Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN | The Democratic Party-DP President Norbert Mao has been sworn in as Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister at State House Entebbe today.
“I congratulate Mao upon taking the oath of office as the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Your vast leadership experience will be instrumental in the unity we seek as a country and the solutions we desire for our people. Apwoyo bino,” said President Yoweri Museveni after the swearing in.
Mao, 55, took an oath of all allegiance and secrecy at State House Entebbe and Parliament respectively to become the 18th Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs since independence in 1962.
The swearing in comes a week after Mao signed a pact giving leeway to President Museveni to appoint him minister.
At the same event, Beatrice Akello Akori was sworn in as State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Office of the President.
VIDEO: Newly appointed Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. @norbertmao swearing in.
— UBC UGANDA (@ubctvuganda) July 27, 2022
After he signed the agreement on Wednesday, July 20th 2022, Mao asked the aggrieved party loyalists to embrace the cooperation he signed with President Museveni, who signed on behalf of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM government.
Mao’s decision to join the government has attracted bitter criticism from some members of the DP National Executive Committee-NEC, who accuse him of committing the party to the agreement without prior consultations. While addressing journalists at the party headquarters at City House in Kampala on Tuesday afternoon, Mao explained that he consulted several DP NEC members.
In the two-hour long press conference a day before he was sworn in, Mao said the agreement he signed with the NRM is in line with DP’s strategic objectives, which NEC endorsed on October 25th, 2021 during a meeting at Essela Country Hotel in Najjera.
Mao reiterated that NEC endorsed three key strategic objectives during the meeting having lost in the January 2021 general polls. The three objectives included; capturing power, attaining majority parliamentary seats in the main opposition party, or sharing power with the reigning government.
“The appointment of Mao as minister is a climax for the eloquent former lawmaker after a drawn out year-long cyber war with the leading opposition party, the National Unity Platform (NUP) of Bobi Wine.”https://t.co/1kERhCZwyO
— The Independent (@UGIndependent) July 25, 2022
Mao downplayed the reproach by other opposition political parties that he has technically defected to the NRM. He dismissed the accusations describing it as a mere ‘pessimistic’ response that time will prove right or wrong.
He observed that the cooperation agreement is not peculiar to what his predecessors did, and assured Ugandans that DP’s agenda is to establish a national dialogue, the constitutional review commission, and a peaceful transition of power will succeed to the benefit of the country.
According to Mao, in the next two election cycles including 2026 and 2031, the country will enjoy an all-party government that will serve Ugandans without party affiliations, regional belonging, or tribal sentiments, the prevailing situation that has torn apart the country.