September 20, 2020
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MY EXPERIENCE; A letter to you who wants to run for election.

Dear comrades;

Grace and peace be with you from the Lord Almighty! You are somewhere for the holidays now, thinking about 2020, you feel you want to run for election but have many questions. 1, you will lose a job, 2, you have no money and 3, which Party. But I say, if Hon Bobi wine can overshadow elite politicians, if Mao can win parliament at 27, if Museveni can rule us for 34 years, what can stop me? Decide and go for it!

On 25th December 2019, I make 42 years old. In 2006, I was hardly 27,I decided to run for parliament. But my decision came in 1994 when I was inspired by Hon. Norbert Mao who stood and lost constituents Assembly spot for Gulu. I knew to run for parliament and later President like Mao I had to read. I did.

I struggled and read, I graduated with Mass communication degree ( PR/political sciences-MUK 2003).

Immediately I went to Japan. I raised money on the plight of Acholi war children like many people do and get rich. As a victim who was once abducted and lost relatives. I raised lots of money.

I would have built a house and started a personal business. I had used my media skills to mobilize resources and I owed no one. I was to buy some blankets and mats, take pictures and send pictures to those who contributed. By taking pictures and showing what it did, that was accountability.

But having participated in Ebola rescue efforts in 2001, saw the plight of people, saw children suffering by roadside, and one day, a heartless man poured water on children sleeping by his veranda, they screamed!

This pain of children, their tears and inaction of leaders informed my resolve to build a night commuter centre for children. The money I had in my pocket, I decided I built a center for children.

Bought mats and blankets. Built a secure center, Teokono. I remember Bishop Ochola encouraging me to continue doing good.

That was the beginning of Teokono, popularly known as Baghdad. 2003 and 2006 it helped. To date the kids of Teokono are mothers and fathers. Its from here that we were able to identify smart children.

I started an initiative, Needy Education Scholarship trust [NEST]. With my connection, I mobilized own pocket money, Ugandan friends and Japanese to sponsor children.

Now over 100 went from primary to university. This is not only Gulu, but even Western Uganda, Lango etc. After night commuter, we built a vocational school, Teokono vocational, supporting women and girl child and youths.

We started with free tailoring and designs, liquid soap making and candles. In 2020 we will start charging a little for the same and computer studies and repairs.

All these I am registering Lutukumoi Foundation here in the USA and Uganda to oversee them. We will also make the Foundation become the biggest Education and Leadership mentorship body world wide.

Yes; why all these, I felt I must encourage you who wants to run for any position especially parliament or any local position.

You must invest in social capital. Use your skills. Look, I used my skills to lobby and Journalism skills to advocate. I am ready to give you skills of building social capital with out money but you can make a mark.

Steps to building a strong foundation for campaign.

1. BUILD ON SOCIAL CAPITAL AND START EARLY

Do something in the community. This is by participation in community activities, meetings etc. Identify issues at hand. Like Comrade Otim Bosmic saw the pain and decay in culture.

He took to songs to educate people. Today Bosmic after education he did to get papers required, he is a force.

Look at President levels. Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi, Bobi wine, embarked on edu-formative music on dictatorship and plight of Ugandans. He saw opposition doing business running everytime.

He walked the talk by forming many initiatives for Ghetto people. He built a team. Mentored and inspired them. He even set a charity helping Ugandans.

Today in Gulu, Mr JB Uhuru, has become an icon for youth activism on human rights. He defends the people, he leads demonstrations against electricity outages etc.

Now he is a secretary mobilizing for CT scan for Lacor hospital. People are beginning to believe in him. When he runs, he will have a reason to tell people why he wants leadership.

2. IDENTIFY A PARTY.

Get a Party or a group. The most versatile group now is people power. You can decide to run as DP, FDC, JEMA, or any registered Party. But can decide as independent.

3. RESPECT OLD LEADERS.

Never ever abuse your opponent . Never mention their names but your programs. You may be going against a member of parliament who has been in parliament for 20 years .

Explain to the people how much members get, calculate that for the years they have been in parliament and contrast with poverty on the ground. Explain the role members of parliament. Let them know how damn their member has been quiet and Show handsard.

