The cold war between Democratic (DP) and the leadership of National Unity Platform (NUP), both opposition political parties in Uganda, went to the extreme when DP president Nobert Mao described NUP as a project of the ruling National Resistance Movement created to hoodwink members of the public.
In a barrage of stinging Twitter messages on Monday, Mao referred to NUP party as a scarecrow project steered by “the Shadow State” under the NRM, which after formation has proceeded to “orchestrate circus” performed by trusted state operatives.
Using every space available on his social media platforms, newspaper articles and Television programs, Mao has for weeks taunted the leadership of NUP engaging in a war of words, that is quickly spiraling into full-scale armageddon that threatens opposition unity in Uganda.
It started when NUP supporters in the diaspora staged protests against Speaker Jacob Oulanyah’s admission in a hospital in Seattle USA, claiming that the 1.7BN shillings public money spent on airlifting him should have helped enhance the country’s ailing healthcare system. The DP president called the protesters night dancers who were playing politics at a time when a life was at stake.
“The same people who threw parties to celebrate the death of Gen. Paul Lokech are the same ones wishing Speaker Jacob Oulanyah dead. Their likes refused Milton Obote’s dead body passage through Luwero to Akokoro for burial! They betrayed Ben Kiwanuka. There is no truth in them.” Mao shot at NUP supporters before the party leaders including Joel Ssenyonyi responded with equally sharp barbs.
Mao went on to argue that Oulanyah’s position as speaker is privileged and entitled to emergency evacuation insisting that the protests were “a cheap shot against a man fighting for his life.” He reminded the critics how big shots in NUP including party president Robert Kyagulanyi, Zaake Francis and Betty Bakireke Nambooze benefited from the same privileges.
“I denounce the abuse of public money. My record is clear. But I can’t keep quiet when hypocrites who preach water and drink wine wish @JacobOulanyah to die yet the lives of those they love and adore was saved by treatment abroad with public funds authorised by the Medical Board!” Mao posted on February 16, 2022.
Quoting former US president Abraham Lincoln; You can fool all people for some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” Mao posted on Twitter on February 19, 2022.
More was yet to come from the man who doesn’t mince his words and eloquent at the same time. The battle intensified as NUP supporters joined in circulating a picture of Mao in a green face mask with a yellow patch as if to prove that he is an NRM mole in the opposition.
“Cockroaches thrive in the dark! I am shining the light of truth in their hiding places and they are darting from one corner to another. You can run but you can’t hide. I’m a GuRu, a Dispeller of Darkness! You may not like what you see but there it is!” Mao again posted on February 19, 2022.
“This war is between the lumpen elites that have bastardized political discourse and made it too toxic and the enlightened elites. It is not a personal cause. I’m just like a bailiff to evict the lumpens and hand back vacant possession of the political space to sane people.” Mao responded to messages calling for restraint.
Then came 3.1BN government monies received by NUP as part of funding for political parties under Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) despite its refusal to formally subscribe. Mao had a field day taunting the NUP leadership as dishonest fellows who despise IPOD as useless yet they are beneficiaries.
Kyagulanyi in response issued a letter claiming the IPOD funding issue is mere propaganda since the money is allocated by parliament under Section 14 of the Political arties Organization Act, and not president Museveni’s money.
“Since I stopped attacking the dogs and started attacking their owner social media has changed. If I’m pursuing an alleycat and it runs into a sewer I will not stop my pursuit. This thing of ‘when they go low, we go high’ has exceptions!” Mao vowed to take the war to the next level.
And then today, Mao posted: “THE MAKING OF A KIWANI POLITICAL PROJECT It is SHADOW STATE vs NRM! End Shadow State, End abuse of power” highlighting the genesis of NURP which gave birth to NUP as a “scarecrow project,” all orchestrated by the “Shadow state” under the NRM government.
With reference to the July 2020 MOU signed between NURP founders and NUP leadership and the registration of the new party with Electoral Commission on 28th August 2019, Mao argues that the whole process was prepared by the state and handed over the deal to a celebrity (seemingly Bobi Wine) who went on to recruit others into a circus.
“This is a true copy (posted a copy) of the registration certificate of NUP that the Shadow State had prepared. They then sold the idea to a celebrity. The celebrity mobilized political simpletons to be participated in the project to create a scarecrow for deal making. The 2020 deal was for show.
“The shadow state beyond even the NRM that was behind the reincarnation of Kibalama’s NURP non starter party. You’ll understand the shakeup in EC and the state enabled fraud that fermented a circus that has proved to be a great distraction.” He writes.
“The Shadow State then proceeded to orchestrate this circus and put their trusted operatives to steer the scarecrow project. The Shadow State clashed with the mainstream state leading to heads rolling in EC! This document is vital to understanding the relationship btwn NRM and NUP. We are waiting for a response from NUP.