Uganda: Mao Preaches Unity As He Returns to Race for Top Seat

At exactly 12.50pm on Tuesday, Democratic Party presidential aspirant Norbert Mao arrived at Kyambogo Cricket Oval for the nomination process.

Mr Mao, who was accompanied by the party secretary general, Mr Gerald Siranda, and other party officials, went through the process without any problem and was declared by the Electoral Commission (EC) as a presidential candidate for the 2021 General Election.

Speaking to the media after the nomination, Mr Mao said for those who had doubts whether he or DP would appear on the ballot paper, they had received their answer.

"We are now on the ballot paper. Our party has withstood storms because it has got deep roots and this campaign is going to be about values and vision," he said.

He added that there are a number of challenges in the country and it has become polarised.

"This campaign should be about the character of the candidates, not ethnicity or religious entities. It should be about their vision for Uganda and values that they uphold," Mr Mao said.

Mr Mao said he believes Uganda needs a new consensus like the one that ushered in independence which was crafted in Lancaster House although it collapsed after less than five years.

Improved economy

According to Mr Mao, the economy of the country is in disarray.

"We are enriching other people and most of these economic problems are result of short-sightedness in policy making. I am glad that now the government is admitting that they were wrong to privatise everything," he said

Mr Mao noted that the market is good but not perfect and urged the government to step in when the market fails.

"Ugandans are not even recognised as investors. People think investors are Chinese, Asians and people from Europe and North America," he said.

He said the country needs access to affordable loans and finance. According to Mr Mao, the government has paid lip service to transformation.

"No it is time for us to reclaim our country from the regime that is failing the citizens of Uganda.

He added: "That is how we can fix the economy so that the farmer can be able to be supported, to have the means to produce, and the means to add value on whatever they produce."

Reconciliation

Mr Mao encouraged the public to embrace reconciliation and 'national healing'.

"DP presents to you someone who will be the healing president. Whenever you listen to the frustration of people on the streets, they attach their grievances to a particular tribe," he said.

He added: "DP is here to say we believe in individual responsibility for individual wrongs. Everyone should be blamed exclusively not all their tribe mates."

Mr Mao added that, that is why in our history, there is a lot of hipping of collective guilt on entire communities for nothing.

"When we had problems in the 1960s between the head of state and the prime minister, both parties decided to victimise the entire community in the central part of Uganda which culminated in the attack on the palace," he said

He said the cycle of violent regime changes must be broken.

According to Mr Mao, if he is voted into power, he will establish a Stolen Assets Tribunal to help Ugandans reclaim what they have lost including land.

"To reclaim the future of this country from those who have robbed it, everybody who has something to reclaim should vote for DP," he said.

National dialogue

Mr Mao said they believe in the national dialogue which is why they took charge of leadership of the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) amid a lot of criticism.

"If I could talk to Joseph Kony, a rebel in Congo, why can't I talk to a fellow Ugandans who are not armed. I am a Christian and I believe in biblical teachings of come let us reason together if you have any issue," he said

Security

According to Mr Mao, Uganda has never had a trans-regime army. Each regime came with its own army.

"As you know, we have never had a peaceful change of government," he said.

Mr Mao said the police and the military should protect the people and the state, not just the individuals sleeping in State House .

Source: The Monitor

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