Mao Says Alot Still Desired in Detaching Army from Politics

President Yoweri Museveni inspecting a guard of honour by the UPDF

The Democratic Party (DP) President, Norbert Mao has congratulated the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) upon their 37th Tarehe Sita anniversary with an appeal to desist from partisan politics.

Mao told the media on Tuesday that Uganda has never had a transitional army but instead, each army has gone down at the fall of a sitting President due to military involvement in politics.

“These are some of the reasons why we were fighting hard to defend Article 102 (b), because we know that if we have a chaotic change of power, then this army might go with the current regime,” Mao told journalists during a press conference at the DP headquarters.

He said that the prerequisite for a national army should be to be non-partisan which should also be reflected in the army’s conduct, voting and debate.

“The President of Uganda has been quoted severally urging Ugandans to vote along party lines, the fact that the army chose to vote for the lifting of the age limit leaves a lot of doubt concerning impartiality,” Mao added.

He said that DP’s position since the referendum that ushered in multiparty politics in Uganda has been to amend the constitution to have army representation in Parliament scrapped. That way, according to Mao, Uganda would have an army that doesn’t associate with any political party.

Mao likened the Museveni regime to that of Milton Obote used army officers like Tito Okello, Bazirio Okello, Oyite Ojok and the Inspector General of Police to further his political agenda.

“We expect the army to be national, it should look like Uganda,” he said.

“As DP, we need a people’s army that will be respectful of civilian authority. Let Tarehe Sita be an occasion for UPDF to rededicate itself to its historic mission to be a truly people’s army and not a Museveni army,” he said.

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