Fresh trouble is brewing in the National Unity Platform, Uganda’s youngest political party following a decision by founding member Moses Kibalama, to claim full party ownership. Kibalama’s faction has opened a parallel office in Kabowa city suburbs in Rubaga division.
The group has warned the Kamwokya-based NUP leadership under Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobiwine to desist from using NUP party symbols, colors, stamps, and other materials. In 2019, Kyagulanyi agreed with the National Unity and Reconciliation Development-NURP party under Kibalama, to rebrand and changed the party name to the National Unity Platform.
However, misunderstandings erupted between the two camps prompting Kibalama and his team to petition the high court in Kampala seeking to de-register the party but they lost the application.
Now, Gideon Tugume, the secretary for information in Kibalama’s camp, says that their delegates conference held on May 27th, 2022 resolved to end the relationship between the People Power Movement and the NUP leadership.
He told journalists at their offices on Tuesday that Kyagulanyi’s group should embrace the leadership change in good faith based on their previous agreement when they allowed him to stand as the NUP presidential candidate.
According to Kibalama, he resolved to reclaim the party leadership from Kyagulanyi and his team because of what they have termed as poor leadership and breach of the Memorandum of Understanding-MOU they had.
Tugume has directed all NUP elected leaders to report to the new offices in Kabowa, saying failure to do so will prompt them to write to the concerned government agencies including parliament disowning them.
However, the NUP Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi has warned Kibalama’s faction to stop what he described as their fraudulent acts or else be dealt with. “We also send a stern warning to these masqueraders, the full wrath of the law will be unleashed on them over their fraudulent tendencies,” he said in a brief statement.
Adding that, “Previously, the same people told the court that the state had coached them to tell lies against the legitimate leadership of NUP. It is clear that the state continues to use them in the hope that they will undermine the leadership of NUP and throw the party into disarray.”
Paul Bukenya, the Electoral Commission spokesperson says the commission has not issued any new certificate confirming the change of leadership in NUP.
“The Electoral Commission hasn’t issued any certificate of new NUP leadership, but Kibalama and his team wrote to us and anytime we shall respond to them on that issue of NUP ownership. The certificate they are holding I think was issued by former EC Secretary Sam Rwakojo,” Bukenya said.