Mpuuga rules out forming new political party

Nyendo Mukungwe legislator Mathias Mpuuga arrives at Kitovu Sports Arena in Masaka City for his thanksgiving ceremony on June 21,2024. PHOTO/ANTONIO KALYANGO.

What you need to know:

  • Many speakers at the event called for unity.
  • Mpuuga to dedicate his energy to seeking electoral reforms, nurturing youth

Nyendo-Mukungwe Member of Parliament Mathias Mpuuga has ruled out the possibility of creating a new political formation, insisting that he is still a member of the National Unity Platform (NUP) headed by former presidential contender Robert Kyagulanyi who suspended him as his deputy for Buganda region.

However, Mr Mpuuga, the former Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, said he will dedicate all his energies to teaching Ugandan youth clean politics and also mobilising change-seeking forces to demand for electoral reforms that will deliver the first peaceful political transition in Uganda.

“Many people have been asking what Mpuuga plans to announce today; is it a new party, becoming NUP President or President of Uganda? Let me answer them; I am capable of doing those three things, but my focus is going to be on nurturing the youth to become good leaders,” he said during his thanksgiving ceremony at Kitovu Sports Arena in Masaka City on Friday.
As he continues to dive into murky political waters, Mr Mpuuga , said he will be more conscious about the people he deals with.
“What I have gone through has taught me many lessons and starting today, I will first observe what other people do, not what they say before deciding to work with them,” he said.

Mr Mpuuga who was flanked by his wife, Maria Nabbanja, said he would not avenge those who have been maligning him but promised to jealously protect his name. 
“This time round no one is going to malign me and just walk away. I will defend my name at all costs, but I remain calm as usual,” he said.
He called upon fellow politicians to refocus on key issues that are impacting the lives of Ugandans instead of struggling to put each other down.
 “There are key issues that require redress like how resources are shared among Ugandans, the overwhelming size of Parliament, and service delivery. These require working with everyone, including those we take as enemies because they also have a share in this country,” he noted.
Mr Mpuuga , currently a commissioner of Parliament is at loggerheads with the leadership of his party which has accused him of corruption. The dispute arose from a service award of Shs1.7 billion which he and other three commissioners from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) awarded themselves in 2023.

Mr Mpuuga who was at the time LoP got Shs500 million while the other commissioners, Prossy Mbabazi Akampurira (Rubanda Woman MP), Esther Afoyochan (Zombo Woman MP) and Solomon Silwanyi (Bukooli Central MP) got Shs400 million each. Ms Akampurira, Ms Afoyochan and Mr Silwanyi were among the guests at Mr Mpuuga’s thanksgiving ceremony.
Mr Kyagulanyi asked Mr Mpuuga to step down as commissioner and also apologize to Ugandans for alleged corruption and betraying his party members.

He rejected the call, arguing that he deserved the one-off award and that it was not criminal in any way. 

Mr Aloyious Lubega Magandaazi , the Ngabi Clan head handing over a gift to Mr Mathias Mpuuga during the thanksgiving at Kitovu Sports Arene on June 21,2024. PHOTO/ ANTONIA KALYANGO

Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, the Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro, who was expected as the chief guest and the main celebrant Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Rev Paul Ssemogerere sent emissaries.

In his message delivered by his second deputy, Mr Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa, Mr Mayiga hailed Mr Mpuuga for offering leadership that has focused on promoting Buganda kingdom and the wellbeing of Ugandans.
“His[Mpuuga’s] leadership has been fruitful since he started his leadership journey with Buganda Kingdom to date. In other political offices Mr Mpuuga has occupied since he left Mengo in 2011, he has displayed good leadership. We urge him to keep up to those standards as he furthers his political journey,” he said.

He further condemned the current trend of politics that involves mudslinging leaders with divergent views and asked politicians to calm down, respect each other, and reconcile to foster unity.
Busiro East MP Mr Merdard Ssegoona defended Mr Mpuuga whom he described as a long-time friend and brother for pocketing the service award. He described those who term the said award as an act of corruption as ignorant about how Parliament operates.
“Some of those commenting about it [service award] are doing it intentionally to mislead people yet others lack knowledge on how Parliament works. The money they are commenting about was passed through the right procedures of Parliament,” he said.
Quoting the Bible and greater philosophers like Aristotle, Mr Ssegoona said the current bickering among NUP top leadership will soon be history.

 “It is not too late to reconcile and I am confident that very soon we shall resolve our differences and move on,” he added.   

In his homily, Msgr John Baptist Sebayigga, the   Vicar General Kampala Archdiocese who led the Mass urged all leaders to prioritize love and unity in whatever they do.

“Several Ugandans are highly burdened by challenges like heavy taxes, among others which require a unified voice of leaders to improve the living standards of all Ugandans,” he noted.
The ceremony was attended by over 12 legislators from both the ruling NRM and Opposition political parties.