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HomePoliticsMathias Mpuuga Defends Commission Decision Amid Bribery Accusations

Mathias Mpuuga Defends Commission Decision Amid Bribery Accusations

Much as he ruled out stepping down as Commissioner of Parliament over accusations that he and his fellow Commissioners awarded themselves huge sums of money under the pretext of “service awards”, the Nyendo – Mukungwe lawmaker, Mathias Mpuuga, has said he is not dying to retain his position.

“I have no doubt that we have enough time to address this matter and move forward. I am not dying to be a Commissioner, no one was born a Commissioner. Zaake was not even allowed to sit on that Commission, even when he was appointed by the Party. So, it is not a do or die, but it should not be used a sword to lessen me,” said Mpuuga while appearing on CBS radio on Saturday.

Mpuuga, who is the Commissioner of Parliament, has been accused by his NUP Party of awarding himself Shs 500 million as service award for his former role as Leader of the Opposition in the House.

The party has termed the development as bribe and corruption.

Mpuuga, however, disagrees, and says that the money was legally passed and allocated.

“There are rules that govern Parliament. When a matter comes from the [Parliamentary] Commission, it is not complete. It goes to the Legal Committee, which passes the Parliamentary budget. It is a process, it is not me. When Commission passes anything, it sends it to the Legal Committee, which passes the budget. So, the problem is not mine that it was illegally passed. It was handled as per the law. It is the same Legal Committee that passes budgets for political parties every quarter. When my party receives money to carryout party activities, it is not a bribe, it is passed by Parliament,” he said.

Mpuuga accused some members of intentionally targeting him to character assassinate him.

“Anyone who deliberately attempts to do that has ill intentions. I believe we have time to address issues that have not been well addressed, but there should be a big lesson on how to address certain issues, and not intentionally character assassinate people to achieve our personal goals.”

DISMISSAL FROM NUP

There have been public debates about NUP’s next move on Mpuuga following his refusal to step down as Commissioner of Parliament.

Some have argued that he could be dismissed from the party by NUP-President, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.

In response, Mpuuga said, “Kyagulanyi is my President. He has the power. Even if he dismisses me, but understands how to handle issues. When the people of Masaka were voting, they voted me to be their MP. Being Deputy President is a responsibility that is not paid for. It is a responsibility to help you (President) organize the region of Buganda. In doing that job, I gave the party (NUP) 55 MPs.”

Mpuuga also hinted at NUP supporters, who characterize Bobi Wine as a perfectionist and therefore cannot be advised, saying they are his adversaries.

“We surround Kyagulanyi to assist him, strengthen him, advise him, but not to put him in a situation that he is unadvisable. That he cannot make a mistake? I even told him (Bobi Wine) that, if you hear anyone say that you are perfect, distance yourself from them because they are your number one enemies. They are putting you in a situation to think that you are above the law, and you cannot be advised.”

On what he will do next, if he is dismissed, Mpuuga said, “I have a home. [My father] Nsamba left me a coffee garden. I have expanded it to over 15 acres. I am a teacher. Before I became a politician, I built schools. One of the schools was constructed while I was still at the University. Before I joined Parliament, I was driving a Benz. Therefore, even if I am dismissed from the party, I still have a lot to do.”

FAMILY MATTERS

In his recent statement, declining calls by the party to step down as Commissioner of Parliament, Mpuuga said he would not be deterred by “small-group- family interests being peddled to blur the bigger picture of how the Party is being managed without transparency, and the general mistreatment of other leaders in the party.”

Asked for more clarity, Mpuuga said he aspired to see NUP as a national party.

“The kind of politics that Museveni has planted here, we don’t want it to be inherited in NUP,” he said.

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