By Arnold Arinaitwe
The biggest opposition party in Parliament- the National Unity Platform (NUP) is on the verge of collapse as divisionism, blackmail, and infightings rock the Kamwokya-based radical political faction.
Three years after its formation, NUP headed by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine entered the political space with a vigor that many thought would not extinguish. However, insiders say it is just a matter of time now that Kyagulanyi and his NUP party would go into extinction.
It all started when Hon Mathias Mpuuga, a seasoned, mature, and intellectually sound politician rose the ladders as one of the Suubi group members. He was named vice president Buganda and indeed used his experience and influence in a region where he had served the Kabaka as a youth minister to give NUP a resounding victory propelling him to its current position as Leader of the Opposition in parliament.
However, Mpuuga’s position did not come without any challenges since the NUP president Kyagulanyi and some elements at Kamwokya had preferred John Baptist Nambeshe apparently to balance regions but faced resistance from Buganda and the catholic church. It was not only Mpuuga and his Ssuubi associates that joined NUP, there were others from the DP including Suleiman Kidandala, Kenneth Paul Kakande, Mukaku Lubega, Ssempala Kigozi Sajjalyabeene, and Michael Mabikke among others.
These were all dropped despite having worked tirelessly in the initial stages of the people power movement and the party formation Observers think this was the first level of Kyagulanyi’s destruction of his party by accepting to lose such brains. Others who left different parties to join Kyagulanyi include David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, and Nambeshe Derrick Nyeko all from NRM.
Two years down the road even former DP members who stuck with NUP seem frustrated as they are being referred to as DP members instead of NUP to which they belong. The DP group is seen through flamboyant Medard Lubega Seggona who does not mince words and does not entertain the nonsense from the so-called foot soldiers, Muwanga Kivumbi, equally unwelcoming to Kamwokya mediocrity, Betty Nambooze who is currently indisposed and Mathias Mpuuga who is more accommodative than the rest of the group yet he is the one that the Kamwokya group is most afraid of. Insiders say, that with this at the back of his mind, Kyagulanyi has resorted to using elements within the party against Mpuuga.
The attackers mainly on social media are led by none other than party deputy spokesman Waiswa Mufumbiro. In the 2021 general elections, Mufumbiro contested in Jinja municipality west but only managed about 1000 votes, losing to FDC’s Batuwa Timothy. Like Moses Bigirwa, Mufumbiro is the one who does all the NUP dirty work; abusing and insulting NUP members who are not in tandem with their principal’s cult. Mufumbiro has been heard in several circles attacking Mpuuga, saying that Mpuuga is building a political base to rival Bobi wine.
He says Mpuuga, a host of MPs loyal to him and his old friends from DP including the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago harbor presidential ambitions and they have since settled on Mpuuga therefore according to Mufumbiro everything must be done to undermine Mpuuga by tainting his image. Many NUP supporters are concerned that people like Mufumbiro have driven Kyagulanyi into a self-destruction mode where he is even afraid of his shadow and constantly personally attacking his members. Yet Mufumbiro and his group are so quiet about their leader Kyagulanyi global trotting from one country to another now going back to his entertainment trade by staging concerts and charging revelers in dollars and pounds in the guise of fundraising for the struggle.
Questions arise why Bobi Wine also travels for international meetings meant for the party with musical partners like Nubian Li and selector Davie instead of party chiefs like Secretary General Louis Rubongoya or at least the LoP who also doubles as deputy president. Has Bobi Wine retreated to music and used NUP as a tool for his music career than a serious political challenge to the dictatorship? Bobi Wine has been into launching films abroad, and musical performances in Germany, US, Netherlands, and the UAE, when does he concentrate to build a young party NUP?
The writer is a Pan-African