OP-ED

HUDU HUSSEIN: Do we need the NUP ‘gangerism’ character in Uganda today?

By Hudu Hussein

I have no personal vendetta against Robert Kyagulanyi’s NUP. I only take issue with the political degradation within the party he heads, despite the good opportunity he has to make things happen just like Hon. Nobert Mao.

History shows us that pressure groups, political parties and even individuals have killed the spirit of nations before. We learn from the past that Hitler murdered millions of Jews and other categories that did not fit his theory of “a pure race” unchallenged. He turned Germany into a savage nation through his extreme and inhuman Nazi ideas.

We must never fear, like the political class of the 1930s and 40s then, to speak up against dangerous political mannerisms that may destroy and have the potential to end the life of a nation. Do we need a “NUP” in Uganda today?

Recently, Mathias Mpuuga was fired by Bobi Wine from the office of Leader of Opposition in Parliament. At the NUP headquarters, there were jubilations not because Mpuuga did such a great job for them and his exit was being applauded, but rather because finally, someone who is unlike NUP was being washed away from its top echelons. For them, opposition is no opposition if it is not dirty and tainted with extremism and gangsterism.

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Personally, I find Mpuuga relatively decent, though rated. He has created an aura of a somewhat superficial intelligence based on an English accent but most times not substance. That notwithstanding, he was still overqualified for the LOP position, particularly in NUP. This is a teacher and an MP of more than 10 years’ experience, served on the Buganda Lukiiko and has been in politics since his university days.

Mpuuga was among the young DP university students who started the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD). He had managed to sanitise and dignify the NUP. Unfortunately for NUP, this man was fired by Bobi Wine whose biggest political achievement is standing against Museveni and being the MP of Kyadondo through a by-election.

In a normal and serious political setting, the credentials of Bobi Wine whether intellectually or even politically would disqualify him from being vested with such political power as to decide the leader of opposition in a country. The likes of Abed Bwanika, Ssegonna, and even Ssenyonyi are political hostages. Some of these prospered in DP. They were proud to be associated with a party whose decisions were made on principles. They joined NUP to win elections, not for any ideological reason.

Like many self-seekers today, they shifted for a short-term benefit and their choice will begin to haunt them one by one. Mathias is just the first victim of the gang-like Firebase crew fashioned leadership of Bobi Wine where Eddy Mutwe and Nubian Lee, with all due respect, influence party decisions more than these seasoned politicians. 

Some Ugandans therefore find themselves embracing an opposition which knows neither where it comes from nor where it is headed. A party whose decisions are largely made according to the wishes of some Western forces and the reactions of a gang, but without a clear ideological campus. 

In a recent BBC interview, Allan Kassujja tasked President Museveni to answer whether he was willing to work with Bobi Wine just like he works with Mao now. In sheer portrayal of humility, he said yes, he would work with Bobi Wine. My disappointment with Kassujja is he did not ask the president; in what capacity he would employ one like Bobi Wine, because, unlike Mao who is known for his constitutional ideals, Bobi is known for complaining on social media and inciting violence. 

History has told us that a revolutionary from Childhood, young Museveni was as early as his secondary school days ideologically focused. It is reported that after secondary school, he went on to teach and used the proceeds from teaching to buy land in Rwakitura. At university, he decampaigned nomadism and sensitized his community to modern farming.

Today, Kiruhura and almost the entire western Uganda have a good number of model districts on modern farming methods following the seeds planted by a young visionary! We continuously preach this to the NUP leadership and today’s youths, to emulate Museveni’s ideals, not deceptive defiance and gangsterism which make NUP irrelevant today!

When Museveni formed the NRM, he called it a mass party, a party for all. The original purpose was to unite all Ugandans in the singular effort of creating an economically viable population. In fact, the likes of DP’s Ssemwogere, Ssebana Kizito, and UPC Ephraim Kamuntu, among others were appointed as ministers by President Museveni with the intention of building and uniting the country. 

We should acknowledge that Uganda is a young country still discovering its potential. Our need is still economic, not political! 

The political parties such as the conservative party and the Labour Party in the UK are important in their social structure because the people in the UK are not that poor. They have a system established and an economy that is defined and predictable. They can now argue which party is best ideologically oriented to maintain and improve the system.

Comparatively, we are not in a similar situation. We are a uniform society under the same umbrella of economic need. This explains why the opposition parties exist for no purpose except to put up a show of Western democracy. Our society is still fit for a mass party and it is only after we have economically become formidable that the necessity for political parties shall arise as a natural consequence of differing economic and political ideas. 

Unfortunately, the country must now grapple with a population of youths being distracted from nation-building and economic literacy to tribalism, chauvinism, LGBTI, and gangsterism, among other non-essential issues. This is dangerous, it hinders steady economic advancement. 

Therefore, Uganda does not need a NUP today, we need to embrace a mass party system with a clearly defined purpose of nation-building, uniting all to set up an economic system where the entire population is productive and innovative. The current opposition parties must put an end to the politics of insult, dirt, blackmail and Western puppetry! 

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This is a cancer slowly eating up many of our youths lost in a party without any foundation.

The writer is a Lawyer and RCC Masaka City



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