Democratic Party (Uganda)
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The Democratic Party (DP) is a moderate conservative political party in Uganda currently led by Norbert Mao. DP was led by Paul Ssemogerere for 25 years until his retirement in November 2005. John Ssebaana Kizito replaced Ssemogerere, and led the party until February 2010, when Norbert Mao was elected party president.
In the general election of 18 February 2011, the party won 11 out of 238 elected seats. In the presidential election of the same date Norbert Mao won 1.86% of the vote. By June 2013, the party is represented by 15 seats in the parliament, after gaining additional seats from by-elections.
The Democratic Party (DP) was formed out of the religious and economic demographics that began to model politics in Buganda prior to Uganda's independence. Buganda is Uganda's largest ethnic region and has influenced the country's politics since the country was drawn up by the British colonial power. Buganda like most parts of Africa prior to independence had been visited by three key religious forces - the Roman Catholics, the Church of England (Protestants) and Islam. All three religions battled to extend their influence in Buganda and Uganda as a whole. In Buganda all three built powerful indigenous alliances and tried to influence the Buganda King - the Kabaka. By the 1950s the Protestants had achieved most influence over the Kabaka.
Another important factor influencing Buganda politics at the time was what the role of the Kabaka should be in a united independent Uganda. A significant majority in Buganda wanted autonomy with the Kabaka as the symbol of Buganda self-determination. However most other people in Uganda wanted a unitary modern state unhindered by traditional royalty. This aspiration was shared by some of the Buganda elite - particularly those who belonged to the Catholic Church. They formed the basis of what was to become the Democratic Party.
To the Kabaka, the Democratic Party members were seen as disloyal, and in response the Kabaka formed an alternative more popular party in Buganda called Kabaka Yekka ("The King Only"). Realising they had little chance of winning support in their heartland - Buganda, the Democratic Party under Benedicto Kiwanuka began to campaign for the support of other southern Bantu-speaking tribes in the South of Uganda. The Democratic Party effectively became Uganda's first national political party.
"A third political force emerged from the Nilotic/Luo speaking North of Uganda." This statement is factually wrong. The UNC was formed in 1952. It was not led by any Nilotic. It was led by Ignatius Musazi who was a Muganda.
"In fact there was very little difference in policy between the DP and UPC." This statement is also factually wrong. The two parties represented grievances of different identities. DP represented the grievances of Catholics who had been discriminated against since the battle of Mengo of 1892 please refer to UPC on the other hand represented the grievances of the non -Baganda who had been dominated by baganda since 1600 different
The Uganda National Congress, later to become the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), was led by Milton Obote. Like the Democratic Party, the UPC campaigned for a unitary modern state. In fact there was very little difference in policy between the DP and UPC.
The first election in Uganda prior to Independence saw the Democratic Party as the largest party, however the UPC formed an alliance of convenience with the Kabaka Yekka and Milton Obote became Prime Minister, promising to preserve the Kabaka's status in Buganda. That alliance did not last and in 1966, Obote ordered the military against the Kabaka who fled into exile. The Kabaka Yekka party was banned and Benedicto Kiwanuka was imprisoned.
New Political Forces
When Obote was overthrown in 1971 by Idi Amin, Benedicto Kiwanuka accepted a ministerial post in the new government. He was eventually murdered by Amin's agents. All political parties were banned in Uganda during Idi Amin's rule.
The Democratic Party emerged again after Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979. The absence of the Kabaka Yekka party now made the Democratic Party the main political force in Buganda and Southern Uganda, while the UPC consolidated its support in the North. This regional polarisation of Ugandan politics had made the Democratic Party a convenient vehicle for Baganda to express their political aspirations which had moved significantly towards autonomy after the apparent economic and political failure of the Ugandan state. This was further enhanced by the brutality of the new government whose army was dominated by Northerners. To many Baganda, DP was the first stage to achieving the return of the Kabaka and the "independence" of Buganda.
The leadership of the Democratic Party did not share this view, but went along with it. The new leader Paul Ssemogerere was a political novice but used the Buganda aspiration effectively and provided a significant challenge to the UPC led once again by Milton Obote in the 1980 elections. These elections are widely believed to have been rigged by the Military Junta that ruled Uganda after Idi Amin in favour of Milton Obote and the UPC.
A third political party the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) led by Yoweri Museveni rejected the result and went to the bush to start a guerrilla war. There was pressure on the Democratic Party to reject the result, but the leadership decided to take their seats in parliament much to the disappointment of their supporters. However one of Democratic Party's younger leaders Andrew Kayiira did take up arms to fight the new government, joining an organisation called Uganda Freedom Movement.
When Yoweri Museveni came to power, he was able to outflank any support the Democratic Party retained in Buganda by allowing the Kabaka's son to return and be crowned as a ceremonial king. The Democratic Party performed so badly in the elections in 2006 it is doubtful whether the party will ever regain its popularity.
The Federal Democratic Party of Uganda [(FDP)] officially declared in 2001, by its founder Simon Peter Kabala-Kasirye is gaining momentum by way of silent registration. The [(FDP)] advocates for fostering the ushering of a [(Direct Democracy)] and [(Benign Capitalism)] structures in the Pearl of Africa - Uganda.
