Opposition political party, Democratic Party (DP) now says the Cooperation Agreement signed on Wednesday between President Yoweri Museveni and its President General, Norbert Mao has no legal validity.

President Yoweri Museveni, also the National Chairman of NRM, signed on behalf of the party, while Nobert Mao, signed on behalf of DP which he leads as president.

NRM Secretary General, Richard Todwong and that of DP, Gerald Siranda, witnessed the signing.

Speaking to Baba Television on Thursday morning, Opio Okoler, the party spokesperson, says DP organs have not yet approved the signed agreement.

“I want to inform the public that the document that was signed between President Yoweri Museveni and Hon Norbert Mao has no legal force. It doesn’t bind the Democratic Party because no party organ has ratified it,” Opio told Kungu Al-mahadi Adam, the host of Gangamuka Xtra on Baba Television.

“People should not be worried because, if the President General of the party deemed it fit to have such an arrangement for the good of the country, he will present his reasons to the National Executive Committee (NEC) which will convene on August 14 and decide on the way forward,” he added.

Asked if the members of the party were involved in the process that led to signing of this agreement, Opio said that once NEC gives green light to what Norbert Mao will present to them, he will come out and inform the public.

According to Opio, the DP can not cooperate with NRM in everything but in some specific areas. He however hesitated to tell whether he is personally (as a member of the DP), comfortable cooperating with President Yoweri Museveni.

On what is contained in the agreement, Opio said he could not delve into details since NEC is yet to ratify it.

“We have deliberately not let out what is contained therein before being perused and ratified by NEC. We as well can’t give the document to the media for fearing the risk of NEC members learning about it through social media,” Opio noted.

In a tweet, President Museveni said: “I met with Democratic Party President Norbert Mao at State House Entebbe. We signed a cooperation agreement between the NRM and the DP. I salute the DP leadership for this gesture of mature, foresighted and constructive politics.”

Museveni’s tweet appears to suggest that the Cooperation Agreement that was signed was not just between individuals like Opio wants to say, but instead between political parties NRM and DP.

Tasked on this, Opio stuck to his ground and insisted that that is not the party position yet.

“President Yoweri Museveni is not the Constitution of the Democratic Party and neither is he the party’s spokesperson. We shall follow what the Constitution says and that, I have told you. I wonder what you are insisting on what Mr Museveni said.

Meanwhile, speaking after the signing, Museveni congratulated Mao upon agreeing to work on steering DP to work with the NRM.

He noted that this is something that should have happened at the top administrative level long ago.

“You know the history. I keep telling you that DP without Museveni is not a serious group because I was a very active member of DP,” Museveni said and added that he was very happy with this milestone. He said that although DP has been supporting opposition, they have been friendly and not destructive.

On his part, Mao appreciated the milestone on behalf of his party, saying that this is a continuous journey which started before some of them were born. He told Museveni that he now has the historical opportunity to gather party members scattered all over Uganda.

“You must look for them wherever they are in all the political parties and in all the corners of Uganda,” Mao said. He said that DP is committed to adhering to what has been agreed upon.

“This is a living document. It has to continue growing and we have signed it in a good faith,” Mao said adding that documents signed show that they have managed to resolve the contradictions that they have been having.

He saluted the courage President Museveni exhibited all through and the risks he has taken saying that he is the captain of the ship called Uganda and that it is important to pray for him as he leads.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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