OpED

Open Letter to Mathias Mpuuga: Leader of Opposition in Parliament

Mathias Mpuuga is the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (PHOTO /Courtesy)

When asked about what she will miss the most about being Leader of Opposition in Parliament, the outgoing Rt Hon. Betty Aol Achan was bold and clear in answering the question: “I will miss having the right of way and the escort cars”.

With this answer, Madam Achan had summed up exactly what had gone wrong with the opposition in Uganda. To put it simply; the opposition in Uganda got trapped in the temptations of power, and lost their way.

Instead of using their positions in opposition to push for political power, many members of the opposition actually opted for ‘opposition careerism’ as a way of conducting politics.

Since 2001, the leaders of the opposition may have got their ‘right of way’ but they certainly lost ‘their way’ and failed to do the right things for the people who sent them there.

Since it became the leading party in opposition, the FDC has been consistently losing numerical strength in parliament (from almost 80 MP’s in 2006, to 60 MPs in 2011, 55 in 2016 and now 35 in 2021). Today the FDC is second to a party (NUP) that has been in existence for merely 6 months.

The Democratic Party(DP) had 15 MPs in 2016 but got only 9 in the recently concluded 2021 general elections. Clearly, the trends and misfortunes in numbers for the FDC and DP are telling us that these 2 are doing something terribly wrong, regardless of the circumstances.

Dr. Besigye and FDC may have kept the candle of opposition politics burning in Uganda, but they failed to inflame it so it can burn out dictatorship and rekindle democracy.

For the faithful of the National Unity Platform, we do not want our leader the Rt. Hon. Mathias Mpuuga to take on the the Besigye and FDC template of opposition politics built over the last 20 years. We want to see a different and determined new ‘Kya, kya, kya’ style of politics to bring about change.

We are advising Mathias Mpuuga to take on this new style. The Constitution and the Law might describe him as Leader of Opposition, but in reality we want Mathias to be the ‘Leader of Our Position’ in Parliament.

And our position is clear: We want comprehensive and independently verifiable electoral reforms with IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems) as the consultant helping in formulating the reforms.

We want a return to term limits and to see that M7 has a clear and irreversible plan to hand over power peacefully to a new democratically elected leader. We want a full and forensic audit of every ballot that was cast by every Ugandan in the January 2021 general elections.

We want an end to the military siege on civil life in Uganda. A stop to all abductions, kidnappings, torture and hostage taking of Ugandans.

Uganda government must release all investigation reports relating to the murder of innocent Ugandans since Andrew Kayiira, Robinah Kiyingi and many others up to the recently attempted assassination of Gen. Katumba Wamala

We want and unconditional release of all political hostages in Uganda. We want a stop to the governance of the country with corruption, malice, hate and state motivated tribalism.

We want to see a transitional government that is tasked with creating ‘transitional order’. In this transitional government, we want to see Ugandans in the diaspora playing a key role.

We do not want to hear an old FDC saying that “NRM strengths in numbers have crippled us” because there are ways and steps that can be taken to overcome the tyranny of fraudulently obtained NRM numbers in parliament.

The problem with occupants of leaders of opposition office in the past is that they have taken the office to be a privilege rather than an undertaking. This has to change.

We want the NRM cabal in Parliament to know that it’s not going to be business as usual until all our demands are met. The Leader of our Position, working with the rest of our team, must start thinking out of the box with a view to ensure that NRM numbers in parliament cannot stop the revolution.

We must make it clear to the NRM government that they either start with our business, and implement to a satisfactory level, or there won’t be business for them as usual for the whole term of office.

The Besigye/FDC template of opposition politics which has been built over the last 20 years must be abandoned because it has proved to be a confirmed failure.

Members of NUP seeking change

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