How People Power Morphed into NUP
For about two years, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi has been working quietly with leaders of a hitherto less known political party, National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party (NURDP), for a possible working relationship with his People Power political movement.
NURDP has since been renamed the National Unity Platform (NUP) which is being fronted as the “political wing” of the People Power pressure group which has been unveiled today at Kyamwokya near Kampala.
The launch came as a surprise to the majority of the pressure group’s adherents since Kyagulanyi kept it to just a handful of his political associates.
What is coming out now is that, after two years of negotiations with the party’s founders, Kyagulanyi was admitted into the party that he formed part of the 60 delegates that attended its delegates’ conference which was held on July 14 at Kakiri Hotel in Wakiso district.
It is at the delegates’ conference that Kyagulanyi was elected unopposed as the party president.
“I stepped down as party president; I went into that meeting knowing that a new player was coming on board,” said Moses Nkonge Kibalama, the party’s founder president.
According to Kibalama, other members of the party attended the delegates’ conference online. He said that they chose to keep everything under wraps for fear that the state would block their attempts.
“Much as it has been quiet and silent, we were already in touch with him [Kyagulanyi],” Kibalama said.
Kibalama who was flanked by his party’s former officials; Paul Ssimbwa (secretary-general), William Odinga (secretary for information) and a one Edward Sserunkuma seemed uncomfortable answering some of the questions from journalists, and, at some point told the journalists to get the answers from the new party leadership.
Although he talked of a delegates’ conference at which the new leaders were elected, he couldn’t name the new leadership.
Several sources have claimed that Kyagulanyi paid to get hold of the party that he is going to use as a vehicle into the 2021 general elections.
“When we started the People Power Movement about three years ago, we had lengthy discussions about whether or not to register a political party. Our analysis led us to the conclusion that it was both untimely and impractical to form a political party. In any case, we were alive to the fact that the regime would foil any attempt to register People Power as a political party,” Kyagulanyi said.
Kyagulanyi says that towards the end of 2018, his lawyers tried securing the name People Power but discovered that it had already been registered.
“Our view then was that we should maintain the People Power Movement as the glue that brings all people together, regardless of their political affiliations,” he said.
“However, for weeks and months, there is one question which everyone has been asking us. What symbol shall we use in this election? A few weeks back when we announced the call for expression of interest, over 10,000 people responded so that they run under our platform. Every day, we have been receiving countless calls about one thing- what is the symbol? Expectedly, all our people would want to have a uniform symbol for liberation,” he added.
The new question now is, where does this development leave politicians who subscribe to other political parties but had identified with people power?
“In the coming days, we shall embark on the process of formalising the People Power Alliance. The People Power Alliance shall be composed of different political formations which we have been working with and those that will be willing to join us. Formal engagements with many of these brothers and sisters have already been ongoing and they will continue,” Kyagulanyi said.