Political change in Uganda will not come through elections and will have to be negotiated, Constitutional Affairs minister, Nobert Mao has said.
Mao, who also doubles as the Democratic Party (DP) president, challenged the country's opposition to get onto the negotiation table with President Museveni who has been in power for 37 years to spearhead the process of peacefully handing over power. Mao made the remarks while at the DP grassroots mobilization drives in Jinja city over the weekend.
Mao further says that while other opposition counterparts are materializing on the electoral processes, his party DP is participating in negotiations, which if their voices are well heard, will culminate into sustainable power change for the benefit of all Ugandans.
"Change is not going to come only through elections, change will be negotiated. And to negotiate, you must be at the table but it is not enough to be at the table, you must have a voice. It is not even enough to have a voice, that voice must be heard. That is our challenge as DP," said Mao.
He pointed out that Uganda has never experienced any peaceful change of power, with each transition resulting in bloodshed, which overly retards the country's progression. He noted that it is high Museveni creates a deviation from the past trends set by his predecessors.
He stressed that Museveni boasts of spearheading the country's economic transformation in different aspects of life, which can be easily edified by the youthful generation if he at all moots for peaceful power transfer.
Mao noted that Ugandans are celebrating the prevailing stability in the country, however, they are equally yearning for a peaceful change of leadership, which Museveni can willingly superintend over, not only to consolidate his legacy for future generations but also to safeguard the country's skyrocketing development endeavors under his stewardship.
He insists that the country's political turmoils of 1971, 1979, 1985, and 1986, negatively derailed the country, both locally and internationally, which has prompted him to actively participate in the peaceful power handover processes and he wants collective support from not only DP, but all Ugandans across the world to actualize this need.
"There is no need for President Museveni to open another factory, there is no need for him to open another dam to generate electricity. He has done all those things, and even here we have a satellite. The one thing Ugandans have never seen is a peaceful change of government...I pledge to do my part, and I pray that my party will stand with me and the rest of Uganda such that the building blocks can renegotiate the future Uganda," said Mao.
Mao also implored Museveni to fight prevailing social evils like corruption and tribalism, among others, which he blames for retarding the country's universal growth, with some elements in the government using excessive power at their disposal, to deprive the majority Ugandans from partaking of the national cake, in all aspects.
"To President Museveni, my partner with whom I signed the cooperation agreement, the only job you need to do which is of historical significance, and which should be your legacy is to cut the bile from the liver. When you have a liver, there is always that bitter liquid, it is called bile. If you puncture it, the liver will not be edible. What do I mean by the bile? The bile of tribalism, bile of hatred, bile of violence, bile of corruption, the bile of impunity," added Mao.
Meanwhile, Ismael Kiirya, the Uganda Young Democrats president, challenged all the youths in the country, to collectively refocus their energies on acquiring meaningful energies, which will enable them to actively participate in the power change struggles, without any form of bloodshed.