MATHIAS MPUUGA TELLS WHY HE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HOSTILE TO TAYEBWA, AMONG & OULANYAH TO PROVE TO BE OPPOSITION
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By Mulengera Reporters
The LoP Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba says he won’t be “jumping around” directing hostilities to fellow leaders at Parliament simply because he wants to demonstrate and prove his credentials as a committed opposition leader. While appearing on NBS’ Morning Breeze program this Wednesday morning, Mpuuga assured moderator Simon Njala Kaggwa that simply isn’t his style.
He stressed that those expecting him to use the LoP office to direct belligerence towards the state, even where it’s not necessary, simply because he wants to mimic his predecessors (Nandala Mafabi, Wafula Oguttu, Winnie Kiiza and Betty Aol) are going to be very disappointed. The Masaka Municipality MP said he is naturally a gentleman wholly sold to the diplomatic approach and there is no way he is going to pretend to change simply because ordinary opposition supporters on the street expect belligerent confrontation. He asserted that affording that pretense would require a “plastic person” which he isn’t.
Njala specifically accused Mpuuga of offering what he called “lukewarm” leadership which had in effect demoralized and killed activism which is aimed at ensuring that a high cost is imposed on Gen Museveni to remain President of Uganda. Njala implied that by choosing to be a LoP who has warmly related with key NRM leaders at Parliament namely Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Deputy Speaker Anita Among and Thomas Tayebwa, Mpuuga had lowered that cost and thereby strengthening Museveni’s presidency. He put it to him that his ‘lukewarm’ leadership was the reason was ruling comfortably without fearing any activism-related surprises but the LoP was emphatically unrepentant.
In his broad response, Mpuuga said that, much as the opposition leadership in Parliament is obliged to engage in things which can amplify activism outside Parliament, opposition supporters on the streets have actually a larger obligation to embolden MPs to act in a certain way while taking on those ruling the county. Mpuuga implied those interested in activism, which he too believes in except that it must be properly planned, don’t require permission from those in Parliament to do their thing. And in any case, if there is sustained activism outside Parliament, it becomes easier for those in the House to prioritize and push the agenda of the broader public and opposition outside Parliament.
Saying he had no apologies to make for being a LoP that works well with the Speaker, Deputy and GCW, Mpuuga said he doesn’t want to be remembered for being a LoP who was reckless and overlooked realities such as the fact that NRM remains numerically very strong in the House. He also said as LoP, he is required to work well with the trio because he inevitably serves with them at the level of Parliamentary Commission where many decisions affecting the legislature are taken from. To have effective input at that level, he implied, you can’t avoid harmoniously working with the trio.
He challenged Njala to tell him what his predecessors, who the moderator praised for maintaining a belligerent and hostile relationship towards none opposition leaders at Parliament, achieved in all those years. He said he was confident he is doing a great job because his party bosses at Kamwokya are happy and very much satisfied with his performance. Mpuuga (who sources say will eventually be replaced by Kasanda Woman MP Flavia Kalule Nabagabe who is already doing rehearsals in the anticipation she will deploy eloquence and womanhood to move Mountains just like Kiiza did) asserted that there is no way leaders can have similar leadership style and strategy.
The Masaka Municipality MP, who was here to talk about his first 100 days, explained that the more than 100 opposition MPs he leads come from 6 opposition parties with each having its own ideology and style. Mpuuga added that there are as many strategies and approaches as the number of parties in Parliament implying it would be inappropriate for anyone to judge him as LoP basing on the extent to which his approach and style differs from his predecessors’.
Regarding what he has been able to accomplish thus far, the wordsmith from Buddu referred to the fact that opposition forces are more united now in Parliament than before he was made LoP. That there is cohesion and recently when he unveiled his legislative agenda, several leaders from the 6 parties were present and they were unanimous in their words of solidarity and encouragement regarding the maturity with which he had approached leadership thus far.
He added that he constituted a shadow cabinet of 30 Ministers who are able and ready to work having undergone orientation to deepen understanding of what is expected of them. He also referred to the four accountability committees being shepherded by men and women who were deployed by NUP. That the orientation of members will be next and the LoP insisted there is a lot their respective supporters outside Parliament should be optimistic for.
He also said he was most likely going to be successful in his efforts to lobby the trio of GCW, Anita Among, Speaker Oulanyah and others in the Commission to fund his office more so as to enable him adequately recruit staff (inevitably creating eating opportunities for more of his hangers on) to support the outing of things the opposition has prioritized under his legislative agenda. That the cracking of partners from the CSOs, whose funding has been diminished as a result of Covid19-related constraints, had left the opposition in Parliament in an equally awkward position while depriving them of would-be very productive partnerships.
The Leader of Opposition also highlighted the need to use his tenure to prioritize discussion on the issue of political transition which he said was now the elephant in the room. But Njala, out to contradict the LoP at every opportunity, loudly wondered why the same was never made conspicuous in the legislative agenda if indeed the LoP is being honest about this.
Mpuuga said the matter clearly came out in his document adding that not making it as conspicuous as Njala would have wished to see was a matter of strategy and tactics because it’s something many NRM MPs aren’t comfortable giving their views about as yet. Njala maintained that without fully embracing activism and stepping forward to lead the same, Mpuuga risks being misunderstood by many opposition diehards on the street, something the LoP (who has been in Parliament since 2011) said he wasn’t that much bothered about. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).