By Mulengera Reporters
All isn’t well inside the National Unity Platform (NUP) party regarding the position of Leader of Opposition (LoP). It’s increasingly becoming evident that the supporters of the incumbent LoP Mathias Mpuuga are increasingly becoming convinced and paranoid that their man is unwanted by power brokers at Kamwokya or even the Magere “State House,” as supporters fondly call Bobi Wine’s palatial residence.
There is growing fear among Mpuuga supporters that Mityana MP Francis Zaake could end up becoming the next LoP or even the reclusive Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, the woman MP for nearby Kasanda. Whereas it was originally expected the Nyendo-Mukungwe MP would serve out his 2.5 years, the most recent events (which saw Bobi Wine praise Zaake while veiledly castigating the current opposition leadership in Parliament) amplified fears that Magere might not have that patience.
Unprepared to let go without a fight, Mpuuga‘s supporters have lately resorted to using the social media space to work towards the obliteration of whoever exhibits displeasure with the way their man has performed thus far. They have also equally been very vigorous in publicizing what they consider to be Mpuuga‘s achievements in the last 2 years of his LoP-ship.
The seemingly well-coordinated effort is being spearheaded by a one Ntale Namuguzi, a highly brainy veteran of the anti-Museveni struggle who has always used his social media platforms to exhibit extreme contempt for Bobi Wine.
The whatsapp platform, christened “MASAKA NUP/DP KYOTO,” has been and remains one of the many fora the Ntale Namuguzi-led pro-Mpuuga activists have been using to pour direct and veiled scorn on Bobi Wine, Zaake and other NUP pillars who seem uncomfortable with the way Mpuuga has led thus far.
In a recent belligerent exchange, Namuguzi’s squad went as far dismissing Zaake as “intellectually disabled” and incapable of making a better LoP than Mpuuga. They dared Bobi Wine to fire Mpuuga and replace him with Zaake and see the extent to which the rest of Parliament will laugh at NUP.
Asserting that he is a registered voter in Busiimbi Naama A Ward in Mityana Municipality, Namuguzi went as far as stating that Zaake is the worst performing and dullest MP Mityana has ever produced since CA days.
Namuguzi didn’t spare the much-revered Bobi Wine who he implored Mpuuga adversaries to begin perceiving as one who “either ate or feared.” Using Luganda words (for much of the debate on Masaka Kyoto is in vernacular), the otherwise well-educated Namuguzi asserted that “Bobi Wine atekwa okuba nga yalya oba nga yatya.” This implies he was either bribed into silence or is too fearful or cowardly to lead the anti-Museveni protests whose absence is being blamed on Mpuuga‘s non-confrontational leadership and lack of appetite to behave belligerently towards NRM government officials using the floor of Parliament as a platform like Zaake recently tried to do and in the process getting for himself a lot of publicity.
The Namuguzi group of Mpuuga diehards have been using the Masaka Kyoto to insinuate that Zaake’s ouster from the Parliamentary Commission had nothing to do with betrayal by Mpuuga or Speaker Anita Among’s aggressiveness or intolerance but his indulgence into some selfish deal-making. Perhaps in a bid to avoid making an already bad situation worse or for desire to keep their best artillery for future battles which are expected to become more overt in the coming months, the Mpuuga loyalists haven’t been giving details on the alleged deal-making that is supposed to have cost Zaake the lucrative Parliament Commissioner Job.
On the Masaka Kyoto, the Mpuuga loyalists have clearly taken upper hand, outnumbered and silenced the pro-Bobi Wine voices. Besides the fearless Namuguzi, the Mpuuga diehards on the Masaka Kyoto (which has many MPs and other big-name opposition leaders) include Defiant Martin, Samalie Namuligi aka Nambtech General Suppliers, Mzee Petero, Richard Kiyemba, Quarish Jjumba, CBS’ Joseph Lukyamuzi, Ngobya, Mzee Kayita, Evelyne Nambogga (though sarcastic sometimes), Vianney Ndugga and others. The Bobi diehards who are clearly out to finish off Mpuuga while amplifying Zaake’s LoP job suitability include Ronald Kasekende, Hadijah Nakazzi, Anslem Sebuguzi, Bruno Serwadda and a few others.
The pro-Bobi Wine activists are easily dismissed as envious simply because they are jobless, broke and are generally portrayed as hostile to Mpuuga because they want to blackmail him into giving them money besides facilitating them with data to use to sing praises for him on social media.
Namuguzi recently disputed Bobi Wine’s leadership credentials (while praising Mpuuga who some of them are already calling the next President of NUP and Uganda) and contrasted him with Dr. Kizza Besigye who used to lead protests on the streets as opposed to inciting his supporters to blame his failure to oust Gen Museveni on the opposition leadership in Parliament. This point was corroborated by Defiant Martin who asserted that in a presidential system of governance like Uganda, Parliament has never been the platform through which regime change can be effected.
Ronald Kasekende, who leads the anti-Mpuuga squad that is also pro-Kyagulanyi, says that Mpuuga has let down people who ensured his 2021 reelection for 3rd term which is why those supporting him now on social media are activists from Kampala and other places because his support in Masaka has been diminished beyond redemption. That it has to be Kampala-based bloggers because the genuine opposition supporters in Masaka greatly resent Mpuuga.
The critics have also referred to the fact that it has had to be Mpuuga to deliver Among’s cash contributions at Catholic Church functions as opposed to NRM Ministers and other senior officials. Namuguzi has since responded to this saying that Mpuuga ceased to be an ordinary MP the day NUP made him LoP who won’t be easy to qualitatively replace. That being LoP makes him one of the top officials of Parliament, making it normal for him to be delegated to represent the Speaker at public functions regardless of differences in party affiliations.
