My candidate will do well in Acholi, says Okee

To some extent, Dusman Okee has spent much of his life in the shadow of his older, more prominent brother, Norbert Mao, the departing Gulu district chairman and Democratic Party presidential candidate.

To those in the know, he has always been a supporter of the ruling NRM, but a host of people, obviously not in the know, were surprised to see him cozying up to his brother’s political nemesis, President Yoweri Museveni, during a campaign rally in Acholi last month.

In an interview with Shifa Mwesigye, Okee says he has the blessing of his brother. He also sheds light on how he got to share the campaign podium and a seat inside the presidential helicopter with Museveni.

Who is Okee?

I am Dusman Okee, I take on the family name Okee and I am the youngest male in the family. We are eight in the family and Mao is the first born. I practised journalism for over 10 years.

I am a projects consultant with a Canadian organisation called Hope Foundation Canada. I am also President of Motor Sport in Uganda.

Your father supports UPC, your brother is the DP President, and you are in NRM; how do you manage to stay closeas a family?

Our father brought up his family in such a way that at the age of 18, you could decide what to do; you could take on your own religion, party affiliation, and you chose what you wanted to be.

We normally have a joke in our family that this is where true democracy is born. We still remain one sole family which we think is exemplary and unique.

You say that Museveni’s late mother, Esteri Kokundeka, raised you, what do you mean?

As a student at Ntare School between 1989 and 1991, my dormitory, called Crichton, was in the neighbourhood of where Museveni’s mother was staying.

I had a friend who was close to that family; one time he invited me to go with him to the late Kokundeka’s home. When I reached there, I found her a very kind lady. She liked me from that moment as an Acholi who was speaking Runyankore very well.

She told my friend that I am always welcome at her home. Typical of government schools where the meal was always posho and beans, I kept going for meals. By this time Museveni was [already] president. I would go in and out whenever I felt like.

The whole of Ntare School referred to me as Omukooko wa nyina Museveni (Museveni mother’s omukooko - a derogatory term for northerners).

At one time, the President came to visit me in my dormitory. I had asked him what he would do if detractors of peace came back. He said that Uganda had attained peace and he had all the means to fight [to keep it that way].

Did the President know that you were a regular visitor of his home?

At that time Museveni didn’t know about me and the relationship [with his mother]. He learnt about it after the death of his mother. I am the one who wrote the obituary of his mother, narrating our relationship. I think that is the time the President knew about it.

How did you meet the President?

To start with, I am a member of the Movement; and secondly, I have been working in northern Uganda since people were still in camps. I stayed with them in the camps as a role model and after the dismantling of the camps, I started building schools.

I think through his inquiries, the President came to learn about me and he wanted to hear my story.
There is a gentleman who works in State House who approached me. He said, “We have looked at some of your projects; it would be good if you explained some of them to the President.” That’s how I ended up meeting the President.

What was your first meeting like?

I met him at Acholi State Lodge in Gulu. I had to wait for an hour with my guide who took me there. I entered into an office and I met his Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. We had a one-on-one. It was just the two of us in the room.

The President is a very free person; people surrounding him look at him as a father, not even as president. Unbelievably there is no tension around him. I found him very receptive. He was talking casually; he listens, pays attention and responds to you.

I found the President to be ordinary; he takes his ordinary cup of tea. He looks at you not as a subject but as a person whom he can share ideas with. For example, he would say, “Dusman, what do you think of this and that; how do you look at this?”

In fact, because of that cordial atmosphere, you might forget that you are with the President. I found him a very free and sincere man. You only notice that you have been with him when you move out and see his guards.

How did Mao take your decision to support Museveni?

My relationship with Norbert Mao is very interesting. I describe him as a clean politician who practises mature politics. Where President Museveni has deserved a pat on the back, he has patted him on the back.

Where he thinks he has done poorly, he has told him so. It is very normal for him to hear that I am campaigning for Museveni. In fact, when we talk, he tells me: “Come February, I am going to floor you and your candidate”, which is very interesting.

I do not have to be a member of the Democratic Party. Mao being a member of DP doesn’t mean his brothers and sisters are. After all, our father is a member of the Uganda People’s Congress. So, for sure we understand very well our political affiliations and respect them. Politics never comes in our family; we agreed on that.

What are you looking to benefit from this? A political appointment, contracts or tenders?

