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Will Mpuuga confess before Masaka church service divides NUP ‘sinners from saints’?

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By Mike Ssegawa

Masaka’s self-professed ‘favourite son’ has organized a holy mass to be led by none other than the Kampala Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere. There is however a group claiming those attending this church service are in for an unholy event. As the Masaka group says – no one should blasphemy a sacred activity – one wonders what’s up the sleeves of church leaders as the country debates the pros and cons of the Kitovu event.   

The big question is; after accusations and counter accusations among National Unity Platforms rank and file, one realises that the holy eucharistic at the Kitovu Sports Arena will be graced by sinners or saints – politically – however, didnt Jesus come down for sinners?

Uganda must be returning to its shackles with politicians retreating back to religion and tribe, ideological bankruptcy is increasingly being replaced with sentimental groupings and petty fights.

Masaka could have been blessed with a special catholic church mass in honour of Nyendo Mukungwe legislator, the former Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, if he had anything to celebrate and not his headline grabbing money heist characterizing parliament in recent years.

It is expected holymen and women in political, culture, religion, business, and other walks of life, are going to attend this make-or-break event for Mpuuga to save him from sinking into political oblivion – after his severe fall out with Bobi Wine, a disruptor, who has thrown politics in the country into turmoil due to his lack of ideological clarity but kicking every glass in the room in the name of checking their durability.

One Masaka priest is filmed asking ironically if the church was celebrating Mpuuga’s loot or cleanse it! It sounded like a disapproval in the decision of the Catholic church leadership to lead such a high-profile mass amidst the controversy Mr Mpuuga finds himself in. I understand however that in the catholic church rites, the sacrament of penance proceeds every mass.

However, NUP headed to Masaka, and NUP against the mass in Kitovu, are both suffering agony – as they are stuck faced with such a dilemma.

Mpuuga’s party, the National Unity Platform, has distanced themselves and dissuaded their support from the Masaka Mass. Never has a catholic leader in Uganda campaigned a church service.

It remains to be seen if Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s portrayal of Mpuuga as ‘corrupt’ and ‘insubordinate’ and his running into the church to rebrand himself, would save the day! Arguments for and against the so-called ‘service award’ – have been made, culminating into the suspension of the defrocking of Mpuuga, a once respected politician, now, baptized on the social media street as a ‘common thief’.

Whereas Mpuuga has been adamant in remaining a Commissioner in Parliament as per his appointment after the removal, however, NUP has been clear – he no longer represented the party in the Parliamentary Commissioner. His stay has become both a moral question and a further portrait of shame on the image of ‘Honorable’ Mpuuga. Many analysts agree that whether Mpuuga and co felt legally entitled to give themselves the funds – the moment it was raised publicly it was incumbent on them to step aside and allow themselves to be properly investigated.

NRM has gone ahead in their last central executive committee meeting to agree to reshuffle the committees of parliament. The move gives the NRM commissioners a smooth exit from the commissioner before they get soiled like Mpuuga.

It should have been the case the moment fingers pointed at them that they had dipped their hands into the jar – a puzzling development albeit showing their insensitivity to the plight of Ugandans in terms of strained resources from the donor community and taxpayers’ complaints.

President Museveni has now and again highlighted corruption in his many speeches, as a cancer eating away the gains of Uganda. In his state of the nation address this year, he promised to deal with the corrupt. The current arrests of MPs associated with budgeting-linked corruption have sent shivers into the spine of Ugandans. Without forgetting the near past, iron sheets scandalous leaders were equally punished with prosecution as well as politically being removed from parliament. This was a reminder of the President’s awareness of the plight of Ugandans.

We have also seen the State House Anti-Corruption Unit running its operations weekly around the country – arresting especially local government leaders frustrating service delivery to the common wananchi.

So, Mpuuga and co, now bitter rivals with NUP ranks, have a weekend to show Ugandans what next. However, whether he is starting his own party, or wants to show off his huge numbers, remains to be seen.

However, for a good mass to start well – some few things need to be observed. One, Jesus came to redeem sinners – not the saints. So, the two holy and ungodly groups in NUP will need to agree on which sides they belong.

Last but not least – every Holy Mass should start with a good confession so that he can reach the holy table to receive Jesus’ body and blood with clean hands and a beautiful heart.

Mpuuga’s confession will go a long way in showing Masaka as indeed a holy site of Uganda’s saints. His was a moral issue – not just a legal question. And, who knows, it will take Mr Mpuuga and Mr Kyagulanyi, as high priests of their political party, to tell who of the two shall tell the truth behind their fight and why they are setting venues for their fight inside church walls, following a bitter confrontation on social media streets. 

And if there’s a chance for NUP’s saints and sinners to do a favour to the nation is joining President Museveni to fight the corruption vice. This is a challenge in our midst – something we must fight as a people of in this country – and not pointing fingers at each other with the holier-than-thou attitude.

 Mike Ssegawa is a journalist and deputy RDC Mukono. 

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