Nambooze fell out with Mao dramatically when she attempted to organize a Buganda region conference purportedly to reform the party. Nambooze has known ambitions to challenge Mao for leadership of the party. It was not surprising that Mao, therefore, went to great lengths; including working with the police, to ensure that Nambooze is stopped. Officially, he said Nambooze’s event was illegal.
But all, it appears is not lost, if Mao makes the right moves. Even Nambooze says she is hopeful of the conciliatory efforts.
“We have a struggle to carry on with, we can’t keep fighting in our small groups,” she says. “We shall embrace the reunion for as long as it is based on truth and justice.
“Any effort to unite the party is welcome. However I am not attending because I am not in good health and I am not part of UYD.”
Zachary Olum, a retired professor of political science and a lifelong member of DP also says the reunion is good and sounds philosophical about the rifts in DP. According to Olum, the meeting of various DP officials would be a good opportunity to re-strategise.
“These people should get together whatever differences they have because DP has stood the test of time since 1954,” he told The Independent.
“Human relations are difficult to analyse. Sometimes there are individual aspirations and it is difficult to put a label to these conflicts but the reunion is a welcome development to us who have been there,” he says.
Olum joined DP in 1962 and in 1979 served as its National Organising Secretary and as vice president until he retired from the party’s National Executive Committee in the late 2000s.
He thinks DP can organise itself because its worst times are behind it. He says, “We have had our challenges even in Semogerere’s time but we discussed among ourselves and never surrendered at any point.”
He says DP’s problems are challenges opposition parties generally face in Africa. He recalls DP members who were charged with treason in the Obote II government and others from Busoga crossed en masse from DP to UPC in 1980 in a big blow.
“Sometimes it is difficult for the opposition to exist but the fact that we resisted all that intimidation is remarkable.”