Benard Shaw in his book, the Devil’s disciple taught us ” it’s only at the hour of trial that a man finds his true profession! It’s now at this critical stage of our society that I reminisced the nostalgia of the memories of the fights we fought to bring back multi partysm as UYD, when article 269 banned parties. I remember, Hon Lugomvu killed, we lost Namusoke Grace, Ntale Geoffrey etc.
I remember, commander Michael Mabike, would call us for UYD action in Mbarara, Jinja or masaka..we would be in any District the next day. We were beaten, arrested and jailed. I remember comrade Tonny Kitara now in Gulu west, recruiting us!
Many ask, ” which Party are you in and running for Gulu East parliament?” I have a Party. I have a life membership of DP. I will have hoe a symbol of truth and justice!
In 1954, the party came to existence. I am proud to have been elected and served as one of its best publicity or national Spokesperson elected by it’s delegates, effectively replacing Hon Betty Nambooze after trouncing, Hon Chairman Mbabali Jude of Masaka city. I was deputized by the versatile counsel Kakande Kenneth Paul, a renowned city lawyer.
I loved and worked for Democratic Party with all my heart. Even when I had issues with it and joined government. I was voted the best RDC in Uganda twice for improving service delivery in Lira and fighting corruption. I exported DPs truth and justice.
In 2011, after seemingly open betrayal by DP executives of Gulu, where they openly decampinged me in 2006, never voted for me to become DP National Spokesperson in mbale and decampinged me openly yet I was the Party flag bearer and National Spokesperson.
Last week, a young man and progressive leader in the Democratic Party, called me and said many people are asking him to respond to my 2011 response on ” Why and how I left DP! I told the young leader, I love you and love DP. Don’t be drugged into rebattling what you didn’t participate in.
I reminded him, how in 2006 I lost parliamentary seat by hundreds of votes because of the decampaigne of the Party leadership in Gulu who opted for my brother, Hon Lyandro Komakech now in Gulu west. The same in 2011. If it was not for the love of the Party, I would not have stayed for 10 years waiting for change of attitude. By the way, Hon Okumu Regan and lots of FDC leaders wanted me to join, I denied.
In the missive, I praised DP, I highlighted the role of my mentor Norbert Mao without whom I would not have been this far. He inspired me in 1994 as a village wasted boy. I wondered. When I asked him why the betrayal, he told me, ” honestly, you are one of the best leaders this country has got, the Gulu problem, was something which was institutional and as a national leader looking for votes around the country, I could not get enough time to sort it “. Indeed I had a long time squabble with the chairman, Ladit uma Kerobino, an elder I respected.
The efforts of Hon Norbert Mao was when there was a stalemate in DP primary elections between me and Komakech where I won twice and I was not declared, Hon Mao sent a delegation of DP elders from Buganda who went to Gulu and conducted a public debate and election between me and Hon Lyandro. Again, DP delegates of Gulu in 2010 gave me votes and I was declared DP flag bearer.
The same team joined FDC Acire and decampaigne their own flag bearer again. To make matters worse, I was denied access to DP Gulu office and the day, Hon Mao went for final rallies in Gulu, I was denied microphone and never spoken about.
The DP leadership tried to block Hon Norbert Mao from mentioning my name. He literally campaigned for Hon Mapenduzi, a reason for his success. He did his best by mentioning me though by the passing to the displeasure of my supporters and happiness of haters.
I was pained, in DP retreat in Gulu, in the presence of mego Joyce, Hon Amony Francesca ( counselor 5 pece, my mentee), and other DP leaders, I asked ” how can I continue with such betrayal for 10 more years? 2006 and 2011 I won in Laro and pece and lost in DP strong hold of Bardege and Layibi? I assured them I will look for another Party. I was annoyed. Acholi say anger makes dogs to eat own feces. Indeed I did. In DP Masaka retreat, I complained and wasn’t assured that in 2016 the same betrayal would not happen. I was so annoyed and lost. I would have committed suicide.
