Mao Paints Uganda’s Political Transition, Asks Acholi to Position Itself

Written by on August 20, 2023

Acholi living and working in Entebbe formed an association to pursue the development of their homeland. President Museveni donated 50 million Shillings in cash.


Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Nobert Mao has whipped the Acholi community to be united, as they position themselves for the transition.

Mao and EN ADA officials cut a cake before lauchig the association and its constitution

Mao said the transition had three phases which will start with building national consensus and understanding before ushering in a new Uganda after 2026. He said the next government will be broad-centred, adding that although extreme elements would remain both in government and the opposition, what matters is having a centre that could hold the country together.

“Change is going to come.  The only role that President Museveni has is to remove the bile from the meat.  There’s this bitterness, spreading of hatred and it is we the politicians spreading it,” Mao said, adding that often politicians ignited chaos leaving youths dead or in jail.

The country, he said was a pressure cooker that had been waiting to explode and his decision to join the government was to provide a vent to defuse tension and avoid an explosion.  This, he said,had also annoyed many people who had wanted an explosion.

Mao was speaking at the launch of the Entebbe Acholi Development Association, an association bringing together members of the Acholi community who live and work in Entebbe. He told the group that Museveni needed the Acholi more than ever and the Acholi had decided to warm to him but cautiously.

On a legislative front, Mao said the government would soon come up with a National Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission Bill and Ugandans would have where to outpour their bitterness.   In the Bill, a compensation fund would also be put in place to cater for all war victims not only those from Acholi.

He disclosed the President had wanted to personally attend the occasion because of the importance he attached to the cause of the association.  Even after failing to attend he would have wanted to assign a “much bigger” person but settled for Mao, who he also gave a donation of 50 million Shillings to deliver to the association.

“You are lucky.  The president usually pledges and when he does sometimes the pledge goes to unfunded priorities and so on … The President right now needs people like you – people who are not talking politically but those who talk in terms of love for a better Uganda.”

Mao contributed one million Shillings for membership and another one million Shillings as a personal donation. He also donated one million Shillings to the cultural troupe he said had worked to uphold Acholi culture as the community passed through trials and tribulations.

Earlier on association chairperson Consolate Acayo, the Principal Communications officer at the Ministry of Agriculture along with other speakers had emotionally talked about the hard times the Acholi had gone through as an ethnic community, beginning with persecution by the Amin government later on the Holy Spirit Movement and LRA wars.

Acayo said the unity of the Acholi is what had underscored their resilience and now was time to explore that unity for a bright future following the return of peace to the region.  She said they had come together to rekindle the light of hope, inspiration and upholding the Acholi culture and traditions to build a prosperous future.

Among the objectives of the association, Acayo said were to foster peace and love among the Acholi and with the rest of Uganda, ensure Acholi use their resources sustainably for their benefit, and improve education and skills for the people.


Acholi in Entebbe – a dance troup entertains guests

She said Acholi could be a bread basket of Uganda if the Acholi were supported to modernise their agriculture.  There’s also concern about environmental degradation through charcoal burning in the region.  She also expressed fear about land grabbing rampant across the country.  The organization also wants to uplift education in the region and also possibly start up a bank.

All these were causes Minister Mao said aligned the objectives of the association with those of the government and the President was ready to support them.  He said he and NRM secretary general Richard Todwong who also attended the occasion would organize a meeting with the President so that they put their agenda directly to him.

“He will support many of your projects.  We will be happy for you to meet him (President) and say thank you.”  A jovial Mao cut a cake to launch the association and joined in several traditional dances before a feast was served late in the evening.

Others at the function included Canada-based scholar Prof Opiyo Oloya (himself an Acholi), former leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ocan and Entebbe Municipality MP Michael Kakembo Ssalongo.

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