The National Unity Platform (NUP) Leadership, under the guidance of Robert Kyagulanyi (commonly known as Bobi Wine), has succumbed to pressure from gay funders in the United States and the United Kingdom. Consequently, they have relieved Mathias Mpuuga of his position as the Leader of the Opposition (LOP) in the Ugandan Parliament. The decision came in response to allegations that Mpuuga failed to advance the funders’ agenda, despite significant financial support towards the party.
During his recent visit to the UK, Bobi Wine appeared on BBC, where he was questioned about his stance on the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda. In his response, he accused members of parliament from his own NUP party of colluding with the ruling NRM president to pass the bill.
Off air, Bobi Wine was cornered to elaborate further on his statements. According to sources, he revealed that Mpuuga had obstructed the advancement of the gay agenda, which was a major concern for their international funders. The sources suggest that Bobi Wine’s hand was forced by the threat of losing support and the potential exposure of his alleged financial mismanagement.
“Bobi Wine told the funders that, it is hard discussing homosexuality and bribing MPS to support it with Mpuuga’s steadfast leadership, he said that it is hard to compromise Mpuuga and also difficult to replace him as LOP, since some elites believe and trust in his kind of politics,” said the source.
In response to the pressure exerted by the funders, Bobi Wine abruptly cut his trip short and returned to Uganda. In a subsequent meeting, excluding Mpuuga, it was purportedly decided that he would be replaced as LOP. While in the meeting, Bobi Wine also shared unverified information claiming that Mpuuga was a state agent who undermined NUP’s progress. What he concealed from the group, as per the inside source, was the fact that he had been instructed by his gay funders to dismiss Mpuuga with immediate effect.
The decision to dismiss Mpuuga has raised concerns about NUP’s future. Some political analysts argue that sacrificing the opposition party’s members to please donors is a reckless move by Bobi Wine, especially in a country like Uganda where homosexuality continues to be a contentious issue due to cultural factors.
According to Yusuf Sserunkuma a political analyst, NUP is headed for collapse, eliminating people like Mpuuga on grounds of pleasing donors is a serious miscalculation by Bobi Wine in support of homosexuality knowing how Uganda’s culture is.
Sserunkuma also noted that the allocation of the opposition ministries’ postings is a sham, almost all postings are from central with a few in the North and barely anything from the West.
“ Is this what we call equal opportunities Central region Buganda – 18 opposition Ministers, Eastern Region- 2, Northern Region- 5, Western Region-1, would you call this an inclusive government or a rewarding government which is sectarian,?” queried Sserunkuma.
NUP executed a reshuffle of opposition ministries in Parliament on December 22, 2023, resulting in several members being reassigned to different positions. Mpuuga’s removal as LOP led to Joel Ssenyonyi’s promotion to the role. However, during the meetings, Bobi Wine faced resistance from many attendees, particularly Nambeshe, whom he suggested be replaced as the opposition chief whip. However, Lewis Rubongonya, the party secretary, cautioned Bobi Wine against pursuing this route, citing Nambeshe and Mpuuga’s seniority within the party.
The dismissal of Mathias Mpuuga as the Leader of the Opposition marks a critical turning point for NUP. The political ramifications of capitulating to external pressures and concerns about a lack of regional representation raise uncertainties about the party’s future direction.