Even our DP strategic plan facilitator was dazed. He couldn’t grasp the pace and skill with which we moved to attain our NEC objective 2, namely power-sharing with any Government in power.
We had agreed and set out to achieve, for DP, three strategic goals between 2021 and May 12, 2026. We took up the challenge, dreamed and dared to achieve it.
Admirably our NEC unanimously approved the strategic goal of power sharing.
Nonetheless, our former NEC members and sworn opposition enemies thought our current NEC was the least qualified to run the affairs of DP.
But now see the positive disruption that has forced them to both lament and struggle to understand what we have achieved.
So, for us, Christmas only came early when DP’s Norbert Mao signed the cooperation agreement with NRM’s Yoweri Museveni on July 20, only for our adversaries and runaway members to fume – shamefacedly!
So, who are the people crying foul now?
These are people who had left DP for other political parties, including FDC, NRMO, NUP, and SDP, but without any a signed public agreement to benefit or preserve DP.
These group should shut up or promote their own selfish agenda where they have migrated.
For us, we are still DP, and with a clear conscience and on a mission to serve Ugandans.
None of our critics are qualified to call us selfish because each the opposition political parties and pressure groups built their forces from our DP base. Even President Museveni was recruited by UPC from DP!
But our DP is still DP in spite of our recent Cooperation Agreement with the NRM party.
I am glad to say that we had a paradigm shift, but without losing our DP identity and brand of truth and justice.
Our mission was to bring to an end the mindset about DP “being nearly everyone’s second best party.”
We, therefore, set out to have a party of true believers as members and be transparent to citizens on any interparty cooperation agreement.
We had to shake off the fence-sitters and make them know that DP is not just a periodic election vehicle for political scavengers.
On several occasions, our “prodigal sons” have hopped to join makeshift election parties, only to hop back to DP. We now want to stop this and tell them to to find their permanent levels.
We wanted it known to them that we are here to help build a country that works for all citizens.
As DP NEC, we unanimously approved the principle of power-sharing with any government in power; be it FDC, NRMO, NUP, or UPC.
Readying for statecraft
We had realized that our long-lost experience in statecraft was a hinderance and had to be bridged as soon as possible. That is where sharing state power within our areas of expertise in DP becomes crucial.
We believe that the experience of Benedicto Kiwanuka as a World War II veteran and as a High Court clerk in the colonial government must have stood him in good stead in the 1961 elections over Dr Milton Obote to become the first black cchief minister and Prime minister of Uganda.
DP was only later defeated in March 1962 when a commissioned officer of the British forces, Kabaka Sir Edward Mutesa II, allied with Dr Obote to lead us in UPC-KY independence-government.
So, Statecraft experience is an advantage not to be underlooked by any serious political party for ascending to state power. Dr Obote started out as a labour union leader in Kenya and was Uganda’s first Leader of Opposition.
The Kabaka was to become non-executive president of Uganda in 1963.
Similarly, both Idi Amin and Tito Okello-Lutwa were Dr Obote’s army commandeers before becoming president on January 25, 1971, and July 27, 1985 respectively.
Prof Yusuf Lule was Makerere University Vice Chancellor while Lukwonga Binaisa was Dr Obote’s attorney general. Both were to become our Presidents in the post-Idi Amin era.
In the same manner, Museveni honed his political and military skills through the army and being minister in UNLF, in both Lule, Binaisa governments and the military commission.
Our point here is that prior experience in managing State power is a factor in one’s success to making it as president of Uganda.
And we have got to face it, the next president of Uganda shall come from one that will have served in Uganda government between 1986 and 2026.
So, for our two-faced NEC and Parliamentary Group that falsely hide behind not being consulted, here is some clarification for you.
Organisations follow constitutions and operational matters are business of CEOs.
The DP National Delegates Conference that was held at Sir Samuel Baker School in Gulu City in 2020 amended our constitution.
DP president general Mao and his heads of NEC departments became the team with the mandate to operationalize the DP strategic Plan – not the whole of NEC.
By approving the DP strategic Plan, NEC signed not to micro-manage our secretariat’s work. NEC then became a strategic thinktank for the party by default.
Of course, those DP NEC members and MPs who defected to NUP and FDC are still reading from the book of Lamentation to understand the strategic revelations of our amended DP constitution.
No more sleeping with our enemies
To our detractors, we say DP has a mission, and we say let us meet again when we sign a cooperation agreement with your respective parties too.
For now, we are reviewing where DP went wrong with agreements in IPC, Citizens Ccompact Uganda, TDA-Uganda, TDA-Go Forward, Kogikwatako, People-Power, and DP-Block.
We are also developing early warning signals from past experiences.
We, DP, have slept for far too long with our treacherous “friends.”
Col Dr Kizza Besigye rejected our overtures to join DP in 2001 and moved to graft FDC on DP, so did NUP.
The exception is former premier Amama Mbabazi, with whom DP signed the TDA-Go Foward agreement. Mr Mbabazi kept his word and most of our MPs retained their seats in Buganda and we got two more MPs from the Acoli sub-region.
We now know our former allies that took 9 MPs from DP as did FDC when former DP whip, Mr Kasiano Wadri and group left us in 2006.
Thousands of our NEC members and candidates for MP, District leadership, and councillor positions were also converted against DP.
We want our detractors to know that DP will no longer turn another cheek!
In this regard, no one can form another splinter DP group as did happen in 2020.
That splinter group has a name – NUP; so, why cry when you have it all?
Finally, we say the New DP only dared to dream with our eyes firmly set on making Mao becoming the president Of Uganda.
Simon Opoka is DP Deputy National Chairman
& Member, National Executive Committee.