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Speaker Among: NUP has no powers to recall Mpuuga as Parliament Commissioner

Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among (L), has said that the National Unity Platform (NUP) party has no right to recall Mr Mathias Mpuuga (R) as the Commissioner of Parliament

Kampala, (UG):- The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among, has said that the National Unity Platform (NUP) party has no right to recall Mr Mathias Mpuuga as the Commissioner of Parliament.

In a letter dated March 25, 2024, directed to the NUP Secretary General Mr David Lewis Rubongoya, Ms Among states that under the law, political parties are limited to nominating candidates for the election to the office of Commissioner of Parliament.

She was referring to Rubongoya’s letter dated March 18, 2024, addressing her of the NUP’s decision to recall Mr Mpuuga as the Commissioner of Parliament and replace him with Mityana Municipality MP, Hon Francis Zaake.

“Parliamentary Commissioners are elected by Parliament by virtue of section 2 of the Administration of Parliament, Cap 257 and rule 11 (4) of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda. The role of the parties under the law is limited to nominating candidates for election to the office of the commissioner of parliament as stipulated in sub-section 2(2b),” Ms Among’s letter reads in part.

According to her NUP’s letter has no basis or foundation in law.

“To do so as you (NUP) request would amount to fettering the authority vested in the House by the clear and unambiguous section 5 of the Administration of Parliament Act resulting in undesirable legal consequences in line with the decision of the Constitutional Court of Uganda in Fox Odoi-Oywelowo and James Akampumuza Versus Attorney General, Constitutional petition number 8 of 2003,” Mr Among responded, adding: “I can, therefore, not implement it.” 

The Speaker’s response was made public just hours after Mr Mpuuga on Tuesday addressed journalists and vowed not to leave NUP or step down from the parliamentary commission.

“I will not respond to that letter, save to restate my position as communicated earlier to the Party and nation that I affirm the fact that I confess no wrongdoing whether in law or elementary common sense. The position of the law has been clarified to whoever wishes to understand but not to deliberately slander me or gain short-term political capital out of the current situation. So I do state my position, it is the position of the law and common sense. I wish to reassure all comrades in the struggle for a fair Uganda that my commitment has never waned and I will not and shall never be part of any form of corruption. I have never been indicted of corruption, I am never corrupt and nobody will invite me into corruption,” Mr Mpuuga told journalists during a press briefing at Parliament.

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He added that he would not quit a party he helped found like many wanted him to. Instead, he would stay and help streamline its operation and ensure discipline among members.

“I am a founder of NUP, I did not just join from nowhere but I was part of the founding blocks – where I serve as the deputy president in charge of Buganda. I am also here to reaffirm that I am not leaving NUP, I am not here to do anything to destroy or kill it. So, whoever thought they were hounding me out… I am here for keeps,” Mr Mpuuga vowed.

Mpuuga’s woes

The National Unity Platform accuses Mpuuga of engaging in acts of “corruption and abuse of office” when he, together with members of the NRM Parliamentary Commission, irregularly allocated himself Shs500m of the 1.7 billion shillings categorised as “service awards” in a meeting chaired by Speaker of Parliament Anita Among.

At that time, Mpuuga was the Leader of the Opposition in the House before he was dropped from the position and appointed Commissioner of Parliament.

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Although NUP asked Mpuuga to return the money he received, apologize to Ugandans, and step down voluntarily from his role as Parliament Commissioner, he has defiantly refused to honour any of the party’s request.

The internal bickering in NUP has raised concerns that the biggest opposition political party is headed for a split just two years ahead of the 2026 elections.

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