In defending Kyagulanyi, the Kasekende group has gone as far as portraying Mpuuga’s supporters as materially too successful to ever endorse the idea of street protests. That they perceive those protesting as spoiling the party for them at a time groceries are being enjoyed by whoever offers readiness to defend the incumbent LoP. As we previously reported, some of these social media fights have resulted into some Masaka-based NUP activists dragging themselves to Police under the new Nsereko law. Details of our earlier reporting can be accessed here https://mulengeranews.com/inside-bobi-wines-masaka-trip-which-sealed-mpuugas-fate/.
Samalie Namuligi aka Nambtech recently faulted the escapist NUP Secretariat in Kamwokya for letting down the struggle while putting all the blame on Mpuuga who supporters now say is being envied by people at Kamwokya because he is intelligent and has been accepted by the whole country beyond just Buganda unlike Bobi Wine who hasn’t exhibited sufficient appetite to market the NUP party beyond Buganda. Namuligi branded the NUP Secretariat ‘dead’ and wondered why they blame MPs for “failing to remove the dictator” yet it’s them (Secretariat) who supposed to initiate protest activities like it used to be in Besigye’s days.
She was immediately contradicted by Hadijah Nakazzi who demanded that MPs must begin doing much more than anyone else because they have hefty salaries and a well-protected platform to publicize the struggle for regime change. She likened the MPs’ failure to lead street protests to abdication of their responsibility.
Yozefu Lukyamuzi weighed in too claiming that his man Mpuuga is in problems because Bobi Wine has failed to lead the struggle effectively yet guys at Kamwokya aren’t humble enough to acknowledge this painful reality. Mpuuga’s supporters have also claimed that their man is effective in his mobilization activities as can be seen in the ease with which NUP swept the votes in Buganda where he serves as Vice President.
Mpuuga’s supporters have also gone as far insinuating that Kamwokya hasn’t exhibited adequate respect for Mengo and Buganda Kingdom as seen in their refusal to prevail on bloggers like Fred Lumbuye who hide behind the Principal’s name to disparage the Kabaka of Buganda and his other officials. They have also accused Fred Nyanzi (head mobilization in NUP) of recruiting proxies to fight Mpuuga on social media simply because his efforts to use the Kunga campaign to undermine incumbent MPs failed.
Adversaries have instead asserted that Kunga didn’t go as far as had originally been anticipated because it was sabotaged by incumbent MPs like Mpuuga who saw it as a platform by Nyanzi to incite voters to begin asking them the hard questions. Mpuuga supporters are also angry that Kunga adherents in his volatile Masaka constituency led by Alice Nannungi have continued going through Fred Nyanzi to access the Principal without going through the LoP or seeking his clearance.
Bruno Junior Serwadda, one of the key Bobi Wine/Zaake diehard supporters on the Masaka Kyoto, says Mpuuga is negative towards all NUP mobilization activities in his Masaka backyard because he fears such will give publicity for and raise the profile of upcoming and more popular NUP politicians who might overshadow him and his cronies during the 2025 party primary elections for flag bearership. Such adversaries have demanded that Mpuuga calls it a day and goes for Presidency in 2026 so that younger and more authentic party cadres also get the chance to shine and eat things in Parliament like he has been since 2011 when he first became area MP.
Kasekende has branded Mpuuga’s supporters mere mercenaries/abachuba who he claims have accepted to be facilitated and used by ‘old foxes’ to frustrate their fellow younger politicians who are supposed to become the new Parliament level leaders for Masaka come 2026. Even when his credentials as a cadre for NUP are being disputed largely because of the many years he served in DP, and the contempt he originally had towards People Power, Kasekende has already declared readiness to replace Mpuuga as Nyendo Mukungwe MP come 2026 on the NUP ticket.
During the New Year’s eve Nkuuka festival in Mengo Palace, Katikkiro Mayiga ensured the Kabaka got to personally greet Mathias Mpuuga and this has since become the new artillery for his supporters on the Masaka Kyoto whatsapp platform who have since been using the resultant pictorials to depict their man as a political leader who is more appreciated by the King than Bobi Wine who was conspicuously absent as Mpuuga enjoyed the unrivaled red carpet momentum during this year’s Enkuuka as the crowd ululated.
Francis Zaake registers his vote of no confidence in Mpuuga’s leadership over the opposition front at Parliament.
At the same time, two recent media interviews the two belligerent NUP leaders (namely Zaake and Mpuuga) gave have given additional voter for their respective social media supporters. Zaake spoke first and his NBS clip portrayed him as depicting some NUP colleagues (who he didn’t name) as using their positions at Parliament to make money and make themselves great at the expense of the broader struggle for regime change. He adds that for him is here to use the platform to publicize ordinary Ugandans’ problems and promises to keep doing that.
Mpuuga throwing veiled barbs at Zaake whose credentials to make an effective LoP he disputes.
In his veiled response, Mpuuga used Katikiro Mayiga’s BBS Terefayina to vigorously respond to the unflattering portrayal Zaake (who many want to become the next LoP) depicted in his earlier interview. On the same Masaka Kyoto whatsapp platform, protagonists loyal to the two feuding NUP leaders felt emboldened by the two political rivals’ interviews to carry on with their belligerent exchanges. As all this is happening, Kamwokya (many of whose officials are members of the popular whatsapp platform) has officially remained silent yet there is clear urgent need for de-escalation as the Mpuuga squad seems well motivated and energized to keep contradicting Zaake and his perceived patron Bobi Wine. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).