DP, breakaway factions re-unite

The turbulent times in Uganda’s oldest political party – the Democratic Party (DP) that led to the emergence of several breakaway factions in the early 2000 could be nearing an end with a united DP back in sight.

With the opening up of the political space in 2005, disagreements emerged in DP forcing a group of party members led by former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke to break ranks with the City House based leadership to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

By the 2010 election cycle, Dr Abed Bwanika, a Pentecostal pastor and veterinarian who stood in the 2006 Presidential elections as independent had registered another party, the People’s Development Party (PDP) just as former Kampala Mayor Al-Haj Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala registered the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Five years later, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago led another group of disgruntled party members to launch a pressure group named Truth and Justice (TJ) under which they competed for various elective positions in the 2016 general elections.

Over the past few weeks, there have been engagements between members of these different factions which have resulted into a deal that will lead into the political groups collapsing back to their mother party – DP.

“We are all going to amalgamate will remain the single consolidated party,” DP President General Norbert Mao said.

DP Presiodent Norbert Mao flanked by leaders of the breakaway factions at the press conference in Kampala

The announcement of a unified DP was announced at a press conference at the DP party headquarters in Kampala with the leaders of SDP, PDP and TJ pledging their commitment to work under their mother party to achieve broader political goals.

“The DP block just announced its consolidation; the block brings DP, SDP, PDP, TJ in a unified DP. A Political Action Committee (PAC) will work out a framework for a single unified leadership for the block, propose a roadmap that will lead us to regime change, map out a framework for a single electoral platform and resume reunion caravans,” SDP secretary general Henry Lubowa posted on his Facebook.

According to Mao, what is left is now the legal process. “Our [DP] Legal advisor Samuel Muyizzi is working with a team from the parties to come up with a joint statement which will be ratified by the relevant organs of the parties, and signed at a public event,” Mao said.

DP’s management committee met last week with an intention of building consensus among the different organs of the DP, and agreed to open doors to all political players willing to unite under DP.

“We are under immense pressure to unite, we can work together even if we are a team of rivals, what matters most is the objective,” Mao said.