The minority leader of the Ugandan parliament Mathias Mpuuga, has rallied the church to support efforts by the opposition to amend the constitution.Addressing worshippers who turned up for the Christmas Mass at Kitovu Cathedral in Masaka City, Mpuuga said that introducing political and electoral reforms top the oposition’s priority list in Parliament for 2023, and revealed that the programme for countrywide consultations will be unveiled soon.
“The current constitution needs an overhaul because it is not representative of the needs and aspirations of the citizenry. This will be our priority for 2023. We are going to move around the country to seek the views of the people,” he said.
Mpuuga spoke as the church dedicated in prayer, names of 25 people who the opposition says have been missing for almost two years after they were taken away by government security operatives.
Ahead of the Christmas festivities, Mpuuga sent a message to church leaders around the country, urging them to speak out against acts of human violations in the country.
“We need to have a collective voice that shall bear the collective disgust of the citizenry to the regime, and rollback its rehearsal at usurping the power of the people,” Mpuuga wrote.
This followed the collapse of talks initiated by the leadership of Parliament between the opposition and the government in light of growing accusations of increasing human rights violations and disappearances of opposition supporters under Yoweri Museveni’s stewardship.
“We have hundreds of innocent people languishing in various illigal detention centres and many whose whereabouts remain unknown and unaccounted for,” Mpuuga noted.
“It is a sacred duty of the partially free to fight for the remaining space for themselves and the rest without such freedom,” he added.
With the state failing to account for some of people who were arrested between 2019 and this year, Mpuuga told the congregation at Kitovu that it is likely that they were killed.
“We now contend that some of them were murdered in cold blood by the powers that be because their whereabouts cannot be explained,” Mpuuga said.
The Bishop of Masaka Catholic Diocese, Serverus Jjumba and the Buddu County chief (Pookino) condemned the continued abduction and detention without of trial of supposed opposition supporters.