President General of the opposition Democratic Party Norbert Mao, exploited the highly attended send-off of one of his party founders Mzee Boniface Boniface Byanyima in Ruti Mbarara on Sunday afternoon to hurl a few jabs at President Yoweri Museveni and the ruling NRM government.
The DP President went against the Byanyima family wish – which was made clear by daughter Winnie Byanyima — for the burial not to be politicized; and took aim at President Museveni .
“I was expecting the usual suspect (Museveni) to be here, within view and within range,” started Mr Mao, forcing hearty laughter out of the hundreds of mourners.
“I remember when he went to the vigil of the deceased (in Kampala) he said, when he sees the DP of today he only keeps quiet. I will equally be restrained and say, when I see the NRM of today I just keep quite.”
“As the Latin say, ‘Res tamen diserta est ipsa,’ – the fact speaks for itself,” added Mao.
President Yoweri Museveni, according to Minister Sam Kuteesa the foreign affairs minister, was unable to attend because he was still in Tanzania on EAC engagements and also holding bilateral talks with his Tanzanian counterpart.
Mao at the burial led an army of DP leaders who surrounded him and hoisted DP flags as he spoke.
He said in his lengthy speech that he regretted that Mzee Byanyima has passed without seeing change of leadership in Uganda.
He noted however, that as change is a fact of life, this change of leadership will eventually take place.
Mao went on for minutes praising the contributions of the late Mzee Byanyima toward the DP but also to national politics; recalling is candour and humor.
He said the deceased was greatly revered in the northern District of Gulu (Mao’s home district) and promised to “use is position as a leader to lobby for a memorial to be erected in his memory.”