On October 19th, 2023, Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament led a group of legislators to walk out of plenary demanding a detailed government report on repeated gross human rights abuses meted against supporters and leaders of the National Unity Platform– NUP party.
Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament addressing the media
Opposition legislators are in disarray following a decision by the Democratic Party – DP, and Forum for Democratic
Change (FDC) to call off the ongoing boycott of plenary sittings in parliament.
On October 19th, 2023, Mathias
Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament led a group of legislators
to walk out of plenary demanding a detailed government report on repeated gross human rights abuses meted
against supporters and leaders of the National Unity Platform– NUP party.
The LOP has maintained the boycott until their six-point demands are met by
the government, including accounting for the 18 missing NUP supporters
allegedly kidnapped by the security personnel. Mpuuga told
journalists at Parliament on Tuesday that while all the political parties that
form the opposition have made their positions clear, he will continue to ‘persuade’
and lead the ‘willing’ to defy party directives that appear to enforce compliance
until the government meets their demands.
//Cue in: "Every
Cue out: …party should be defied."//
The opposition comprises legislators from NUP, with majority Members of Parliament, FDC, DP, Justice Forum - JEEMA, Uganda People’s Congress - UPC, and People’s
Progressive Party –PPP. According to Mpuuga, an earlier Shadow Cabinet meeting resolved
to continue with the boycott.
//Cue in: "We have
Cue out: …listen and respond."//
Mpuuga also downplayed Speaker Anita
Among’s directive to the Clerk to Parliament to ensure the opposition
legislators forfeit their Committee meeting allowances and foreign and inland trip
benefits over the unlawful nonattendance of House business.
//Cue in: "I still
Cue out: …implementing that directive."//
emphasized that the Chairpersons of all accountability Committees of Parliament
chaired by the opposition; PAC Local Government, PAC Central, COSASE, and
Government Assurances and Implementation should disregard the Speaker’s threat
and continue to operate. Further, the LOP encouraged all opposition MPs to defy
the directive and attend Committee meetings.
there was drama on Monday when the Appointments Committee chaired by Among
failed to block the LOP from attending a session in, which they vetted Justice Elizabeth
Musoke to the Judicial Service Commission.
On Tuesday morning, Fox Odoi Oyellowo, pushed Robert Ssekitoleko, the Bamunanika County Member of
Parliament out of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee meeting Chaired by Robina Rwakoojo, the Gomba West County MP to implement the Speaker’s directive.
was asked to leave the meeting following his participation in the ongoing boycott
of plenary sittings. The Committee was interfacing with Nobert Mao, the
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs who appeared to present the
Judicature (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The LOP is now worried that the directive of other parties to their respective representatives to end the boycott and return to the House will potentially ignite internal bickering and undermine the opposition cause aimed at holding the government accountable.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and later Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.