DO IT YOURSELF! LoP Mpuuga goes bare-handed in the face of criticism over commodity price protests |
Kampala | Pepper News – The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP), Mathias Mpuuga, has asked a section of Ugandans to wonder why his leadership of the National Unity Platform (NUP) did not join the protests against commodity prices, saying they themselves had a duty to stand up and not wait for NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi.
Opposition kingpin and former chairman of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Colonel (Rtd), Dr Kizza Besigye, who has since been returned to Luzira prison, recently launched protests to put pressure on the government to stop the rapid inflation.
This week, female FDC leaders, including Kampala Deputy Mayor Doreen Nyanjura and Soroti MP Anna Adeke Ebaju and others, staged another protest at Mulago roundabout to demand government intervention against the rising of the cost of living.
The FDC women have been remanded in custody until next week when the court will rule on their bail application. Amid all this, some Ugandans have wondered why the NUP, the largest opposition party in parliament, is silent on the issue.
“We issued the statement to parliament on behalf of our party regarding the price leak of essential goods. But the regime did not consider anything. We asked them to cut high taxes and reduce their appetite for spending, but nothing was considered,” Mpuuga told reporters at the NUP offices in Kamwokya on Tuesday.
He said the government let Ugandans suffer, which should have compelled all Ugandans to rise up against bad governance and stop questioning what opposition leaders are doing.
“Stop wondering why we didn’t join. Don’t wait for Kyagulanyi to do anything, do it yourself. Kyagulanyi is a leader, likewise you are a leader in your own capacity because you are the head of a family that is constrained. We want to invite our fellow citizens to live. It’s a question of time. If you want change tomorrow, you will have it tomorrow. I want to invite you to participate in all the activities that will accelerate the new Uganda. Citizens, we want to invite you to participate. We all have a duty and this duty must be performed by everyone who feels concerned, who feels offended by what is happening in the country,” Mpuuga said.
Interestingly, a section of NUP supporters called the Besigye protests a state-orchestrated “hijacking”. Jolly Mugisha, the NUP Vice President for Western Uganda has called on some Ugandans to stop saying that all is well in Western Uganda since the President is from that part of the country.
“You know the ironic thing about Uganda, most people think everything is fine in western Uganda because the dictator is from there. I want to say this categorically, things are worse even in western Uganda. We die alive,” Mugisha said.
She said people in western Uganda are not happy with the government’s decision to build roads in Congo and schools in Tanzania, but schools and roads in western Uganda are in a sorry state.
Speaking about the just-concluded Omoro parliamentary by-elections, Mpuuga said the exercise was marred by violence, corruption of votes and the highest levels of criminality, orchestrated by the NRM regime.
“Omoro is a crime scene for the crime that took place there. The young man who claims to have won is also a witness to this crime. The bribes, torture, citizen brutality, arrests and results declared by a militia were a sign of the wrong direction we have taken as a country,” Mpuuga said.
The Electoral Commission has declared National Resistance Movement (NRM) party candidate Andrew Ojok Oulanyah the winner of the Omoro County parliamentary by-election with 14,224 votes, beating his closest NUP rival, Simon Toolit Akecha. The seat became vacant following the death of Ojok’s father, Jacob Oulanyah, in March 2022.