They are lumpens, President of the Democratic Party Norbert Mao described members of the party who have set their eyes on his juicy seat.
DP members including Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga and Kalungu County West MP Joseph Ssewungu have been on Mao’s neck for allegedly siphoning Shs370bn party funds.
They came out to criticise him and challenge his leadership of the party as people with divided loyalty.
Former Woman MP Brenda Nabukenya went as far as challenging Mao’s presidential seat saying she wants to replace him for allegedly collaborating and massaging the ruling NRM government.
“I call them lumpens because they don’t share values of DP,” Mao told NTV.
He said with the coming of former Kampala Mayor Al-haji Nasser Ntege Ssebagala aka Seya, a lot of lumpens came into the party.
“For them DP is just a meal-card, a vehicle. The Ssebagala wave swept a lot of people into prominent positions of the party. Some of them are people of rotten character, they are corrupt and compromised,” Mao pointed out.
Politics of kumanyoko
On Saturday, Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, wrote on social media: “True to form, our renowned wordsmith has responded to the Party reformists by introducing the term “Mmome” (fish deposited at the seashore by an ebbing tide) into our political vocabulary.”
He added: “This politics of “kumanyoko” (go and eat your mother’s something something) is repugnant, detestable and should be condemned by all right thinking Ugandans.”
On Sunday, Mao tweeted: “I join Erias Lukwagoo in condemning the politics of “komanyoko”, blackmail and smear campaigns. I didn’t insult anyone.”
Mao said he only used the most appropriate figure of speech to describe those masqueraders in DP whose loyalties are elsewhere.
“They know themselves! Do not give judgement in favour of the girl: before you have heard the pleading of the boy.”
According to Mao, Lukwago’s condemnation is biased and lopsided. “Let’s defend DP!!!”
He lashed at Ssewungu who asked the Inspectorate of Government to investigate Mao for misuse of party funds.
“It is so ridiculous for MPs belonging to a party that seeks to form the next government to publicly ask the government in power, which they want to oust, to investigate their party before they have even made efforts to get answers internally. This destroys the party brand! Shame!”
He attacked his critics for “empty rhetoric” saying they are most interested in keeping their parliamentary seats and don’t want competition because last time, DP ring fenced their seats.
Fresh row over elections
In a fresh row, Mao, his deputy Denis Mukasa Mbidde and Secretary General Gerald Blacks Siranda are wrestling DP Members of Parliament led by their caucus chairperson Ssewungu.
The party was supposed to hold lower branch elections this week for preparation of the national delegates’ conference expected to take place from March 28-30 in Gulu.
On Thursday, DP organising Secretary Sulaiman Kidandala stopped the elections saying that they were not being conducted in line with the party constitution.
He is quoted by Uganda Radio Network [URN] saying any election that is not supervised by him as per the dictates of the party constitution, were null and void.
This position is backed up by MP Ssewungu who told URN that if the party insists on this trajectory, they might end up in court to challenge it.
Nambooze chirps in
Mukono municipality counterpart, Betty Nambooze Bakireke, wrote on her Facebook page saying by organising these elections, Mao and company are trying to deny the party the partly 16 seats that it holds.
“Mr Siranda and his group are being used by forces we are trying to understand, to overrun the few constituencies DP was able to secure in the last elections. It can’t be that all of the 16 MPs in DP are bad. It can’t be that the few districts where DP has active branches are the one Siranda is targeting. Why don’t I hear you in Kayunga, Kabalore, Kapchorwa? The 16 constituencies where we won are the Party life line,” she said.
In an interview with URN, Mao said he is the overall supervisor of everybody in the party.
“We have already announced a delegates’ conference, who are those that are going to attend if we don’t elect them? Arguing against these elections is the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard. By the way, even the Political Parties and Organisations Act says that the mandate of elected leaders is five years so we must get new leaders,” Mao told URN.