Mao, Nambooze rift deepens as MP insists on conference

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KAMPALA- Not even a courtesy call by the Democratic Party (DP) president Norbert Mao would deter Ms Betty Nambooze, the DP’s Buganda region vice president, from going ahead with a special conference to push for reforms.

Ms Nambooze told Daily Monitor yesterday that the conference, scheduled for March 31, aims to address sticky issues within the party, including amending the party constitution and filling vacant positions.
Ms Nambooze, who has formed a faction dubbed “Bad DP”, insisted that the conference will go on despite a directive from the party president not to hold the meeting.

“My president visited me yesterday at my residence and told me he, in principle, agrees with the concerns I intend to raise with fellow DP leaders from Buganda at Nsambya and he pledged to work on them,” said Ms Nambooze.

“I told him that if he recognises them as [genuine] concerns, [he should let me] table them for discussion in the scheduled conference,” Ms Nambooze said the police had been notified about the event.

Mr Mao is said to have been in the company of the Acting party secretary general, Dr David Siranda, and other party officials when they met Ms Nambooze.

Buganda region is very important to DP because more than 70 per cent of the party’s top leaders are from Buganda. Daily Monitor was not able to reach Mr Mao for a comment because his known mobile phones were off.

He was reported to be in Aruu North County, Pader District, mobilising support for Mr Benard Obina Ology, the DP candidate in the Aruu by-election.

Invoking Article 27 of the DP constitution, which gives the party president general powers to ensure that party officials perform their duties efficiently but in accordance with the party constitution and policies, Mr Mao on March 20, wrote to Ms Nambooze, stopping the conference.

Mr Deo Kijjambu, the representative of the Greater Mukono and Luweero districts that include Buvuma, Buikwe, Nakasongola, Luweero, Mukono and Kayunga, has asked Mr Mao not to hide in one act of the constitution.

“Mao should also realise that our constitution doesn’t have Article 27 alone. It also has Articles 12 and 66 that provides for annual delegates conferences every year and two National Councils twice a year. It is almost two years since we were elected at Katoomi and we have never convened for any of the meetings,” he observed.

“If we can’t afford such, why don’t we convene and find means of amending that law instead of working under an irregularity,” Mr Kijjambu, who said he was mobilising members to attend the conference, added.

According to Ms Nambooze, six major things will be discussed during the conference, including filling of vacant positions in the party. The vacant positions include that of the former secretary general, Matthias Nsubuga, who passed on late last year.

The conference will also look at amending the constitution to allow a non-president general to vie for the post of Uganda’s presidency.

“The meeting is going to take place as planned at Sharing Hall in Nsambya for Buganda leaders and no one can stop us. Even those from other regions can attend if they want to deliberate on how to revive our party,” said Ms Nambooze.

She said the meeting, themed “Making DP Great Again”, is about reorganising and mobilising members to come up with integrated strategies ahead of the 2021 elections.

The controversial conference comes at a time when the party National Executive Committee is set to handle a disciplinary case of 12 DP members. Those summoned include Ms Florence Nakiwala, who is throwing a party today at Bukomansimbi with President Museveni as the chief guest.

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