Mbidde, who seeks to unseat Mathias Mpuuga said that he held a meeting with Mao and they agreed to take parallel positions on the choice of the presidential candidate, adding that he had opted to go with Kyagulangyi, the ‘new kid on the block’.
The Democratic Party has threatened to
reprimand party leaders and supporters backing rival candidates against their
presidential candidate and president general, Norbert Mao. This comes amidst sharp
division in Uganda’s oldest political party over Mao’s candidature.
a decision by some party members including seniors to support the National
Unity Platform-NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu against
the DP president. The latest to abandon Mao is Fred Mukasa
Mbidde, the DP National Vice President.
He openly declared his support for Kyagulanyi
during the official launch for his bid for the Nyendo Mukungwe Masaka City
division parliamentary seat. Mbidde, who seeks to unseat Mathias
Mpuuga said that he held a meeting with Mao where they agreed to take
parallel positions on the choice of the presidential candidate, adding that he
had opted to go with Kyagulangyi, the
‘new kid on the block’.
He told his excited electorate that he
decided to support Kyagulanyi after
observing that he is the most popular and better-placed candidate to end the
National Resistance Movement’s 35-year rule under Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Now, DP has issued an official statement distancing itself from Mbidde’s
utterances describing them as untrue and that they must be treated with the
“The president of the democratic party
cannot endorse support for another party’s candidate when he is a presidential
flag bearer in the general elections. In the same manner Hon. Mbidde wouldn’t
endorse support for Mpuuga by agreeing with members of his team to support his
rival,” the statement reads in part.
Okoler Opio Lo Amanu, the DP Spokesperson notes that it is not proper for party
leaders to publicly denounce the official party position, which they also assented
to. He says that such actions amount to indiscipline and are punishable within
the party constitution.
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Mbidde joins Mary Babirye Kabanda, the DP national party treasurer and Masaka
Woman Member of Parliament who also denounced Mao's candidature and urged her
voters to support Kyagulanyi for the top office and DP flag candidates at other
Other DP members opposed to Mao’s
candidature are Robina Ssentongo, the Kyotera Woman MP, and Nakaseke South
Member of Parliament, Paul Lutamaguzi. These are also associating with NUP
and the people power movement to an extent of adding its symbols on their
Lutamuguzi defends himself saying that declared his support for Kyagulanyi even
before Mao went for the presidential nominations despite being a DP cardholder.
He laughs at other DP leaders who are now announcing support for Kyagulanyi, saying
they are being compelled by political pressure.
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Although the DP constitution bars members from supporting rival candidates,
Lutamuguzi notes that these are not the times to talk about constitutions
because they are looking at the bigger picture of unseating Museveni.
Earlier this year, some DP members fell out
and crossed to Uganda’s youngest political party after disagreeing on their
support for Kyagulanyi’s presidential bid. DP leaders are not strange to supporting rival candidates.
In 2011, some DP
members mainly leaders from the central region formed a pressure group dubbed
Suubi to support FDC’s Kiiza Besigye over Norbert Mao. In 2001, DP officially supported reform agenda’s Kiiza Besigye while
in 2016 they rallied behind, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi under a coalition,
dubbed Go Forward.