Abed Bwanika, the Member of Parliament representing Kimaanya Kabonera constituency within the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, has thrown down the gauntlet to party president Robert Kyagulanyi by daring him to remove Mathias Mpuuga from the party’s ranks. This daring move comes as divisions within the NUP intensify following Mpuuga’s suspension of the party’s mobilization campaign, Kunga, in the Masaka region.
Recently, Mathias Mpuuga, who also holds the position of NUP’s Deputy President for Buganda region, halted Kunga activities in Masaka, citing the undermining of regional leaders by certain ground mobilizers involved in the campaign.
However, this decision by Mpuuga did not sit well with the party president or the National Mobilizer, Fred Nyanzi, who accused him of working against the party’s objectives of bringing about regime change.
Fred Nyanzi emphasized that the Kunga campaign plays a crucial role in building momentum for the upcoming grassroots structures elections of the party. Therefore, anyone hindering this initiative is perceived as obstructing the party’s progress and aligning with those in power.
On the other hand, the DP bloc faction within the NUP, which includes Abed Bwanika and Medard Ssegona, has expressed support for Mathias Mpuuga. They argue that Mpuuga is being unfairly targeted by self-serving politicians lacking insight.
During a talk show on CBS on February 3, 2024, Abed Bwanika criticized the Kunga campaigners, asserting that any attempts by certain individuals in Kamwokya to undermine Mpuuga or regional leaders in Masaka will not succeed. He emphasized that the political landscape in Masaka is shaped by individuals with more thoughtful strategies, contrasting them with Bobi Wine’s supporters who sport red berets.
Furthermore, Abed Bwanika directly challenged Kyagulanyi to expel Mpuuga if he deems it necessary. Bwanika highlighted Mpuuga’s influential role as the Deputy President of the Buganda region, indicating that his decision regarding the Kunga campaign cannot be overruled by lesser political figures like Fred Nyanzi or even the party president himself.
Adding to the dissent within the party, Medard Ssegona, the Busiro MP, condemned the “Nyanzi Cohort” of foot soldiers, referring to them as individuals lacking intelligence, for criticizing Mpuuga without understanding his contributions. Ssegona praised Mpuuga as one of the party’s finest activists deserving of respect.
With tensions escalating, political analysts predict a potential irreparable split within the NUP, akin to the fate of the FDC, with one faction comprising the DP bloc of political elites and the other representing the ‘people power’ faction advocating for civil disobedience as the pathway to power