New Justice Minister Norbert Mao Faces Rebellion in DP

A day after signing the cooperation agreement with the ruling National Resistance Movement, the just appointed Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Norbert Mao is facing a constitutional test that threatens his very control of the Democratic Party over which he reigns as President General.

Several party officials and members of parliament have castigated him over the agreement and are vowing to reject it as being against their party constitution. The party has to ratify the agreement with NRM before the end of next month and if they reject it, Mao, who has stated unequivocally that he is not joining the ruling party, will have failed to fulfill his part of the bargain with NRM.

Mao’s appointment was made under the same presidential instrument as those of Hamson Obua as the Government Chief Whip and Akello Beatrice Akori, the Agago Woman Member of parliament as the State Minister for Economic Monitoring office of the president. Akello has replaced Peter Ogwanga who has moved to the position of State Minister for Education. 

Dr Lulume Bayiga, the MP for Buikwe South and Chairman of DP in Buikwe District is said to be mad at Mao and has started mobilizing his fellow party leader not only to throw out the Mao-Museveni deal, but also to eject Mao from the party leadership. It was at Bayiga’s father’s funeral earlier this year that four-time presidential candidate Dr Besigye predicted that NRM would take over DP, according to a video that started circulating wildly once the NRM-DP agreement was announced.

However, even if the remaining DP leaders reject the NRM-DP deal and even eject him from the party, there are minimal chances of losing his new job mainly for at least two reasons, among others. First, Museveni wouldn’t do it as it would be an admission that Mao gave him hot air. Secondly, as an astute lawyer and clever politician, Mao has a lot of value to add to the NRM government in which he now serves.

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