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Mpuuga to Bobi: You are clueless; I’m coming to reform NUP

Bobi Wine with Mathias Mpuuga

Bobi Wine with Mathias Mpuuga

Cracks within the National Unity Platform (NUP), Uganda’s largest opposition political party, have grown wider after Mathias Mpuuga, its deputy president, hit back at those calling for his resignation over alleged abuse of taxpayers’ funds, arguing that the leadership of the party is clueless about how to galvanise its supporters ahead of the 2026 general elections.

Mpuuga has been in the eye of the storm after a social media campaign, under the hashtag #UgandanParliamentaryExhibition, released a trove of documents that pointed to him receiving a service award of Shs 500 million, which his party leaders interpreted as extravagance at a time when many poor Ugandans are struggling to put meals on the table.

The party then wrote to the speaker of parliament, Anita Among, requesting for the withdrawal of Mpuuga’s appointment as parliamentary commissioner.

In a press conference held at the parliamentary commission’s boardroom, a defiant Mpuuga said in the coming days he will lay out his plans of reforming NUP to rid it of what he called obscurantism, nepotism, corruption, greed, abuse of office, extortion, blackmail, defamation, slander and lack of internal democracy.

He then launched a salvo at Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, the president of NUP, for hiding behind accountability to portray him [Mpuuga] as “a terrible human being” as a way of character-assassinating him.

Mpuuga said that the public has failed to buy into Kyagulanyi’s smear campaign, adding that many in the party leadership feel the approach
the party has taken to portray him as corrupt is proof that the leadership only had a score to settle with him. He said that he has no intention of leaving NUP because he is a founding member of the party, and that he is not there on anyone’s invitation.

“I reassure the entire NUP leadership, membership, supporters, and the general public that NUP is my party and I harbour no intentions whatsoever of leaving; I am going nowhere; rather, I will in the coming days embark on a process of instituting internal party reforms to make it a credible and competent government in waiting,” Mpuuga said.

He added: “The largest opposition party [NUP] looks clueless and unable to guide its bruised cadreship. I’m going nowhere.”

TEST OF POWER

Mpuuga’s resolve to stay and fight within the party offers the first real test of a power struggle within the party. While there have been murmurs of a toxic relationship between Mpuuga and Kyagulanyi, the expose from the social media campaign has triggered a spark for a full-blown power struggle, with the battle lines now clearly drawn out.

The timing of this internal fight comes less than two years before Uganda goes to the polls, with the onlookers waiting to see whether the party will emerge out of this rabble scarred or stronger.

Talk of the ruling party bankrolling moles to operate within the opposition camps is as old as the country’s multiparty system, and it is one allegation that Mpuuga will have to shake off in the coming months if his message is to be bought.

On the other hand, Kyagulanyi’s ways of purging officials who harbour bigger leadership roles in the party could be misconstrued as a big-man mentality of stifling any room for questioning decisions passed by the party.

STILL DEFIANT

Mpuuga assured the ‘comrades in the struggle’ that his commitment has never waned. He promised he will never be part of any form of corruption, and no one will invite him into it.

“When we find ourselves disagreeable on anything in our midst, we must find mechanisms for mature resolution, which is different from grandstanding and desire to settle political scores at the expense of the reputations of comrades with whom we struggle to offer the country better leadership,” he said.

“Ugandans must be encouraged at all times to question the decisions of their leaders, especially those in higher offices, and make critical decisions on their behalf. In the current circumstances, it is also not difficult to tell that the objective was never on accountability, because no one provides financial accountability at press conferences and on social media.”

Mpuuga noted that he is appalled that instead of NUP focusing on the issues that matter such as President Museveni’s candid creation of a dynasty by appointing his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba as the chief of defense forces (CDF), and the renewal of the term of the Electoral Commission commissioners who bungled and fidgeted with the last election, they are busy engaging in minor issues.

