Masaka NUP meeting breaks up in chaotic scenes

Masaka NUP meeting breaks up in chaotic scenes
Florence Namayanja with a copy of the statement that caused the rift

Tension flared at the National Unity Platform (NUP) gathering in Masaka Monday with party members going for each other's collars.

Police were called in as the meeting that was intended to address internal grievances and concerns descended into chaos.

Led by Masaka City Mayor Florence Namayanja and other party leaders, the assembly convened at the NUP offices to address a range of issues plaguing the party.

Among the grievances outlined in a statement were allegations of corruption and insubordination among party members.

“The reason we wrote this statement is to hide rumours and we are responsible for everything in this statement and after we will put signatures on it," Namayanja said.

"Secondly, our National Unit Platform president Robert Kyagulanyi is very aware of this meeting.”

NUP members outside the party offices in Masaka City

However, as Kimanya Kabonera Division mayor Steven Lukyamuzzi read out the condemnations against party wrongdoings, chaos erupted when a group of youth seized the statement, sparking a confrontation.

Police resorted to tear gas to disperse the protesters, further escalating the situation.

"We stand firm against corruption and divisive actions that undermine our party's integrity," Lukyamuzzi.

However, Steven Ngobya, a member NUP Masaka committee, distanced his group from the statement.

“As the Masaka NUP committee, we are not aware of this statement. It is for Namayanja as a person, not for the party we will not tolerate selfish actions that tarnish our party's reputation," Ngobya said.

In the aftermath of the altercation, accusations flew among NUP members, with some pointing fingers at certain leaders for orchestrating the disruption.

“We as NUP in Masaka, we are not going to allow Mr [Mathias] Mpuuga to be the cause of the decline of our party," said Disan Kayonga, a party faithful.

"We are warning Mr Mpuuga and Abed Bwanika that their mission to decline our party will not work because we are much aware that even the councillors who crossed to PLU [Patriotic League of Uganda] are behind that action."

Another supporter added: “If Abed Bwanika and Mathias Mpuuga are saying that Kyagulanyi participates in homosexuality, what are you doing in the party of homosexuals? Leave us in our party."

Mayor Namayanja issued a stern warning, vowing repercussions for those responsible for undermining the party unity.

"We will not allow our party to be weakened by internal strife. Those responsible will face consequences. Now I am announcing an open battle with them. Let us see who will win,” Namayanja said.

The incident underscores the growing internal strife within the NUP, a party once regarded for its cohesion and grassroots support.

As tensions simmer, the future of the party in Masaka hangs in the balance, with the spectre of further divisions looming large.

Despite the setback, some party members remain resolute in their commitment to the NUP cause.

As the dust settles on Monday's clashes, the NUP faces a critical juncture in its journey, grappling with internal fissures that threaten to undermine its political momentum.

The road ahead remains fraught with challenges, requiring unity and resolve to navigate turbulent waters.

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