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OpEd

NORBERT MAO: Brick by brick, we will build unity among the democracy seeking forces in Uganda

DP president Norbert Mao, Gregory Mugisha Muntuyera, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) boss and JEEMA president Asuman Basalirwa at the occasion of the presentation of the draft framework of a proposed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) on Friday at Protea Hotel in Kampala. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – Brick by brick, we will build unity among the democracy seeking forces in Uganda. We do this knowing that the political fault-line is not between the so called opposition and the Museveni regime, but rather between the haves and have-nots, the dispossessed and those who have disinherited them.

We’re talking with all democracy seeking forces. Our proposals for a framework for a Special Purpose Vehicle (by whatever name called) to unite Ugandans who desire change, has been warmly welcomed by all including those who were unable to attend yesterday’s presentation. We have agreed to present the framework to them as soon as possible.

Next steps include the urgent declaration of our position on minimum reforms before the next elections. This doesn’t require the SPV as a precondition.

Remarks by DP president general Norbert Mao on the occasion of the presentation of the draft framework of a proposed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) aimed at uniting all democracy seeking forces on Friday, August 24 at Protea Hotel in Kampala.

For several months the Democratic Party has been working tirelessly to develop a comprehensive framework for a united front to present a viable alternative to the failing State presided over by the NRM. That work is now complete and we wish to announce that we are ready to share this framework with other democracy seeking forces for discussion. It is our expectation that we will agree on a Special Purpose Vehicle(SPV) to lead the charge for democratic change in our country.

The majority of Ugandans now agree that President Museveni and his junta have no political will to democratize Uganda. Therefore the Democratic Party Bloc, aware that at a time of political crisis, reaching out across the political divide is not only a sign of political maturity but also a commitment to bring out the best in all of us, resolved to develop a framework for a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The SPV will be open to all democracy seeking forces and its objective is meaningful democratic reforms to ensure free and fair elections, an inclusive national dialogue and a new basis for political transition NOW. Elections have degenerated into a meaningless ritual and there’s no reason to pretend that 2021 will be any different unless the rules of engagement are overhauled.

We need to rescue the Ugandan State from Musevenism. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is about dismantling the repressive and predatory military, political and economic machine which props up the regime and also dismantle the mindset of fear and hopelessness in the populace. This intense struggle by the Ugandan masses cannot fail if based on unity of the democracy seeking forces and a concrete program for transition into a Uganda beyond Museveni. The aim of the plan is to restore a renewed sense of ownership of the country to all citizens.

Through the SPV, we believe that we can coalesce into a common front that transcends our narrow confines and unleash the power of the people. Under a common banner the contradictions within our ranks will be resolved in order to free us to resolve the primary contradiction between the Museveni regime and the Ugandan masses. Our unity will grow as we struggle for a common cause. Unity will be forged in the crucible of struggle. Our unity will also tap into the unprecedented surge in the political participation of young people.

I welcome you to this initial presentation on the proposed SPV by the the DP Bloc. The presentation will be made by a technical team led by Mr. Henry Kasacca. In addition we will present a detailed Discussion Paper on the things to take into account as we craft a formidable alternative to a dying regime. Intense closed door consultations and discussions will follow to build harmony. We believe that the promotion of the SPV has to be as inclusive as possible. We have committed to presenting this draft framework to as many groups and entities as possible with the aim of ensuring collective ownership of the SPV.

It is our expectation that the SPV shall be formally launched before the end of 2019 and at its helm will be political leaders with the credentials to offer strategic leadership to a country in crisis.

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Norbert Mao 52 is a Ugandan politician and lawyer. He has been president of the Democratic Party since 2010, and he served as the Local Council 5 chairman for Gulu District.

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