Kampala. Democratic Party delegates overwhelmingly retained Norbert Mao as the party president following a three-day delegates’ conference which ended last night at Katomi Kingdom Resort, in Entebbe.
Mr Mao beat his only challenger in the race, Buikwe South MP Lulume Bayiga in a delegates’ conference, shunned by a faction in DP led by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. Mr Mao got 898 votes (71.2 per cent) while Dr Lulume got 360 votes.
The Lukwago-group pushed for the delegates meet to be postponed to pave way for major reforms and reconciliation in the party which the Mao-led faction objected to.
All attempts at reconciliation chaired by former DP vice president Zachary Olum failed to yield any fruits prompting the rival factions to hold parallel meetings, one in Luweero by Mr Lukwago and the other by Mr Mao at Katomi.
The DP delegates first passed constitutional amendments to include representatives of members with disabilities, those in the Diaspora, the workers, elders, an additional member from each region. The other amendment passed was to make Karamoja and Sebei sub-regions as per the DP constitution.
Outgoing DP national vice president John Kawanga was elected presiding officer for the election of new office bearers following the dissolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of DP to pave way for the election of a new team.
Voting started at around 1am on Sunday morning. The polls were generally calm.
Some of the DP leaders who were elected unopposed included Mr Fred Mukasa Mbidde as DP’s national vice president replacing Mr Kawanga, and DP national chairperson Mohammed Baswale Kezaala who retained the same post. Mukono municipality MP Betty Bakireke Nambooze was voted as DP vice president for Buganda sub-region replacing Mr Richard Sebuliba Mutumba.
Mr Yusuf Mutembuli also went unopposed as DP vice president for Eastern Region. Voting was done per region starting with the North, West then East and finally Central region.
Bukoto County East MP Florence Namayanja was voted DP Women’s leader after she garnered 693 votes. Her competitors Ms Maxenxia Nakibuka and Ms Lina Zedriga got 395 and 202 votes respectively. In a closely contested race, Ms Ritah Nakyanzi was elected DP secretary for youth with 522 votes beating Mr Elvis Kintu who got 410 votes.
In another hotly contested vote Mr Samuel Muyizzi was elected DP national legal adviser with 780 votes beating his challenger Mr Jude Mbabaali who received only 487 votes.
With 546 votes, Mr Erasto Kibirango lost the DP deputy legal adviser slot to Mr David Lumu who garnered 705 votes.
By press time, the presiding officer was yet to announce the results of DP secretary general and publicity secretary but current SG Mathias Nsubuga was in the lead and was expected to win while the publicity slot was too close to call between Kalungu County MP Joseph Ssewungu and Kenneth Paul Kakande who currently holds the portfolio.