Kampala — Democratic Party president Norbert Mao has become the third politician to declare his interest to run for the highest office in the land come 2021.
While announcing his presidential bid at a press briefing yesterday in Kampala, Mr Mao scoffed at his party member, the Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, for having allegedly attacked his personality on Monday while on NBS TV morning breeze programme.
Mr Mao branded him "reckless" and "a less intelligent legislator".
Other politicians who have so far publicly announced their interest to run for presidency are Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and President Museveni whose ruling NRM party MPs and top governing organ have since endorsed him.
MP Kivumbi while on the show, said he had very reliable information that his party president, Mr Mao was being used by the ruling NRM party to also contest in the forth coming general election, a move he said aimed at weakening the new People Power pressure group headed by Mr Kyagulanyi.
"Stupidity is not a crime, not even written anywhere in the Penal Code Act. If it was a crime, many people would be in prison. It is not even taxable; I wish there was a tax on stupidity, Uganda would be a very rich country," a seemingly irritated Mr Mao shot back.
The DP party president also threatened to file a law suit against Mr Kivumbi for allegedly insulting him while he appeared on the television show.
"It's such elements whom you hear heckling us. I am not surprised to hear the kind of things that Mr Kivumbi was saying on the talk show," he said.
Mr Mao went on to wonder why Mr Kivumbi was dividing the forces of change instead of pulling them in the same direction in a bid to dislodge Mr Museveni who has been in power for the last 33 years.
"People are now looking for meal cards in form of an opportunity to be elected to Parliament. This will see the level of opportunism on the increase. I am saying this so that you're not surprised," he said.
Adding: "You're going yet to see even strange movements within the politics, you do not need to be a prophet to predict, but to claim to be a prophet by saying that Mao is going to contest for presidency that is not news."
Speaking to Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday Mr Kivumbi said the issue at hand is not a measure of people instead it is in response to the facts at play that President Museveni has a project 2021 and beyond.
"For this project to succeed, he intends to divide the Opposition and among the people he talked to and accepted is Mr Mao, ... he agreed to run for president not that he can win but to be part," he said.
He added: "Sometimes with these facts someone must stomach the abuse and insult and save the cause that transcends personal ambition."
Mr Kivumbi said " when you look at how far building this Opposition has come from and the price that has been paid, by many that have lost their lives along the way you cannot cash it down to embark on a mission that literally will confuse the cause."
This is not the first time that Mr Mao, who heads the oldest party in the country, gets involved in heated exchanges with his party members.
A month ago, he clashed with Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze after he called her a "water melon" for being green on the outside but of another party colour in the inside.
Ms Nambooze also hit back at her party president by calling him a "pumpkin" for allegedly being green on the outside and yellow in the inside. Yellow is the official colour for the ruling NRM party headed by President Museveni.