NUP issues 7-day ultimatum to Mpuuga to resign as Parliament commissioner

Uganda’s largest opposition political party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), has given Mathias Mpuuga  seven days within which to explain why they should not recall him from Parliament as a commissioner over allegations of corruption.

In letter dated March 5, 2024, NUP acting president Dr Lina Zedriga said the position was reached in a party NEC meeting that sat on March 4, 2024.

“At its sitting held on 4. March, 2024 (to which you were invited but did not attend), the National Executive Committee considered the serious accusations against you and resolved to ask you to show cause in writing, why you should not be recalled from the Parliamentary Commission, to which the Party seconded you as member. You are requested to respond within Seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this notice to enable the National Executive Committee take an appropriate decision,” she wrote.

According to Dr Zedriga, Mpuuga, who is also the party vice president for central Uganda as well as Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament, did not honour his earlier promised to resign after being found guilty of illegally allocating himself Shs500m as a service award, alongside other parliamentary commissioners of the ruling NRM.

“You are specifically accused of sitting together with the Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon. Anita Among and three other Parliamentary Commissioners and unlawfully allocating a total of 1.700,000,0001= (Uganda Shillings One billion. Seven Hundred Million) to yourselves as ‘Service Awards’, the 6th day of May, 2022, while you served as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

In the said meeting, you were personally allocated 500,000,0001= (Uganda Shillings Five Hundred Million). You admitted both in the meeting which the President convened at the party offices on 28th February, 2024 and publicly, that you indeed took part in this action, which we consider illegal, immoral and a clear departure from the values and objectives of the National Unity Platform,” she said.

Dr Zedriga, who is standing in for Robert Kyagulanyi who is abroad, said Mpuuga’sa ction goes against Section 9(1) of the Leadership Code Ad (2002) which bars leaders from faking part in deliberations where matters of personal interest to them are to be discussed.

“Importantly, it goes against our commitment to the people of Uganda to handle public affairs diligently and public resources with care,” she added.

However, it remains to be seen if NUP has the legal powers to remove Mpuuga as a parliament commissioner. Rules of procedure dictate that a Parliamentary Commissioner shall be removed upon the vote of at least half of all voting Members of Parliament. The current Parliament is comprised majorly of the ruling NRM MPs, most of whom would most likely not support the NUP position.

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