Trusted News Portal

Mpuuga’s 500M ‘SERVICE AWARD’: What was Given in Exchange?


– Advertisement –

“We all know that a matter involving huge sums of money and is not legislated but a matter of negotiation normally involves GIVE AND TAKE. The people of Uganda would love to know what the Hon. Mpuuga gave in exchange for the big favor.” – Bobi Wine, March 2024.

The President of the National Unity Platform (NUP), Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, is accusing his Vice President of the Buganda region, Mathias Mpuuga, of relinquishing his position as parliamentary Commissioner over allegations of bribery. Until recently, Mathias Mpuuga had been the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP) before being replaced. Instead, he was appointed Commissioner of Parliament. It is alleged that a Parliamentary Commission meeting, chaired by the Speaker, resolved to give 500 million shillings to the LOP as a one-time payoff dubbed a “service award.”

In response, Mpuuga has downplayed the allegation, describing it as a well-orchestrated and deliberate campaign designed to character assassinate him. He went ahead to dismiss the call for his resignation:

“To call such payment corruption is the highest level of spite, double standards, and deliberate misrepresentation to the public and membership of the party on a purely selfish and malicious mission. I accordingly decline the cowardly call on me to resign as a Parliamentary Commissioner.”

– Advertisement –

It is worth noting that the said Parliamentary Commission’s resolution took place after NUP’s Zaake had been chased from the same commission by the Speaker. Could Mpuuga have had a hand in Zaake’s sacking?

Mathias Mpuuga’s tenure as Leader of the Opposition (LOP) was characterized by a diplomatic approach, in contrast to the hardline activism advocated by most parliamentary members. He was accused of being too soft in his approach and, at worst, compromising with the Speaker of Parliament for the Museveni regime. Towards the end of 2023, speculation was rife that for these reasons, his party would not accord him another term as LOP.

On October 10, 2023, while Mpuuga was away, the acting LOP, Muwanga Kivumbi, tasked the government to explain the arrests of their party leaders. When the Deputy Speaker shielded the government, Kivumbi threatened to lead a walkout from the Chambers, stating, “We have two demands: we receive an immediate explanation from the government of their actions and accountability, or I will lead these Honourable Members outside the chamber.” Indeed, Kivumbi led the walkout of opposition legislators.

Upon returning to office, Mathias Mpuuga engaged in demanding accountability from the government. When the Clerk to Parliament refused to play a video showing police brutality, he led another walkout of opposition legislators on October 18, 2023. When both the Prime Minister and the Minister of State for Internal Affairs arrogantly informed parliament that the government had no more explanations to offer, Mpuuga led yet another walkout on October 19, 2023. He proceeded to formulate a list of critical issues requiring government response, including the report for the 2020 killings, the continued disappearance of 18 of their party supporters, targeting and victimization of Muslims, kidnappings and detention without trial of political dissenters, shrinking civic space, trial of civilians in army courts, and human rights violations against fishing communities, politicians, and media personnel.

As the walkout gained momentum, the regime feared that it could spread beyond parliament, leading to a mass uprising. Additionally, it was concerned about the three international conferences it was scheduled to host: the Commonwealth Speakers Forum, the G-77 + China, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), all scheduled for the next month. In response, the regime directed the Speaker of Parliament, who was on maternity leave, to return to office. She came back with threats and blackmail against the protesting legislators. Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker was spearheading dialogue between some sections of the opposition and the executive.

Mpuuga stood his ground, stating, “The issues we are raising are legitimate. We are consistent and persistent about them because they are very pertinent and legitimate. Whether it takes a generation or more for a response to be provided, we want that response. Probably the only difference is that we are not going to back down until there is a response that is acceptable.” His public standing rose as the country anxiously waited to see how the standoff would end. However, as the dates for the international conferences approached, the regime sank deeper into panic mode.

In a turn of events, Mpuuga unceremoniously ended the boycott without achieving a single objective. Consequently, the international conferences successfully took place, and thereafter, the regime resumed its brutality against political dissent. As a result, the regime awarded Mpuuga with a hero’s medal in the form of the aforementioned “service award.”


Story Source:  Peril of Africa

– Advertisement –

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.