A lowdown on the cut-throat NRM-DP cooperation Agreement

Thursday morning, Ugandans woke up to a political blasphemy with controversies regarding the appointment of DP’s Stalwart, Nobert Mao as the country’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs with many refuting the possibility that this would happen.

The developments ensued from an agreement reached between President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, also the National chairman of the ruling party with his counterpart, Nobert Mao, the DP President General in the presence of both parties’ Secretary Generals; Richard Todwong for NRM and Gerald Silanda of the DP. Also, for authenticity, the family lawyer and son-in-law Karugyire was duly in attendance.

This publication has had the opportunity to peruse through the document binding the two political parties in terms coined as “cooperation agreement”.

The cooperation agreement binds both DP and the NRM party presidents as legal representatives of their respective parties and therefore allies for mutual cohesion. “By accepting this Agreement, it is recognized to be the duty of the Parties to cooperate in good faith and fully with each other, both individually and collectively, for the
advancement of the purposes of this Agreement and in accordance with the terms herein. “The Parties confirm their commitment to a strong, cohesive, united and inclusive Uganda. The parties reaffirm their beliefthat these values are a necessary prerequisite for social, politicaland economic success and stability of Uganda,” a part of the the agreement reads.

Objective number four of the cooperation agreement states that, “The Democratic Party will determine its own position in relation to any policy or legislative matter not covered by the Ministerial portfolios and areas of cooperation set out in this agreement. Differences of position within such portfolios and areas of cooperation will be managed in accordance with this agreement”, in retaliation, Objective number 5 indicates the affirmation andcommitment from the NRM and it reads, “The National Resistance Movement Government in turn commits to working constructively with the Democratic Party to advance the policy goals set out in this agreement, alongside NRM’s policy programme. The NRM government undertakes to consider for incorporation the broad policy objectives of the Democratic party outlined in its manifesto and annexed to this agreement”.

Further, the agreement guarantees DP’s ministerial positions as stated in objectives; 9 and quoted herewith, “The Democratic Party will hold the following portfolios inside of Cabinet: Nobert Mao will be appointed to the position of Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Another Democratic leader will be appointed to a junior ministerial position. For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby expressly agreed that these Ministers shall hold their portfolios for the full term of the 11th Parliament or for the duration of this agreement, whichever comes first”

Under objective 10, the agreement levies the responsibility of the National Dialogue to DP President Nobert Mao who objective 9 points out as the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. “The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs will be the lead minister for coordinating the National Dialogue and the whole of government response on Constitutional Reforms with the mandate to coordinate Budget proposals in the Justice Law and Order Sector,” reads objective 10.

Also, Objective 11 streamlines the need to consider competencies from the DP side, and it says, ” The Ministerial portfolios and other public sector appointments offered to the Democratic Party shall reflect areas where DP expertise provides a valuable contribution to the NRM Government,”.

The cooperation agreement also demands that the two leaders meet every three months or as required to monitor progress against the areas of cooperation set out in this agreement while the Secretaries General will meet regularly under objective 24.

To many, this was an earlier orchestration given facts surrounding the road map to this eventuality. “It has been a long time coming, the cohabiting” has ended, here is the “wedding”,NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi wrote after Mao reached a cooperation agreement with Mr Museveni on Wednesday.

The questions remain, does the Democratic Party president represent the democratic party agenda?, what implications does the content in the agreements harbor for the party?, can the opposition shockabsorb the the bumpy political skid? We are determined to bringing you relevance as the story escalates to fruition.

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