As the debate of human rights and rule of law continues to rise in Uganda, the leader of opposition who is also a member of the National Unity Platform (NUP), Mathias Mpuuga is in the spotlight after he suggested to have constitutional and electoral reforms as top agenda of the opposition in parliament to curb the alleged human rights abuses in the country.
While Addressing worshipers who turned up for the Christmas Mass at Kitovu Cathedral in Masaka City, Mpuuga said that introduction of political and electoral reforms top the opposition’s priority list in Parliament for 2023, and revealed that the program for countrywide consultations will be unveiled soon.
Mpuuga promised that moving forward starting with January he and other opposition members will prioritize that in parliament and that they will take the lead in the process in the next session of Parliament scheduled to commence in January 2023.
January is already gone and no single reform has been suggested by any member of the opposition and someone out there thinks LoP will deliver on the promise.
From a leader of opposition with some honorable members that have not appeared in parliament since swearing in, and some who just attend but have never said a word before the floor of Parliament, the promise to have electoral and constitutional reforms could be a long way from the reality to be spearheaded by opposition MPs.
In Feb last year, LoP mobilized fellow opposition members to boycott parliament sitting on claims of arrest and torture of key opposition supporters who later on were found to be key criminals terrorizing Kampala.
For the government to accept electoral and constitutional reforms from NUP is like being led by a blind man.
“It is important to note that the NRM government has a solid track record in rebuilding the state, its institutions and the laws that govern this country and so far they really don’t seem to need any advice from the National Unity Platform and other opposition members,” Ofwono Opondo said.
The electoral malpractices and electoral processes within NUP were contested by many members as some accused the top leadership of having favorites and dictated on who gets the NUP flag based on personal relationship with the principle rather than personal leadership skills of the candidates. Are these the people we can trust with electoral reforms?
In July 2021, NUP suggested having the NUP constitution amended to have the powers of the party chairman increased.
Among the powers that the constitution gives to its president include appointing many of the party officials which include the deputy president from each of the four regions of the country.
However, the most glaring powers given to the president are those in which he chooses almost half of the membership of the Delegates Conference. In fact, these powers make it almost impossible for the current president to be voted out of power.
Is this a party to lead on constitutional reforms? As long as there is still a lot to be desired from within the internal processes of the self-proclaimed savior in NUP.
The promise of leading on constitutional and electoral reforms by the party leaders is just a hoax which many Ugandans won’t fall for, not now, not soon and not in the near future.