4. RESOURCES.

Many people are scared to run. They think it’s too expensive. No. Ensure you raise registration money, poster, fliers, and transportation for your team. In 2006 I had only posters and a song by Bosmic, bol kwir Bot Emma wa! The song highlighting my work for the community. Get a local musician to do your manifesto.

5. BUILD A TEAM (personnel team)

In 2006, I built a team of young and old people. Led by Ocen Timothy now in the army, Otim Bosmic, Tonny Blair Opoka, Opoks, Odong CP, Among Francesca, Mego Joyce and two elders etc. This team goes to asses the field.

I had over 20 members. We meet daily. We decentralized our campaign. Each member would form a network at their respective areas. We built a team in all villages.

6. BUILD CAMPAIGN TEAM

Now this is the the team to deliver victory. This team will now set a termite network.

Nb. This is how I managed my two campaigns for Gulu municipality. I used it for my stance as DP National Spokesperson. I won in Mbale. Over 3000 Ugandans participated in electing me its Spokesperson. 2008-2011.

You will ask me, you lost all elections but one. In 2006, out of 4 candidates, I lost by 2%. HON ochieng Penytoo[FDC-Reagan and key] garnered 7700 votes, Komakech Lyandro about 5700 [DP backed by the former MP]] me, Mwaka Lutukumoi [ Independent by voters] 5400, Todwong Richard [NRM-MUSEVENI] 3400, OPIRA Sylvester, [100 votes].

I lost by accident! In 2011 he got 300 votes! He was last.

lost because FDC was the fashionable party then. Dp decampinged me as a mole. My decampinge manager was the District DP chairman and team. The reason was I jumped the cue as a young man.

In 2011, I was National Spokesperson DP. I ran as DP. We had toxic conflicts in DP. I had 4 rounds of primary elections with my opponent Hon Komakech Lyandro, now MP Gulu.

After taking the flag, again I was almost like independent. My Party DP supported FDC against me. After becoming second and looking at reasons for losing all linked to internal fights, I expected same fight and losing stupidly. I told my Party I am quitting and joining government. Painfully I joined government and continued with my fights on corruption and bad governance. I was punished and I quit. I am not fit there!

LESSONS.

NEVER over put your trust in a party but yourself and people. I spent over 60% of my time working for the Party as it’s Spokesperson.

Never be afraid to make mistakes, do it now, it might help. Make a decision bad or good and own it.

Have emotional intelligence. Never attack elders at any time. I was confronted by very popular people Both loved by Acholi and Uganda.

HON Norbert Mao of Gulu and he was fully behind Komakech Lyandro. I campaigned, when a team member attacks Mao, or the public, I restrain them and praise Mao as our future president. Todate, I can’t stand any one attacking Mao. He is my mentor. I rushed as a youth and also didn’t listen at times. It takes two to tangle. Respect elders and you will earn respect.

Another strong person was Hon Okumu Reagan of Aswa. He attacked me for Penytoo on Radio, but I praised him when on radio. Journalists wanted me to attack them.

Read and learn to appreciate your team. Always remind them of how they make you what you are. Remember, leadership is not height or age, its what exude that counts.

Develop a strong message. When I was confronted by challenges, no money for drinks, transportation. I developed a strong message.

My message was Lacungudwar. A Great leader, my top agenda was development through education. I have a vocational school I can show and scholars who testified. Others from as far as Aswa county.

You may asked, he had vocational school. But you can show people you mentored and programs you innitiated.

You can ensure you visit all village women and youth groups and inspire them on saving. Youth on available government programs and help them write projects. This you can show.

Show you are not only local but National.

Start writing opinion on National newspapers. Put great opinion on several social media groups. Become resourceful.

Me I told my voters, I will run for parliament two times. I did in 2006 and 2011. In 2016 I had a chance I refused. I said my next election will be presidential not parliament. Now I am ready to support anyone running for any position. Morally and financially. As Emmanuel or as People power sympathizer.

Finally, I won’t give you all strategies to win, when setting a trap for a bird, edible big bird, you don’t set the trap in broad day light, or when its swing. I want to say, if Barack Obama can be first black USA president , yes you can. After you run, whether you win or lose, you will be different! Good luck.

NB. IF MY ADVICE WAS USEFUL, EMAIL ME YOUR IDENTITY AND STATE YOUR CONSTITUENCY AND CV.

MWAKA Lutukumoi
emwaka1977@gmail.com.

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