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June 16, 2024
Kampala Daily
NUP Orders Former LoP Mathias Mpuuga to Resign After Pocketing Shs500m Cash Reward

I will not resign, Mathius Mpuuga ‘swears’ as He responds to NUP party President Bobi Wine

Nyendo-Mukungwe MP Mathias Mpuuga has rejected what he called “a cowardly call” on him by his National Unity Platform (NUP) party to resign as a parliamentary commissioner over allegations of corruption and abuse of office.

He said in a statement he issued on Friday (March 1) that he declined the call based on spite, envy and deliberate misrepresentation.

Mpuuga is also NUP’s deputy president for the Buganda region and the former Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP).

“The general public is aware and alive to the internal intrigue and machinations unfortunately within this young party over the last two-and-a-half years, during my occupation of the coveted office of the LOP. It became the official style of different party leaders to undermine my work, including hiring bloggers to abuse and insult my person,” he said.

Mpuuga said he stayed committed and calm throughout these most compelling times because the call to serve above self remained his creed.

“I wish to assure the general membership of NUP and all change-seeking forces that this shall remain my resolve, and I cannot be deterred by small-group-family interests being peddled to blur the bigger picture of how the party is being managed without transparency,” he said.

Mpuuga began his statement by saying that his attention had been drawn to “an unsigned document purportedly attributed to his party, calling for his resignation inter-alia based on falsehoods and terrible misapprehension of facts including basic ones”.

He used the statement to initially reconfirm his commitment to the core values of the party, which he said he verily understood and cherished more than many now, embroiled in mischief.

“I shall continue to be of service to my party, among others; in helping to educate all those interested and able to learn the culture of institutional building. The duties and roles of the parliamentary commission are well stipulated in the laws of the land, and coughed in basic language,” he wrote.

An issue, he said, he shared and laboured to educate his comrades with whom they interacted in an informal conversation at the party offices.

“It is the same commission that votes funds to all political offices, including the LOP’s office. It takes care of the welfare of ordinary members and their leaders in Parliament, including determining the range of legally permissible payments, that may be salary, allowances, gratuity, honoraria, car grants, among others,” he argued.

Explains payments

Every decision of the commission to confer or reward anyone under its charge, Mpuuga said, is subjected to the relevant committees of Parliament for legality, feasibility, sustainability and relevancy.

“To call any such payments corruption is the highest level of spite, double standards and deliberate misrepresentation to the public and membership of the party on a purely selfish mission. If such payments amounted to corruption, all current and previous MPs would be compelled to refund to the public coffers monies paid as gratuity or honoraria since no MP, current and previous was not paid gratuity at the determination of the parliamentary commission,” he said.

He said the general public has every right to question the decisions of their leaders at every level.

“This right should never be exploited by self-seekers, opportunists and populists to undermine, berate and smear those they consider in unpalatable terms to their brand of politics,” he said.

The campaign to character assassinate me is deliberate, he contended, and he said he was perfectly aware.

“It’s well orchestrated and well-funded. I am ready for the worst, if it takes this sacrifice to return sanity and common sense to our politics. I am available as ever to help this young party rid any form of corruption from its rank and file and especially that ingrained at the base of the party,” he said.

What NUP statement said

The February 29, 2024 NUP statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, said that Mpuuga admitted that he took part in the parliamentary commissioners irregularly awarding themselves huge sums of taxpayers’ money on the pretext of “service awards”.

Under the scheme, the party said, Mpuuga was allocated sh500m and he admitted it and apologised for taking part “in this wrongdoing”.

It also said that the meeting in which Mpuuga apologised was urgently convened by party president Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and was attended by senior leaders, including all deputy presidents and some of its senior legislators.

“At the meeting, Rt. Hon. Mpuuga admitted that he indeed took part in this wrongdoing and apologised for the same. In light of this, he was strongly advised that the moral thing to do in the circumstances is to step down from his role as parliamentary commissioner with immediate effect,” the statement said.

It emphasized the party’s values of discipline, reliability, inclusiveness, integrity, patriotism and service.

“All acts of corruption and abuse of office go contrary to these values. They also go contrary to the Integrity Oath which every leader of the party swore at the start of this term,” the statement added.

The commission is the top decision-making organ of Parliament and comprises the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Leader of the Opposition and four backbench commissioners.

The term of office of the four backbench commissioners is two and a half years and they are entitled to get security guards, hefty allowances and official vehicles, among other perks of the job.

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