NUP cites ruling party’s invisible hand in Kibalama saga

NUP deputy spokesperson Alex Waisswa Mufumbiro. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

What you need to know:

  • The Electoral Commission (EC) clarified that NUP is still under the stewardship of Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine.

The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has accused the ruling government of having a hand in their fight for party ownership.

NUP deputy spokesperson Alex Waisswa Mufumbiro said the party’s disagreements with a faction led by the party’s founding leader, Mr Moses Nkonge Kibalama, is a plot by the regime to divert the Opposition party from pushing for issues of national importance.

“If Museveni wants to fight us, let him come out directly and fight. If you do not want NUP, ban it and we start another party as People Power,” Mr Mufumbiro told journalists at the party headquarters in Kampala yesterday.

“Teachers are striking because of emolument. Our children have been home for two years and they are now not studying because of the strike. We should not waste time discussing party ownership when the whole country has been thrown into chaos,” he added.

Last week, a NUP faction under the stewardship of Mr Kibalama unveiled their new party headquarters in Kabowa, Kampala, and warned the current leadership based in Kamwokya, another city suburb, against using the party colours and symbols without authorisation.

Mr Mufumbiro, however, said the issue of party ownership was resolved in courts of law and that it shouldn’t be used as a trick to divert the public from discussing issues affecting the country such as the ongoing Arts teachers’ strike.

He described those claiming to own the party as dreamers.

“The matter of ownership is a resting matter because it was addressed in court. As NUP, we are on the foundation that was ushered in by the powers of the people. We also accept other people to impose themselves the way they do because it is their freedom to dream,” Mr Mufumbiro said.
But National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Richard Todwong described as “nonsense” allegations that the ruling party is behind the power fights at NUP.

“That is nonsense. They should sort out their mess. We are not involved anywhere in their internal issue,” he said.

Speaking at the same press conference, NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi expressed concern over the plight of striking arts teachers over poor pay. 

“There are no teachers who are more important than others. As National Unity Platform, we want to sound our strong support for the teachers in this country. We are in solidarity with them because they are raising critical issues. They should stand up and raise their voices so that there is fairness across and they shouldn’t be intimidated,” he said.

Mr Ssenyonyi said the postponement of the Women Council elections by the EC has greatly affected the party since they had already committed a lot of funds and time in the process. Last week, EC chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama announced the postponement of the elections citing lack of funds.

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