On October 10, 2023, opposition members of parliament disrupted plenary sessions in parliament by walking out abruptly and threatening not to return until the government apologised for alleged security forces abuse.
Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition, while holding a meeting with the opposition MPs the next day, re-echoed the earlier demand for an apology from the government before they would return to parliament.
“Those actions should never be repeated because they have no space in law or common sense. We aren’t going to look on as we see politics become vulgar and NRM is happy about disrespecting our leaders and party offices,” Mpuuga said.
However, barely a day had passed when the same MPs, who vowed not to return to parliament, attended parliament yesterday, October 12, 2023, and, to everyone’s knowledge, no apology was ever given by government.
According to political analyst Charles Matovu, the opposition MPs’ intentions of causing chaos by walking out of parliament did not turn out as anticipated.
“We all know what the opposition has been trying to do; cause chaos that would lead the country into total anarchy, forcing security operatives’ to act so that they collect evidence for the International Criminal Court (ICC), but that plan backfired; they had to return to parliament,” Matovu said.
Matovu notes that what is being witnessed are intentions by opposition to cause an uprising, like it was in Egypt, Libya, and Sudan, where the population was pushed into marching on the streets calling for regime change, which ended horribly for civilians.
“Take, for example, the prayers organised by NUP on October 9, 2023, at the party headquarters in Kamwokya. If one was keen, you could have noticed that the people arriving for prayers wore hooded clothes. Ask yourselves, why would someone arriving for prayers be hooded?” the source stated.
He noted that most NUP assemblies are filled with utterances that incite and are abusive in nature, citing the current incident of Francis Zaake, Member of Parliament for Mityana, who gave a speech on Independence Day while visiting Rakai district and chose to use vulgar language against the woman member of parliament for Rakai.
On October 9, 2023, Zaake used foul language during his independence speech in Rakai, where he urged voters never again to vote stupid, old, prostitutes, or smelly women into parliament. Zaake went on to attack Juliet Kinyamatama Women District Member of Parliament Rakai, calling her all sorts of names.
“Imagine that kind of language from a legislator, insulting fellow legislators. He knows this will rile up the government to do something to defend women, which is why he says these things. He is an instigator who hates women,” Matovu stated.
On October 12, 2023, the video was played in parliament amidst protests from some opposition members, and the female members of parliament, especially women, who heard his language and insults peddled at women almost beat him up.
The house, chaired by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, was forced to adjourn to next week as the members tempers could not be calmed after listening to Zaake’s triggering words.
Matovu states that these kinds of stunts by the opposition are not about to end because it is one of their methods being employed to cause chaos since the country tours did not bear fruit and the one million march was stopped.
“From storming out of parliament without cause to making defamatory statements about prominent figures, the opposition has proven that it will know no boundaries if it means enriching themselves,” Matovu said.