By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
In a tense standoff, the National Unity Platform (NUP), Uganda’s opposition party, is pushing ahead with the inauguration of its new headquarters at Makerere Kavule today, despite the government’s call for a postponement. The event, marking the culmination of a month-long preparation, has intensified the political climate in a country where the equilibrium between power and opposition is delicately poised.
The Government’s Stance
Through Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC) of Kawempe Division, Mr. Yasin Ndidde, the government urged the NUP to defer its event, citing a clash with government activities involving VIPs on the same day. The RCC’s concerns lie in the potential security risks and the need to ensure a secure environment for VIP functions.
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, backed the RCC’s stance, urging the NUP to cooperate to avoid possible conflicts. His concerns underscore the delicate balance of power in play and the government’s attempts to control the narrative.
Unfazed by the government’s concerns, the NUP leadership has stood firm on its decision. Kawempe Division Mayor, Dr. Emmanuel Sserunjoji, insists that the opening will not disrupt the VIP activities, assuring that the event is well-contained within the party’s premises.
Further reinforcing this stance, NUP spokesperson, Mr. Joel Ssenyonyi, dismissed the government’s request as ‘illegal guidance’, asserting the party’s commitment to proceed with the inauguration. NUP president Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi echoed these sentiments on social media, rejecting the RCC’s request due to its lack of legal basis.
The unfolding stand-off isn’t just about the opening of a party office. It’s a microcosm of the broader political tension that permeates Uganda. The defiance from NUP demonstrates a bold pushback against what they perceive as the government’s overreach.
Adding complexity to the situation is President Museveni’s expected presence at the inauguration of a new facility for Harris International Limited in Kawempe-Tula, scheduled on the same day. This overlapping of events could escalate an already tense situation, and the world watches as both events unfold.