You do not need to be in government to serve people. One of the cardinal NRM principles is to empower young people in whatever capacity. The government educated me, and I was being told to go out and serve.

I am happy if government rebuilds northern Uganda and makes sure that Joseph Kony never returns. So, I am not looking at any job in government but as a Ugandan I support my candidate President Yoweri Museveni because I know an excellent win for him means a great win for the people of Acholi.

Your experience travelling with the President?

For me, it was a great opportunity as a member of the NRM to campaign alongside the President. It was also an aspect that built a lot of confidence in me; to know that somebody somewhere will always appreciate your efforts.

My efforts were an eye-opener that anything is possible. Of course, it was a great opportunity to learn more about him. I hear people say the Museveni of the 1980s is no longer the Museveni of today. The only thing I saw that has changed is the bald head, but the development dreams are still alive.

What next after the President left Acholi?

I definitely intend to keep the fire burning. For me, the campaign has just started.

What are Museveni’s chances in Acholi?

Museveni was not doing very well in northern Uganda and people were justified not to vote for him then. They were living in camps, Joseph Kony was terrorizing them daily, and they didn’t know what it meant to live in peace. Right now, NRM has flushed Kony out of northern Uganda.

Look at the towns, there is no town growing faster than Gulu and Lira. Actually, many visitors are shocked to find such accelerated development taking place.

You will walk from village to village without finding heavy presence of the army which shows that people are freely moving about day and night. And with NAADS, I think there is no option but for His Excellency to perform very well this time.

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0 #1 MABO 2010-12-23 02:47
There we go Mao's family has put it on table. With politic there is nothing like relative,kingdo m,tribe,friends etc deciding or coarsing you.

As long as am above 18 wth my vote i will vote a candidate of my choice. This is a big message for IPC/FDC & mengo wth its oppourtunist hiding behind "buganda interests" using black mail tactics!!

Any way come 2011 my winning candidate is Mr M7,the only good thing i have ONLY one vote,so any body who disagrees just vote against him. Then ballot count will tell who is "big/munene" tht day. GBU
0 #2 Ugandan 2010-12-23 09:45
MABO you seem to be intelligent enough to put out your own news letter, you know like (Eric Kashambuzi) but why you chose to be a scavenger like hynas??

Is it to do with being unprincipled,sh eer backwardness and, or are you being paid to just do that!
[Uganda today needs answers more than questions]
0 #3 sewankambo sentongo 2010-12-23 10:06
Okee is over 18years and he has reason to love M7 and vote does MABO. and some of us also have reason not to love him and vote him.

thats a fair deal so far. but am not comfortable that kigundu will give my vote to who am giving it and not M7.thats why am in for all candidates having their tallying centers
0 #4 Rudakut David 2010-12-23 13:19
This means Mao has already been rejected by his own family and there is no reason whatsoever that any Ugandan with a sound mind can vote for him after reading this.

No wonder Mao has proved to do public relations for the movement. It could be a family ploy to dupe Ugandans when in principal the family believes in the movement idealogy.
0 #5 Kizito 2010-12-23 16:00
U are a waste I see nothing good coming out of M7 he is like a whore makes u feel good at night but takes off with all yr money while dreaming of the good night!
0 #6 Kalooli Muzzukulu wa Nkali 2010-12-23 18:22
Esteri Kokundeka and Gertrude Byanyima,may they rest in peace, both put under their roof certain needy students for charity's sake.

But it is the "omukookolo",gr andson to Gipir who come back to give praise to charitable Esteri. But poor Gertrude died a bitter with her foster son who used to sleep over under her roof.

Gertrude's husband told mourners at her burial, " At this time my wife is going to grave with many scars on her body by Museveni's men." The Independent 5 December 2008.
0 #7 patience 2010-12-23 18:51
We know those boys are stealing that old man, where billions of taxpayers money is being stolen by NRM government, only fools can miss ashare.

they just there for money not that they like NRM,you wait for the and see, you find zero votes that hat man. i therefore incourage people to have a share on that stolen money, its your money not their money.
0 #8 Joe jones 2010-12-23 18:53
This man is a Bootlicker museveni will only behave ordinary if he wants something from you. Here in the western world leaders freely mix with their subjects museveni on the hand has built a personality cult around himself characterized by moving in heavy convoys and private jets this is typical of dictatorial regimes like in North Korea and Burma.