Reached out for a coment, David Lewis Rubongoya, the party secretary general who is also being accused by many Mpuuga supporters of being one of those fermenting chaos in NUP, said he has watched Mpuuga’s address but wouldn’t want to respond before the leadership team meets.

geofreyserugo1992@gmail.com

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Comments

+7 #1 jose 2024-03-27 10:38
My brother Mpuuga, its not very common to dig own graves. But you have dug your grave in politics, i also want to assure you you may not achieve your dream of making any change in NUP, we are here. You awarded yourself 500m/= and you deny corruption!

Its NUP that appointed you as commissioner, not Among the monster of of corruption.
The law is is simple and clear, its even clear Zaake trounced her in courts law
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+2 #2 Lakwena 2024-03-27 11:16
In other words, money is the source of social economic and political problem in this country.

After swallowing the fat frog, Hon Mpuuga expresses the same nastiness and arrogance with which e.g. Hon Patrick Amuriat and Nandala Mafabi humiliated Dr. Besigye (Katonga) and Hijacked FDC Headquarter in Najjanakumbi.

With one foot in DP and the other in the NRM; it was the same nastiness and arrogance with which Hon Norbert Mao and DP Secretary General (name worth forgetting) left DP in ruins and the dust of collapse.
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+3 #3 Lakwena 2024-03-27 11:46
But if according to Mpuuga, pocketing Shs.500m is a minor issues and he should be left alone, makes me feel as though we are not living in the same country called Uganda.

Compare e.g., if with a Parliamentary Commission stroke of the pen, Mpuuga could pocket Shs.500m (half a billion) and walk away; what should the thousand of KCCA Street Cleaners, who have not been paid their 6 months slave wage since Nov 2023, do?

In other words, this country needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. And the people who for 39 years and counting; have been robbing us blind, should be shaken upside-down until the last coin they have stolen drops.
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+6 #4 Uhuru 2024-03-27 12:37
Let me vote betweem Mguuga and Kyagulanyi. I vooooooote Kyagulanyi.
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+7 #5 apollo 2024-03-27 12:57
The true grievance against Hon. Mpuuga lies not in technicalities and legalities, which he appears to use as a shield.

It is not the 'service award' that is the problem, rather, it is the ' thirty pieces of silver' that he received to betray the activism of the opposition forces for the period he was in the position of Leader of Opposition in the Parliament.

The corruption is not looked at in the legal or technical sense, rather, it is looked at in the moral and historical sense.

It is values and empowerment of the population he represented, which was stifled and infringed upon by the inactions, diversions, procrastinations, aversions and parabola.
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+7 #6 Wamala 2024-03-27 13:03
Mpuuga."I am going nowhere; rather, I will in the coming days embark on a process of instituting internal party reforms to make it a credible and competent government in waiting,”

Why don't you do that in your former party DP or form your own party?
Believe me,no body is believing your grand standing, you are CORRUPT.
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+2 #7 kabayekka 2024-03-27 14:03
What exactly is the meaning of clueless especially for these Ganda politicians who want to resume their participation in dodgy NRM general elections?

One hopes they have learnt more lessons from FDC about why Buganda Kingdom state is not going to participate in Uganda so called democratic elections anymore.

What then is this politician Mpuuga or anyone else going to do to reform and process the Unity of Uganda through NRM multi party democracy?
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+2 #8 Kidepwe 2024-03-27 18:52
Phew. It's amazing how quickly things can unravel and fall apart.

The formerly erstwhile buddies are now drawing daggers at each other? The sorcerer Museveni consults certainly deserves a raise, in whatever consultation fees he pays him/her.
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+6 #9 A K Mukasa 2024-03-27 22:02
Interesting that he failed to galvanise those in DP and jumped ship but now he is threatening to galvanise those in NUP.

Sometimes you can start believing your own hype. In DP he was simply a bag carrier and he would be one if it was not for Bobi Wine. What an ingrate.
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