The National Unity Platform (NUP) has been cautioned by Solomon Silwany, who represents Bukooli Central in the Bugiri district, of the possible repercussions of deposing Mathias Mpuuga as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
Silwany said that Mpuuga has been a powerful symbol of the opposition and praised his excellent work during his time.
On Monday’s NBS Morning Breeze, Silwany, speaking as Mpuuga’s tenure as Leader of the Opposition draws to a close in December, praised Mpuuga for his strong leadership and brought attention to his part in establishing the opposition’s identity.
Silwany voiced his disapproval of Mpuuga’s decision to boycott parliament sessions in protest of human rights abuses in Uganda, and he questioned Mpuuga’s ability to effectively lead the opposition from outside the chamber.
“Who are you leading if you step down as opposition leader and leave parliament?” I thought you were in charge of the rebels from Kaberamaido. In order to fill the government in on the whereabouts of the missing people, they requested information from the Opposition Leader. According to him, they do not have comprehensive reports.
Having a calm and motivating leader like Mpuuga at the head is crucial, according to Silwany.
You need a sober leader of opposition parties (LOP) who can rally other factions to join, since while the present leadership has done a great job, Mpuuga has kept the opposition in check. He warned that nothing good would come out of dealing with an activist and an unpredictable individual.
Nonetheless, views on Mpuuga’s leadership within NUP remain divided.
There will always be party members who see Mpuuga as compromised, according to George Musisi, a lawyer linked with the National Unity Platform (NUP).
Musisi emphasized that Mpuuga had an inherent issue in coping with such attitudes.
He said that Mpuuga’s prominence has risen dramatically due to his recent work to highlight human rights issues in the nation, which has been in line with the party’s fundamental goals since 2021.
Although Musisi lauded Mpuuga’s efforts to visit the families of victims of kidnappings and killings as a successful tactic, it is unclear whether or not this had any effect on the party leadership’s decision to give him another term.
The media has given a lot of airtime to the supposed conflicts between Mpuuga’s devoted followers and his detractors.
Mpuuga and Kyagulanyi allegedly have different approaches, which has caused friction inside the party.
Concerns over Mpuuga’s capacity to hold on to his post as his tenure winds down have been sown by certain NUP supporters who have openly demanded his replacement.
It would appear that Mpuuga’s latest effort to rally the opposition to boycott Parliament is succeeding.
Nevertheless, it is still unclear if this would be enough to gain the complete confidence of the party leadership.
To show their disapproval of what they see as the government’s indifference to human rights abuses, opposition lawmakers have staged several walkouts from Parliament throughout the last month.
Some of the requests made by the opposition include solving the cases of the 18 verified missing Ugandans, bringing those involved for the deaths in November 2020 to justice, and making sure that Muslims jailed around the country are held accountable.
There are further requests, such as the abolition of political prisoners held in military prisons, an end to imprisonment without trial, an investigation into the deaths of fishermen by the military, and the parliamentary presence of the minister of justice to address these issues.
Analysts are wondering if Mpuuga is trying to renew his tenure by deliberately aligning himself with party head Robert Kyagulanyi, because his time is almost over.
In deciding Mpuuga’s fate as NUP leader, the complex internal politics of the opposition party and the larger national concerns will certainly play crucial roles.