary general Gerald Siranda (right) after signing the cooperation agreement between DP and NRM at State House Entebbe on July 20, 2022.

President Museveni and the opposition Democratic Party (DP) president general, Mr Norbert Mao have signed a ‘cooperation agreement,’ with the latter stressing that it will be enjoyed most by the unborn children as he urged the NRM chairman to “gather patriots that are scattered all over the country and other political parties.”

“I met with Democratic Party President Norbert Mao at State House Entebbe. We signed a cooperation agreement between the NRM and the DP. I salute the DP leadership for this gesture of mature, foresighted and constructive politics,” President Museveni tweeted Wednesday alongside a 52 second video.

In the video, Mr Mao is heard telling Mr Museveni who has been in power since 1986 that their agreement is a continuation of a journey which started before “some of us were even born.”

“Your excellency, you now have the historical opportunity to gather patriots that are scattered all over Uganda. You must look for them wherever they are. They are all in the political parties and in all corners of Uganda. These are things which I believe will be enjoyed most by the unborn children. They may thank you when you're not around. So, we salute the courage you have shown. This is an unprecedented step. There has never been something like this before,” the DP president said.

Mr Museveni has on various occasions convinced key Opposition figures to work with him with the first such incident happening in the 80s after his rebel forces had captured power from the Tito Okello junta.
The move saw prominent DP members, including the party’s president general Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere move mass into Mr Museveni’s broad-based government to key cabinet positions.
On another occasion, he appointed the DP secretary General Ms Maria Mutagamba to his Cabinet. Ms Mutagamba is famously quoted to have said that she had telephone bills to pay yet DP could not afford to pay them. Therefore, she had gone to where they would be paid.

Wipe out opposition 
In his maiden speech after he was declared winner of the 2016 elections, Mr Museveni, at his country home in Rwakitura, announced he will “wipe out the opposition completely in the next five years”.
“NRM is going to be stronger,” the incumbent who in the next three months—in May— would be sworn in for a fifth elective term declared.

The promise, was a follow up, to one Mr Museveni had made before president Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Parliament in August, 2015 that he would wipe out the Opposition after winning the election, which at the time was months away.
Mr Museveni’s critics argue he has never been tolerant of the Opposition but only allows a semblance of it to boost his democratic credentials mainly to appease the West which often condition aid on democracy. His supporters argue differently believing that Uganda is a democracy.
Indeed critics point out that the return to multiparty politics was a fallacy that only sought to guarantee Mr Museveni’s stay in power with periodical elections.

UPC down
Ahead of the 2016 presidential elections, the Jimmy Akena-led UPC faction agreed to work with Mr Museveni and NRM, which they claim, they want out of power.
The other UPC faction now led by Joseph Bbosa, had prior to the public consistently branded Mr Akena, a mole of NRM, alleging that he had received Shs1b from Mr Museveni to “hand over the party to the President”.
Mr Akena denies the claims and says he is working to see a peaceful transition from President Museveni to another leader.

Notable figures
Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi: She was recently appointed minister for Youth and Child Affairs after losing the Kampala Woman MP seat on the DP ticket.
Jimmy Akena: He is the leader of a UPC faction and critics have accused him of handing the party to Mr Museveni who he pledged to work with ahead of the February 2016 polls.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde: The DP vice president has been accused of hobnobbing with Mr Museveni and NRM leaders as well as making air raising statements.

Beatrice Anywar Atim: She was appointed Minister of State for Environment in December 2019 shortly after crossing from the Forum for Democratic change.
Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo: The former FDC deputy president was in June 2021 appointed as Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance.

The current Speaker Anita Among and her deputy Thomas Tayebwa are also former members of the FDC.