Norbert Mao Democratic Party President

Abandoned as an 8 month old baby at Makenge, Mbarara military barrack in western Uganda, a son of a former Uganda Army man, rose to be the President of one of the leading opposition Party.

 Acholi want greater autonomy that amount to economy, “We want to protect our natural mineral resources like oil and land”

KAMPALA: In exclusive interview with Black Star, Norbert Mao 52 years old, father of 2 children, is now Presidential General of Democratic Party, poured his heart and explained his route to Party President.

Oyeng, Tell us how you rose from a shoe maker, bicycle repairer and a blacksmith to party president?


Answer, Norbert Mao, I guess it’s because of my determination; I am the only child of my mother who left me when I was only 8 month old. This explains enough and taught me to do things for myself which have initiated.

I grew up in an Aunt’s safety in Bwobo, I grow up with aunt and my father entrusted me to grow up with elder,

“Growing up with my Aunt and grandmother was very good, a disciplinarian to me, she was very strong.

 My grandmother encouraged me to take school very seriously, “She used to tell me in Luo (Kwan aye mani ki woro) education is your mother and father, she woo me a lot”

Later on, I went to leave with my father Dusman Okee in Jinja Town eastern Uganda, when I was 12 year old. My father was working in Uganda Green Milling; I sat for my Primary Leaving Examination from Jinja.

My journey to leadership is basically based on education, has been center in making me who I am, so I was inspired to become a lawyer because I saw a lot of injustice. My father faced a lot of injustices during Amin’s time because he served in Obote’s I government as an army man in the 1960s.

Amin never wanted educated people in Acholi. Mr. Okee was frequently arrested, I felt that being a lawyer would give me deeper knowledge to fight injustice and give me determination, would give me things to study law because I have acquired higher grade that would qualify me to study law.

At time there was full scale war going back in Northern Uganda, our community the Acholi was seriously stigmatized for the collective guilt for our dark past was heap on Acholi people.

I then decided while at University that I would not be a by stander anymore, I would enter politics.

I then decided to joined student politics from Makarere University, “I rose to become president of students Guild.”

But that was not enough I needed a bigger platform after graduation, I came to Gulu to explore possibility of entering political life from home.

Thus, I ran for Constituency Assembly seat for Gulu Municipality, however I lost that election.

After that I decided that I needed to do more work to let me settle for the people on the ground

This made me to apply for the job as the project Advocate for Legal Aid Project, I came to Gulu as the lawyer for the poor people.

“I was serving the people without holding political office however, I was successful during the parliament of 1996 against the very powerful opponent Mr. Betty Bigombe.

So I spent 10 years in parliament as an advocate for peace, Human Rights campaigner, land Rights campaigner and campaigner for the restoration of multiparty political dispensation.

From 1988 I had joined Democratic Party (DP) I decided that I needed to lead the party as the representative of Uganda younger generations  born in 60s and 70s, my first attempt to be elected leaders of DP was in 2005 I lost to the then Kampala mayor Sebana Kizito.

My several attempts was in year 2010, this time I was successfully, by that time I was also Chairman for Gulu Local  Government Council. Also I was very active in Juba Peace talks with LRA, I campaigned very actively for the dismantle of IDP Camps.

And also worked hard that the local government is strengthen by the time I left for real campaign in year 2011, in order to prepare for the presidential campaign, Gulu was ranked number 1 in local government Score Card in Uganda.

That in my political life, I am saying in God I believe he has a divine purpose in me.

Oyengyeng, The TDA, Uganda was expecting that the oppositions grouping will choose a single presidential candidate to deliver the TDA to win in the fourth presidential election in year 2016, do the TDA has opportunity to win when they failed to choice one?

Answer, Mao.  The TDA ideas based on urgent demand for opposition unity by Uganda, during by election when we united, we won in parliament we have joint shadow government headed by FDC party.

We united for the campaign for free fair election. TDA was there to neutral result of our effort for togetherness.

“It’s a political project, it purpose is to defeat Museveni regime in 2016 election, we expect to establish the government of national unity with the agenda for  free prosperity in economy restoration of term limit a civilian control army, putting in place a neutral truth and reconciliation process.

But above all laying a permanent foundation for peaceful change of government.

Uganda has seen many things, we have modern technology, we have got good qualification but we have never seen peaceful change of government.

 TDA is still alive and strong; I will still continue to seek way of having a form of candidates at all level.

We have challenges because of personal interest superseding national interest, “We are going to continue with dialogue to maintain center togetherness coalitions is difficult to maintain, but we are not going to give up.

Oyengyeng, what is your position on Acholi agenda?

Answer Mao. Acholi want greater autonomy that amount to economy, “We want to protect our national mineral oil and land”

We don’t want our affairs to be determined from Kampala, we decide to pursue national interest me and Dr. Ambassador Olara Otunnu.

We also want to protect our national mineral oil and land.E

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