As the political atmosphere ahead of the 2021 general elections continue to heat up, five lawmakers including two from the ruling political party, National Resistance Movement (NRM), have joined National Unity Platinum (NUP), an opposition political party recently unveiled by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
The event at which the Members of parliament have been unveiled to the public as NUP members took place at the party’s headquarters in Kamwokya.
The MPs include Patrick Nsamba Oshabe of Kassanda county North and John Baptist Nambeshe of Manjiya county who are both in parliament on the ticket of the NRM. The duo is among legislators who have for long been referred to as NRM ‘rebel’ MPs for severally disagreeing with the party positions.
The MPs together with about 30 other NRM colleagues went against the party position of scrapping the presidential age limits from the constitution, to allow the party National Chairman, Yoweri Museveni to stand for the office of the President in next year’s general elections.
Others who today crossed to NUP are Lulyamuzi Kalwanga, an Independent MP representing Busujju County, Kawempe North MP Latif Ssebagala (Independent) and Mityana Municipality lawmaker Francis Zaake Butebi (Independent).
The event also saw Makindye, Kawempe and Nakawa Division Mayors Ali Nganda Mulyanyama (DP), Emmanuel Sserunjoji (DP) and Ronald Balimwezo (SDP) respectively join the Bobi Wine led party.
The party President, Kyagulanyi, commended the new members for making what he termed as a noble decision to identify with NUP.
“We are pleased to know that these ladies and gentlemen are confident about identifying with us, they are people I personally hold in high regards. These are people who have been steadfast, consistent and they continue to be consistent,” said Kyagulanyi.
On his part, Nambeshe who committed to offer support and cooperation with Kyagulanyi, said he has been reaching out to people in Bugisu subregion to join ‘People Power’ pressure group and NUP and that indeed he has been successful.
“I want to assure you that we have a lot of moral support from Bugisu subregion since we have been aggressively asking them to join us,” Nambeshe said.
The Kassanda MP Patrick Nsamba said he is pleased to join Kyagulanyi because he inspires him and many other Ugandans and that he (Bobi Wine) has reignited hope within Ugandans for change of leadership in the country.
“I am a man who believes in change, I believed in transition in NRM but there was no single hope that within the party, anyone can talk about standing against President Museveni. Now that I have joined NUP, I am proud to be part of the ‘biggest’ political party (NUP) in Uganda today because it is brand new but has reached all the people at the grassroot,” MP Nsamba said.
“NUP is the vehicle for change and we believe that Mission 2021 is real and so, by having the NUP membership card, I feel I am touching Mission 2021 already. We are going to change Uganda and we are not going to use guns, we are to use our power - the power of the people,” he added.
Nsamba further reached out to NRM members and MPs whom he said are uncomfortable with the leadership, to hurry and cross to his new home.
“I know you are uncomfortable with the system, take a decision like I have done, the decision to be part of the Ugandans, be part of the movement determined to bring a transition in this country using peaceful means,” explained Nsamba.
MP Kalwanga reiterated that he was excited about finding a new home and pledged fulfilled all that is expected of him with NUP.
“There is nothing that hurts like not having a sense of belonging. I came to parliament as an independent legislator but now that I am in NUP, I am happy that I have a sense of belonging. I am ready and very committed to do whatever it takes for our party to grow and succeed,” said MP Kalwanga.