By the Federal Democratic Party of Uganda [(FDP)] in its "Direct Democracy"; Simon Peter Kabala-Kasirye argues that Ugandans are politically mature enough and do not deserve to be led by a [(Shepherd's Rod)]-Locally "[(Omugoba Nte)]"(a stick used to drive a herd of cattle)] euphemistically a [(Barrel of a Gun)] ever since 1966 to present day herewith below his verbatim: -
Direct Democracy (Subjectively Pure Democracy) is a form of domicile collaborative proletariat management, the Federal Democratic Party longs to usher in Uganda. Gone are the generations that presumed Ugandans to be naive and too ignorant to know what they really need and want yet they were for centuries not naked but decently dressed in bark cloth (embugo) a cloth to this day too expensive to be afforded.
Dictatorships from a score of rifle wielding bandits, who would seize civic leadership and decide for them what they want not need are no longer having place in the twenty-first century.
A military authoritarian who has ruled for a decade or two and remains enjoying to see his tax payers in the 21st century still living in mud and wattle, grass thatched homesteads, without any guilt priding in ruling them, whereas there global structures to get draw down self-liquidating facilities in form of iron sheets and agro technological tools for only 35 million people, from the civilized economic democracies shows a leadership with a sadistic agenda, that does not consider the welfare of his the people he claims to rule.
Ugandans in Northern Uganda, Western Uganda, Southern Uganda, Eastern Uganda, Karamoja, and Buganda have their own needs (stuff) they need and want (ebyaabwe) including but not limited to no cost or low cost open access to credit, employment, safety, security, education, health, permanent shelter, abundant safe water, air, foods and beverages which are a basic government responsibility.
Some of those can be easily acquired when masses domestically govern themselves without excessive statutory trickle downs and over interferences. By ushering federated democratic structures for each region to govern themselves while controlling part of the taxes they pay will be the beginning for a lasting solution for equitable governance and development equality.
Ugandans in a direct democracy can make a plebiscite and hold a binding vote on whether a given law should be rejected, which effectively grants the masses that hold suffrage a veto on adopted bylaws by the elected legislature or parliamentarians, without their approval or even against their expressed opposition. For instance all men and officers in the ranks of Lords Resistance Movement/Army and other Allied Democratic Groups would have come out of the bush military nomadism a long time ago to participate in their domestic politics instead of rustling them to be taken to the international tribunals that will not resurrect the casualties of those counter offensives.
For instance why should funds needed for development of local projects, which funds are from locally collected taxes in the western, northern, southern, eastern and/or central demography's; Be required to be centralized thousands of kilometres away in one bag for someone to decide after several years in the central government in Kampala as to how much to be returned to solve the local needs like building latrines, toilets, roads, schools, dispensaries, markets, police quarters, prison apartments, micro and community banks. Such a system creates corrupt patronages of demographic council representatives through indirect or proxy malpractices.
Since the 2006 elections, pluralism has struggled to find its place in Ugandan politics. State sponsored in-fighting and factionalism have driven away many of its traditional supporters. They do fear that their small scale market gardening businesses, would be targeted by the NRM-No-Party-Home-grown democracy of Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has enjoyed fiscal economic growth up to 6%. His regime openly claims to want and need no foreign aid as Ugandans are happy to be sleeping well regardless of their surviving under minimum starvation with maximum poverty.
(1) Apter, D.E. "The Political Kingdom in Uganda," Princeton. University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1961
(2)Gray, J.M. (1950) "The Year of the three Kings," Uganda Journal, March, 1950.
(3)Hansen, H B (1984) Mission, Church and State in a Colonial Setting, 1890-1925" Heinmann, Nairobi & London, 1984.
(4)Lockard, K. ( 1980) 'Religion and Politics in independent Uganda: the movement toward secularization", in Searitt, J.R. (editor) "Analysing Political Change in Africa," Colorado (USA), Westview Press.
(5)Lockard, K. 'Religion and Political Development in Uganda, 1962-1972, (unpublished PhD. dissertation, University of Wisconsin 1974) (A microfilm copy of this thesis is available in the University of Nairobi Library).
(6)Low, D.A. "Political Parties in Uganda, 1949-62," London, Athlone Press (1962); also in Low, D.A. "Buganda in Modern History,"Berkely & Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1967.
(7)Mutibwa, P.M. "Internal Self-Government: March 1961 to October 1962," in Uzoigwe, G.N. (editor) "Uganda: the Dilemma of Nationhood," New York & London: NOK Publishers, 1982.
(8) Obote, A.M. "Notes on Concealment of Genocide in Uganda," Lusaka, Zambia.
(9)Rowe, John (1969) 'Lugard at Kampala; Makerere History Papers Kampala, Longmans.
(10)Santhymurthy, T.V., "The Political Development of Uganda: 1900-1986,"Aldershot, Hants, England: Gowers Publishing Company, 1986.
(11)Twaddle, M. (J 972) "The Muslim Revolution in Buganda" African Affairs Volume 77
(12)Twaddle, M (1988) "The emergence of politico-religious groupings in late 19th century Buganda," Journal of African History Volume 29.
(13)Wright, M. (1971) "Buganda in a Heroic Age," Oxford University Press, Nairobi, 1971
(14)Adhola, Yoga: "The Roots of the Democratic Party," found at http://www.upcparty.net/memboard/2012/rootsofparty.pdf Also see The Monitor at http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/ugandaat50/-/1370466/1377422/-/ujiydez/-/index.html continued at http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/ugandaat50/-/1370466/1382168/-/uj0yblz/-/index.html
- Archive of defunct DP website - www.dpuganda.org (March 2004)
- New DP website - www.dp-uganda.com (October 2006)