Imagine at 26 years, in 2006, same people you consider friends betray you! In 2011 the same. You are now 32 , 33, a father of 3 then entangled in an unending conflict. I thought of joining FDC, but said, all my initiatives to revamp Acholi will be targeted and destroyed. I said, joining NRM would mean confirmation of the bad people of DP who declared me a mole. Again, NRM would not receive me well. They will never trust me, after all, election finished and they were not getting new members.
I redefined politics, being, having influence to transform lives. Also I promised myself, I will do what I did in opposition in government and cause change. I did but my efforts were a minuscule that I survived death from thieves in government.
THE EVENT OF JOINING.
Flanked by Hon Lungajul and Hon Christine Atimango, we were sent to Hon Amanda mbabazi, prime minister then by Hon Betty Bigombe. Little did I want to sell myself, I realized NRM had price tag for every body who joins. ” can I call President and arrange meeting before press conference? ” Hon Amama mbabazi asked me! I knew, seing the president meant being paid your price. I am priceless. ” why sir? Let’s go ahead!” I didn’t want nothing! I wanted to join government in revenge! Every one was surprised. We arranged press conference the next day. The media were shocked but not Gulu DP who betrayed me. ” I left DP not because I hate opposition so much, or love government so much, but love Uganda more ” that was my statement.
TRAITOR AND NAMES.
Immediately the news went out, I saw hundreds or thousands of attacks from my text messages to Facebook . Traitor, idiot, maggots, bumscrattcher, etc.. my grandmother told me, ” son, it’s not the name they call you, rather the answer you give that matters ” she said my character will sort me. Indeed I betrayed many who loved me and didn’t know the pain I went through. I accepted, the abuse, rage and hurt because they were born of the love Ugandans and Acholi had for me.
But what pleased me in all these, was the answer of the President DP and my mentor Norbert Mao that showed love. He said. ” DP lost a great man, and the void he left, can’t be filled”. It was soothing! Everyone, especially my haters , this was the perfect time to finish me! Gulu DP chairman was quoted ” his leaving DP is a great radiant to the party “
APPOINTED DEPUTY RDC LIRA
All along from 2011 to 2014 February, I was never appointed and tagged Amama mbabazi agent of change. After I got scholarship for research by Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation ( new York) in 2012 and 2013. After I presented papers in stellenbosch south Africa and Sussex university London.
In the flight I met Hon Frank Tumwebaze, he was minister for President. He said, he wants to deploy in Gulu as RDC. He promised to talk to President. Indeed, he alerted me for Gulu, in February 2014, I was shocked to hear I am Deputy RDC Lira and the three names I gave Hon Frank, were full RDCs. What a betrayal!
There was a false play. I didn’t want to take it up. But Hon George Odongo now in EALA, was appointed Lira RDC and I was to Deputize him. He called me and convinced me to work with him. Hon Frank Tumwebaze called me and assured me of better days ahead.
By the way, I realized, office of Deputy RDC, recieved less than a million shillings as salary then. Less than office admin I pay in my NGO. But I wanted a platform. We decided to live in the same house, same food and cut costs if living. Every one in Lira thought we were brothers, eloquent and brought integrity and love to the office. Instead of teargas, we engaged in debates. Formed district integrity promotion forum and fought corruption.
BUILDING A GREAT CITY
After sorting insecurity, Hon Frank took George to Kampala and I acted for 3 years. RDCs according to article 103 are mandated to monitor government programs. But the reverse is true, they become conduits of regime survival and corruption.
In 2016, I blocked thugs in the markets, recovered billions of shillings on shoddy works and exposed corruption in office of President. It cost me, immediately, we started experiencing bombs set up in the market. I was demoted to Kitgum from acting RDC lira to a Deputy of a Junior in Kitgum Kitgum and without a car. Looking at a scholar of my calibre, I had to leave for own scholary Initiative and joined change movement in the USA and a member of Democratic party campaign.
CONCLUSIVELY, I will return to claim my position in Democratic Party, a party I loved so much, a party I gave my whole. First, I have to strategize together with all those are focused at setting an Acholi Agenda and a Marshall plan for socioeconomic transformation of the society. Pass reparation law and legalize compensation besides coming with a truth and reconciliation law for a peaceful Uganda.
MP Gulu East