“It is unfortunate that party leadership doesn’t want to convene national council meetings."
KAMPALA - The Democratic Party stalwarts have castigated the party's executive led by Norbert Mao (pictured) for not convening the party's top decision-making organ of the National Council.
The DP National Council, which acts as the party's parliament, is responsible for making key decisions for the party, including filling vacant positions.
Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Ssegona told New Vision that: "It is unfortunate that the party leadership doesn't want to convene National Council meetings yet it is the party's top decision-making organ."
On what needs to be done to end the current internal squabbles within the party, Ssegona said: "The solution is in acting honestly. We need to keep talking to each other and to act honestly in whatever we do."
New Vision has established that ever since the party's last delegates' conference in 2015 at Katomi Kingdom Resort which re-elected Mao and the rest of his executive members, the party leadership has not held a single National Council meeting.
Sources revealed that past DP National Council meetings have always been very critical of the party leadership and therefore any leader who is not democratic is better off not convening the party's parliament.
The constitutional amendments aimed at strengthening the party like the term limits and ensuring that the party's presidential flagbearer is not necessarily the party president have to be handled by the National Council.
'Not interested in making DP strong'
Nakaseke South MP Paul Kasana Luttamaguzi said: "I have been following the leadership of Mao from the time his group took over in the Mbale delegates' conference in 2010. They are not interested in making DP strong. Their acts are meant to keep the party divided because that is what they are paid to do. That is why ever since they were re-elected, they have feared to convene the party's parliament which is the National Council."
Luttamaguzi wondered why Mao and his colleagues on the executive could stop the Buganda regional conference organized by Betty Nambooze yet it was meant to strengthen the party.
"Those are signs to show that you the people in charge of DP affairs are political merchants who are using the party positions to make money and serve the interests of those in power. But DP members are now waking up and I am sure they will successfully fight them," Luttamaguzi explained.
Last Friday, a DP Buganda region conference that had been organized at Nsambya Sharing Hall by Betty Nambooze as the party's vice president for the central region was stopped by police after communication to police by the acting DP Secretary General and Mao that the meeting was illegal.
Nambooze, who was temporally detained by police, said the actions of Mao to stop activities aimed at reviving the strength of DP are a clear indicator that the party president is serving the interests of President Museveni to keep DP weak.
"Mao is not bothered about the progress of the party. If he was, key organs of the party like the National Council would be sitting," Nambooze argued.
'It is very expensive'
Explaining why the DP executive has not held a single National Council meeting since 2015, Mao's deputy Mukasa Mbidde said, "We have had 10 meetings of the National Executive Committee (NEC). Out of those meetings, we have not had any business that necessitates convening of the National Council."
Mbidde said the only business that would require the National Council is to fill the positions of Secretary General and party chairman.
"Those clamouring for the National Council are interested in those positions. It is very expensive to convene that organ of the party and at the moment we don't have money.
"The good thing we have an acting Secretary General [Gerald Siranda] and acting chairman [Dr. Mayambala Kiwanuka] who are doing good work."
On allegations that the current DP executive is serving the interests of President Museveni, Mbidde said, "We found the party so weak and behind UPC. It had only six MPs. We now have 16 MPs. Out of the 116 districts, the disagreements are only in Mukono and Kampala.
"It is those individuals that are divisive in nature who have made sure that we don't get significant presence in Kampala and Mukono that are the agents of President Museveni."