As this man continues to lick museveni's boots for his personal gain(including those. Projects of his) the common man in ACholi continues to live in biting poverty while museveni's daughters are flown on private jets to give birth in western capitals. Museveni should go.
0 #9 GAMBE 2010-12-24 04:03
Mabo ithink ppl should not wast time with you are an oppunist you are an hungry man you just need food and you forget everything.
0 #10 Thomes2 2010-12-24 13:23
Okee you sound an inteligent Human bieng, i just wonder what you are doing among wolves dressed up in sheeps clothing, NRM is the most corrupt organisation, get out before it is too late, come back home to UPC before your suit is tainted wth blood, you are sitting aong thieves and also putting your life in danger. you can never trust Sevo, many tried and failed, UPC will win get out of a sinking boat.
0 #11 DAVID 2010-12-24 17:26
I applaud Okee for this wonderful interview and his brother(Mao) too deserves a "pat on the back" for being tolerant to the former's political views.

If the Ugandan society was indeed like the Mao family in as far as ideological interaction is concerned,there wouldn't be altercations amongst ourselves,for example,between the Movementists and the opposition,the status quo and the Mengo traditionalists etc,because at the end of the day,we all remain Ugandans.

Infact our politics would be comparable to that of the western world if we're to tow by the above line only that in our case,if an independently minded person's view is similar to that of the status quo,its rationality notwithstanding ,then that tantamounts to being hired,bought,sp in-doctoring etc as per the opposition(and Mengo) adherents.

Such a scenario is absent in the west but rampant in the Third world states due to poverty as the majority of the opposition group(s) that are rather fractured to the core look at politics as a way of employment not serving the nation by offering alternative developmental ideas.
0 #12 Kent Mawa 2010-12-26 07:30
You cannot claim to have been "raised" by someone because you visted them - even if you did it regularly .

Okee is a cheap prostitute
0 #13 Dr. Kuloba-Wabyanga 2010-12-26 18:53
Hello Fellows, this is not to mean that I personally support Mr. Museveni, but why is it always easy to assume that people who express their confidence in the President have been bought, have no visions, backward, unprincipled, unugandan and so on?

Why do you who dislike M7 always think you are right in your state of mind and those who support him are insane? Just be honest here: People who want M7 are Ugandans who have seen the best things of the regime. Some of these have cognitive capacities to compare the regime with previous regimes.

In my personal observation, the socio-economic and political history of Uganda seems to have been rewritten and so shall be, from the period 1986 when M7 came to power. It seems it was the time Uganda got independence through an armed struggle akin to the Mau Mau or Frolimo rebelions in Kenya and Mozambique.
0 #14 Ugandan 2010-12-26 21:34
Hello d.a.v.i.d, since when did you qualify to be a Ugandan????????
In case you dont know this is for you;A DOG BORN INTO A STABLE DOES NOT TURN INTO A HORSE.

[This am telling you as a direct descendant of Nakalaama] If you are offended go and hang yourself but please make sure you do it away from Buganda soil.NB. DONT REPLY.
0 #15 Nkuba Kyeyo 2010-12-27 07:11
Omukooko is making a typical bukooko mistake : Bahima will never accept you as one of them even if you speak Runyankole very well . Esteri did not speak Runyankole very because she always complained that they didn`t like her.

Itis childish for Okee to claim that he was "raised" by Museveni`s mother . Okee should look for his own mother and get some real love.
0 #16 Roger 2010-12-28 08:21
There must have been a mistakenin the interview. Best of kymknowledge, Dusamn is a Prseidnt of a club in motorsport. As for his allegiances, well, he is adult enough to decide what to do. But the question on everynes lips is, are you genuine? To yourself or to the party?
0 #17 DAVID 2010-12-29 08:05
Granted as per your idiocy that amn't a Ugandan thanks to my moderate views,what substance have you as a "Ugandan" contributed to enrich the debate????

Barrack Obama,a son of an African(Kenyan) village peasant,is the president of the world superpower(US), despite the heckling and whispering campaigns by the birthers(racial bigots),has this hindered him from contributing positively to the development of the US,his weaknesses notwithstanding????

You're indeed a disgrace to the "bazzukulu ba Nakalaama" because your views are stinking and rather deserve to be disposed off in the flush toilet like a used tissue.

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