Opposition MPs

The Opposition legislators have boycotted President Yoweri Museveni’s State of the Nation address over government’s failure to avail tangible solutions to the surging prices of commodities in the country.

Since the full reopening of the economy in January 2022, the country has witnessed a continuous upscale of prices of essential commodities where prices of soap doubled, fuel, sugar, cooking oil among others increased to over 30 per cent.

Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development has since linked the shooting prices of commodities to the increasing prices of fuel and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. It must be remembered that before the Russia- Ukraine war, the prices had already shot up.

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According to the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mathias Mpuuga, they resolved to stay away from President Museveni’s address to Parliament as a way of expressing their displeasure at the head of state’s continued interference with the judiciary.

Following the arrest of the Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya and Makindye East MP Allan Ssewanyana in September 2022, Museveni said despite being a constitutional right, murderers and rapists should not be released on bail. The two MPs are accused of murder, terrorism, abetting and aiding terrorism and others. They were granted bail and later rearrested. Mpuuga said they are standing in solidarity with the remanded legislators who are waiting to get justice.

“We are boycotting because of his failure to offer tangible solutions to the worsening economic situation in the country. While constitutionally it’s meant to be a State of the Nation Address, he has reduced it to a State of his feelings address that’s a huge constraint to us. We are aware that even today, he’s going to say that he has nothing to do to get the country out of the depression. We are not interested in dosing,” Mpuuga said.

Several opposition leaders who include the former presidential Candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye, Kampala Deputy Mayor Doreen Nyanjura, Soroti Woman MP Anna Adeke Ebaju and others have since been detained for protesting over the increasing prices of commodities.