There is a brewing storm in the opposition National Unity Platform after a section of supporters in the diaspora asked President Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu to remove Mathias Mpuuga from his position as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
Led by one Maria Nankya Stockwell during an interactive session with Bobi Wine in Boston, USA over the weekend, the party members claim they do not trust Mpuuga as the leader of the party’s business in parliament due to his treacherous nature and dishonesty.
“If you bring back Mathias (Mpuuga) we shall fight with you, I do not like people who are traitors, indeed, if you come back here with him (Mpuuga) come dressed in overalls because we shall fight,” Nankya said.
“We are tired of him, you have so many people who can do his job, take him out of office, he is full of betrayal or else we are going to fight with you,” she added amidst cheers.
On his part, Bobi Wine appreciated them for the efforts they extends towards supporting the struggle and encouraged them to remain united and avoid anybody who attempts to sow seeds of ‘division amongst us’.
A few days to Bobi Wine’s visit, Mpuuga who was also in the USA found a torrid time addressing NUP supporters who grilled him and he ended the meeting without ceremony.
Mpuuga would later comment that there seems to be a group of people hell-bent on creating a collision course in the NUP and such people will not be tolerated.
According to Mpuuga, such individuals have been infiltrated by the ruling party to sow seeds of hatred and division within the party.
A rift in the party has been reported by several media in recent times, brewing between members loyal to Mpuuga and those against his leadership.
In a September media interview, Bobi Wine said that he was aware of NUP lawmakers who have been compromised.
“They are quite a number, but we shall stand with the many that are still strong,” he said.
When contacted for a comment on the reports, Mr Mpuuga said he can’t respond to such allegations.
“You expect me to respond to such,” Mpuuga wondered.
Joel Ssenyonyi, the NUP spokesperson distanced the party’s top leadership from the claims and said these are individual views of supporters that they have a right to express but said the party has its own ways of doing things.
”I have not seen that yet, there is so much we are handling here with the committee and so on. So I haven’t seen that particular issue. Of course, individual supporters of the party can have a particular view,” said Ssenyonyi when asked about the reports.
Why are you calling me this particular time because a supporter is saying something? A supporter can have different views. I don’t know whether every supporter of NUP would want Ssenyonyi to be COSASE chairman. And they (supporters) have a right to express their views, no one should ever stop them,” he added.
Ssenyonyi further noted that the party has to keep doing the work they have to do, and reiterated that Hon Mathias Mpuuga is still the LOP with no doubt.
“We have got to keep doing the work we have got to do. Hon Mathias Mpuuga is our LOP currently and he has got work to do. Let give chance to do that work,”
The development comes after Mpuuga publicly disagreed with Bobi Wine over the revised term limits in NUP which compels leaders including MPs to only hold office for two terms.
Mpuuga said holding offices by Members of Parliament should not be based on term limits but on the votes of voters.
“Term limits aren’t something that should give anybody headache, term limits are easily solved by the voters,” he said.
Mpuuga also said that the amendments will impede the development of the struggling political party, which currently needs experienced legislators.
According to a source within NUP, this confusion has come about as a result of the amendment of the constitution, which was done behind Mpuuga’s back, and hence he feels betrayed by a party he calls his own.
The source further said that the opposition legislators in NUP are involved in a silent scramble for the office of Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
The source revealed that it is against this background that LOP has threatened to quit the party.
The source said that the infighting within NUP’s top leadership is deepening, and Bobi Wine has since remained silent about it.
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