The National Unity Platform Deputy President (Central Region) and Masaka Municipality MP Hon. Matthias Mpuuga was on Friday appointed the new Leader of Opposition (LOP) in the 11th Parliament by the party’s secretariat.
The former member of the Democratic Party assumes the role of overseeing opposition in parliament just months after joining the newly formed NUP party.
But who is Hon. Mathias Mpuuga? Daily Express unveils the full his biography, age, family, work and experience, political career, early life and education of the new Leader of Opposition and current Member of Parliament Masaka Municipality Constituency.
Mathias Mpuuga is a Ugandan politician, Lawyer and Teacher by profession. Like a rope, Mpuuga’s strength lies in his feeble-life appearance but strong-willed inside.
Formerly a Democratic Party member, Mpuuga joined the National Unity Platform (NUP) in 2020 led by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, 2021, presidential candidate together with 10 other DP Bloc members.
These included; Joseph Ssewungu (DP), Medard Ssegona (DP), Betty Nambooze (DP), Moses Kasibante (Ind), Muwanga Kivumbi (DP), Allan Ssewanyana (DP), Ssempala Kigozi (DP), Ssentongo Robinah (DP), Veronica Namaganda (DP), Florence Namayanja (DP).
Mathias Mpuuga is currently the Deputy President of the NUP Party in charge of the Buganda region.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Mathias Mpuuga was born on 12 October 1975 to the late Vincent Nsamba and Gertrude Nsamba in Masaka District.
He attended Kyamaganda Boys Demonstration School, completing PLE Exams in 1987 then Masaka SSS and Nakyenyi SSS where he sat his UCE and UACE exams in 1992 & 1994 respectively.
After, Mpuuga joined Makerere University in 2009 to study for a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and then in 2016, he again joined Makerere University to study Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree.
WORK AND EXPERIENCE
Mathias Mpuuga is the current Member of Parliament Masaka Municipality Constituency first elected in 2011 till date.
- Principal/Managing Director of Datamine Technical Business School, 2003-2011
- Managing Director of Liberal Consult Ltd 2001-2004
- Minister for Youth, Buganda Kingdom, 2008-2010
- Teacher, Uganda Martyrs High School Lubaga 1998-2003
- Director Masaka Town College, 2000-2002
- Youth Chairperson, Masaka District Local Government, 2000-2011
- Member, University Council, Mutesa 1 Royal University 2010 to date.
- Public Accounts Committee
Interestingly, despite having been exposed to politics at an early age, throughout his secondary school years Mpuuga did not dabble in politics. However, during his first-year study at Makerere University, he joined other students to form the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) – which became the youth wing of the DP.
UYD pioneers include; Lulume Bayiga, the Buikwe South MP, Michael Mabikke, the former Makindye East MP, Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor, Muwanga Kivumbi and Rose Namayanja, the minister of State for Luweero. Mpuuga was also part of Ssemwogerere’s campaign taskforce during the 1996 general elections.
His task was to mobilize the youth of the greater Masaka district which was also part of Ssemogerere’s campaign taskforce during the 1996 general elections.
His task was to mobilize the youth of the greater Masaka district which currently includes the districts of Masaka, Lwengo, Bukomasimbi and Kalungu.
“That election introduced me to very many prominent people that have since then helped the building of my career,” Mpuuga said with relish.
Besides, the 1996 election also introduced Mpuuga to youth from across the country and this strengthened UYD which in turn groomed many young people into national leaders. These include Mohammad Kezaala Baswari, the DP national chairman and Jinja Mayor, and Medard Lubega Sseggona, the Busiro East MP.
Mathias Mpuuga was little known until he became one of the people who led the Walk-to-Work campaign in April 2011, which in many ways continues to define his political life.
He coordinated the campaign, Mpuuga in effect ensured that the protests moved smoothly and continually updated the public about the next course of action. He was constantly in the news, most times condemning the Police’s highhandedness in the demos, or announcing the new strategy to be adopted by Activists for Change (A4C).
Mpuuga says he is naturally a politician, having grown up in a politically charged environment. At the age of five in 1980, he recalls having interacted with politics when his dad, Vincent Nsamba, a sub-county councillor in Lwengo, mobilized people to support the DP candidate, Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere in general elections held that year.
“I remember how he used to bring people to our place and they could discuss politics,” Mpuuga said. His mother, Gertrude Nsamba, is today a sub-county councillor in the Lwengo district. Like son, she subscribes to DP.
Mpuuga did not join active politics immediately although his colleagues joined after leaving university, Mpuuga chose to first serve his kingdom, Buganda.
Having been an active member of the “Nkoba Za Mbogo”, a youth organization, during his campus days, he was appointed by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to represent the youth in the Buganda Lukiiko.
Then 22, Mpuuga set the record of having been the youngest member of the Lukiiko ever. He served the Kingdom from 1998-2008 and youth participation in the Kingdom’s activities was commendable, something that motivated the Kabaka to appoint him minister for the Youth in 2006.
“The youth should be mobilized for development and educative activities that will motivate their participation in the kingdom activities,” he says.
Mathias Mpuuga first served as youth chairperson for Masaka district between 2000 and 2006, then in 2010 Mpuuga formerly requested the Kabaka to allow him to return to active politics.
With no hassle, he was granted permission together with his colleague, Medard Sseggona, who then serving the Kabaka as minister of state for information.
Mpuuga later offered to stand as MP for Masaka Municipality, but the going was not easy. First, internal DP politics forced him to seek nomination as an independent candidate.
Then, before the campaigns could start, he almost lost his life after he was shot in the legs by someone who claimed he was moving out with his wife. Eventually, he overcame the odds and resoundingly defeated his main rival, DP’s John Kawanga.
In less than two months after the general elections, Mpuuga and friends hatched the idea of setting up a pressure group which they christened Activists for Change (A4C).
He was appointed the coordinator of the group partly because of this expansive network with the youths.
A4C came at a time when the economy was in the doldrums. Prices of many essential goods had skyrocketed, while inflation was in double digits. So, Mpuuga and other opposition strategists decided to put the government under pressure, through the popular walk-to-work protests.
Although the pressure group has ceased to exist, it gave Mpuuga an identity. As a legislator. He is very active in the committees and any public official intent on hiding information will find it rough with Mpuuga.
Mathias Mpuuga subscribes to the DP bloc.
Recently during the 2021 presidential campaigns, DP President Norbert Mao announced during a media briefing that DP Bloc is non-existent and therefore can’t enter into any alliance with any political entity.
However, Mpuuga trashed his statement saying Mao has no right whatsoever to declare any other alliance like the DP bloc nonexistent because he does not own it neither did he form the organization.
Further, Mpuuga highlighted the genesis of the DP bloc saying it brings together former young Democrats who are disgruntled with how the DP was being led.
Also, the appropriation by the parliament of shs 10bn or shs 20m to every MP recently to ostensibly assist lawmakers to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus Mpuuga refused to take the money and publicly returned the money because it would be unethical to spend it.
Mpuuga stressed that how the money got into the supplementary budget was controversial. There was also not enough time to debate the supplementary budget. “The principle of doing things legally to me applies and it was not done. so, I felt uncomfortable taking the money”.