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NUP Not Giving Up On Pursuing Mpuuga

NUP Not Giving Up On Pursuing Mpuuga

The National Unity Platform (NUP) has issued an ultimatum of seven days to Mathias Mpuuga, the former leader of the Opposition, to defend himself or step down from the position of Parliamentary Commissioner.

Mpuuga has been accused of receiving a “good service award” of Shs500 million from Parliament, leading to allegations of corruption and abuse of office.

Recently, the NUP requested Mpuuga, who is also the deputy president of the Buganda region, to resign from his role as parliamentary commissioner.

Mpuuga, however, said last week that he would not resign from his position, arguing that the party’s advice was based on falsehoods and a misinterpretation of facts.

He denied the allegations of fraudulently receiving the Shs500 million ‘service award’ from Parliament.

According to Mpuuga, the money was legally allocated to him by a commission in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition, following the necessary parliamentary procedures.

“To call any such payments corruption is the highest level of spite, double standards, and deliberate misrepresentation to the public and membership of the Party on a purely selfish mission,” he stated.

But the leader of NUP, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, insisted that Mpuuga had admitted to wrongdoing and apologised for corruption and abuse of office during a meeting with party leaders.

Kyagulanyi challenged Mpuuga to explain what he had given in exchange for the Shs500 million awards, stating that it involved negotiation and ‘give and take.’

In a statement, the deputy party of NUP in Western region, Zedriga, expressed concern over the corruption scandal involving Mpuuga and the mismanagement of public affairs by the leadership of the Parliament of Uganda.

Zedriga stated that Mpuuga admitted his involvement in the matter during a party meeting on February 28, 2024, as well as publicly.

She emphasized that such actions were illegal, immoral, and contrary to the principles and objectives of the National Unity Platform.

Referring to the Leadership Code Act (2002), Zedriga highlighted that Mpuuga’s participation in discussions concerning his personal interests violated the law.

She added that it contradicted the party’s commitment to serving the people of Uganda diligently and ensuring the proper management of public resources.

In response to the allegations, the National Executive Committee of NUP held a meeting on March 4, 2024, where Mpuuga was invited but did not attend.

“The National Executive Committee considered the serious accusations against you and resolved to ask you to show cause in writing, why you should not be recalled from the Parliamentary Commission, to which the party seconded you as member,” she noted.

The purpose of this response is to enable the National Executive Committee to make an informed decision regarding Mpuuga’s position as a member of the Parliamentary Commission.

“You are requested to respond within Seven days from the date of receipt of this notice to enable the National Executive Committee take an appropriate decision,” she said.

It remains uncertain whether Mpuuga will comply with the party’s call for a written response to the resolution to recall him from his current position as a commissioner of parliament.

Marlon Agaba, the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, expressed concern about the state of affairs in the country’s parliament.

Agaba argued that the opposition’s role, which is meant to provide checks and balances to the government, has been compromised, rendering the system ineffective.

“In Uganda, the problem is partly due to the over commercialisation of our politics. MPs spend a lot up to Shs1 billion, to get elected to Parliament and when they get there, the focus is on recouping what was spent during elections, while also planning for the next elections. This makes MPs vulnerable and beggars,” he said.

Recently, Dan Muliika, the former Katikkiro of Buganda, criticised Mpuuga for accepting the money, saying NUP members succumbing to such bribes was disheartening and went against the values of the party.

Mpuuga’s predecessors Winnie Kiiza and Prof Ogenga Latigo also expressed differing views on the service award.

Kiiza suggested it should be streamlined to the Office of LoP rather than individuals like Mpuuga while Latigo argued that the Parliamentary Commission’s decision was illegal as there was no legal backing for the rewards program.

Medard Sseggona, the Member of Parliament for Busiro East, accused Kyagulanyi of mishandling the corruption allegations against Mpuuga.

Sseggona criticised Kyagulanyi’s approach, stating that as a leader, he should allow others to speak before making statements.

“If you are a leader and you are the first to make such a statement, it’s wrong because as a leader when you speak, nobody else is going to speak,” he said.

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