Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and Democratic Party (DP) president general Norbert Mao is a man that is increasingly identifying himself as a major player in Uganda’s transitional politics.
Since she gained her independence from Britain six decades ago in 1962, Uganda has not a peaceful transition from one leader. The country’s president, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, recently turned 78 years. He has been in power since 1986 and will have ruled the East African country for four decades by the time he completes his current five-year term.
As President Museveni extends his rule and as he grows older, the question of his succession has been key for political analysts, observers and Ugandans interested in a peaceful political transition.
After opposing the Museveni government for years, Mao joined Museveni’s government as the new Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister. This job had been reserved for him as Gen Museveni named his cabinet in June 2021.
Gen Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) signed a cooperation agreement with Mao and his Democratic Party. It is on the basis of this cooperation agreement that Mao says he is the man assigned to steer Uganda’s peaceful from Museveni to a government with a new generation of leaders.
You can read the full cooperation agreement between Norbert Mao and Museveni HERE.
Mao seems to have a transition timeline, and seems clearly aware of the year when Gen Museveni will retire from power, go home to graze his cattle and peacefully hand over power to a new leader after his heart.
Speaking at Bubangizi Secondary School Playground where Mitooma District celebrated this year’s edition of the Youth Day under the theme ‘unleashing the potential and role of youth in nation development,’ Minister Norbert Mao threw a hint in when Gen Museveni is likely to retire and peacefully hand over power to his successor, a man or woman who might be his choice.
Minister Mao told the youths and other leaders present, who included Vice President Maj (Rtd) Jessica Alupo and Internal Affairs Minister Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, that the year 2031 might be the beginning of a new Uganda.
This might mean a Uganda where Museveni is not president, but taking a backing seat and influencing his successor behind the scenes.
It also means that Mao considers the 2026 a done deal for President Museveni and the DP might even back the NRM candidate (Museveni).
Already, the DP has benefitted from the cooperation agreement with Museveni’s NRM. Besides Norbert Mao landing a juicy job as a minister, his DP Secretary General Gerald Siranda Blacks was last week supported by Museveni’s NRM MPs to become one of Uganda’s MPs to regional parliament East African Legislative Assembly (Eala). (Read Story Here).
Back to Mitooma’s event, Norbert Mao revealed that on his appointment as minister, Gen Museveni gave him clear instructions to handle the issue of a transition. This assignment, Mao further explained, would include building consensus on the kind of transition, who would be part of it and why.
He also noted that the transition will be done in a phased manner, having three stages or phases before the 2031 deadline.
Minister Mao explained that the first phase will involve building consensus, the second will involve the endorsement of the transition agenda and the last stage will be implementation of the transition plan as agreed upon by various stakeholders.
Once the transition process becomes successful, Mao says there will possibly be a new Uganda in 2031.
As a pointer to how likely Museveni be on the 2026 ballot paper, Vice President Jessica Alupo led cabinet ministers, MPs, local leaders and youths in endorsing him (Museveni) as the NRM sole candidate for the 2026 presidential election. (Read Story Here).
Meanwhile, a prophet who correctly predicted the election of William Ruto has revealed the man who will take over from Gen Museveni when he finally retires to Rwakitura. (Read Shocking Details Here).