A faction led by the Bukoto Central MP Mr Richard Ssebamala, who recently unplugged former Vice President Mr Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi from Parliament, has persistently pressed for the removal of Mao and his loyals. Besides opening an office in Mengo, he has vowed to deliver DP into presidency in the coming elections. This publication caught up with him for a one on one interview.
What do you make of the Mao-Museveni agreement?
DP is entrenched around two values; truth and justice. What Mao did was okay for him as an individual. Of course it was not legal and cannot have any legal backing for it.
The move was illegal in the first place. Two; it is not taking DP into power. Just recently you had the President deny it after saying he does not know about it. So ordinarily, this has nothing to do with bringing DP into power. DP was formed to fight for power, to use power to serve Ugandans using truth and justice. That is equity. So the move he took was very wrong. It was personal. It was for his [personal gains] and nothing for the party. Even when we were having elections for Eala (the East African Legislative Assembly) Siranda [Gerald who stood on DP ticket] almost lost. So if it was a done deal [Mao’s move] how comes Siranda almost lost his position? I don’t want to get into how Siranda got into Eala.
What is your motivation?
What inspires [me] is that I want to fill the leadership gap. That is all. With me it is about service delivery [not] going well. Is the security okay? No! Are education services okay? No! Are health services okay? No! Nothing is okay.
How prepared are you?
I have everything that I need to be one [a leader]. I am well learned. Two; I have the best networks. I talk to the President of Kenya when I want. I talk to the President of Mozambique. I talk to different people that are in high [positions]. I talk to the Speaker of Ghana. So I have seen people, leaders. I [also] have mentors.
What is your plan to unite the force and deliver the victory you promise and anticipate?
We have already started training youth and were recently in Eastern region. What we want is to go back and have those youth that are talking about the right issues of the country.
What would say to those that think that you are overly ambitious?
Then they would say that the Uganda Martyrs were overly ambitious because they were in their youth[ful years]. They would say the Mandelas were overly ambitious. They would say the Musevenis were overly ambitious when they started to run [for leadership]. At what age do you want me to run for presidency? At age do you want me to run against a system that I see is failing at everything? If I need a road, why do I have to kneel down for someone yet I am very sure [that] thousands of Billions are taken every day. It is actually everybody’s call today to wake up and fight for themselves. It is only that these people don’t have a leader. So we are saying that can we take lead?
How far are you willing to run this race?
As far as it takes. You know when you cross into politics, it is you are either alive today or dead tomorrow. So that is what it takes. It is a game where you are either sometimes a machine or other times soft as a mattress. It is about winning and you are supposed to use every single tactic. So we have set up strategies. We have sat down with people that have been in this race for some time; the Besigyes… We have sat down in one place and agreed on who should do what and how and then we move and then we shall win.
Any other specifics from those meetings with these people?
Just know we shall win. We are going to win the next elections. 40 years is enough. I have always told people to look at the ‘40-year-syndrome.’ The Israelites were in the desert for 40 years. A thief has 40 days. He [President Museveni] is coming to 40 years.
Aren’t you over relying on theories?
The best we can ever do or give this country and people like Mao, would be to let DP go, let the opposition reorganise [itself] and win. If he has failed to do that, let us leave him with the junta, reorganise and move.
He seems to be still have power over the office and party?
Power is not people. What we need are the people. He can always have the office and his signatures.
What have you gone through since you came out to oppose him and push for the change?
Many people have called and told me it is okay for me to run; it is the actual time to collect the youth into play and give them the right win. There are those that feel that I should fear for my life but what have I done? We talk about the same things. The things he does not want in [t]his government are the same things that I talk about. We are saying [that] is it okay if somebody did it better? Is there an alternative. So I don’t mind whether you threaten me or not, that is none of my business. I am on course. Like it was on Ruto’s election; we would say [that] we have nowhere to retreat and we are moving forward. We are on a mission, we just supposed to win. I have nowhere to retreat to because I have started and I have to move.
Take on transition politics?
We would want to see a country that is stable. We would want to see a country whose services continue. We want to see a country that has not been beaten by security issues after the president has left. We would want all that is but is already catered for in the constitution, we don’t need anyone to show us that. We just need an election. At the time of transition, nobody knows whether they will be alive or not because everybody will be fearing for their lives.
What point did you think about Presidency?
When I was seven years old. I have been a leader here and there [and] still need to put the right things in place.
What are you future plans?
I am looking at DP having the best leaders in the country. I look at the DP presidency as one that will look beyond Uganda.
We should stop talking about Mao because he is nolonger an issue. As far as we know, he is part of the government. So let’s accord him the respect he deserves and he remains there. The only thing that we can ask him is to allow us run the party. If he allows us run the party, he knows that as long as somebody else is running the party, it will consolidate. The only thing that is happening today is that the party is not consolidating because of him.
Daily Monitor Reports, Sunday 29th 2023