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Ugandan Politicians Shift Sides Ahead of 2026 Elections

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  • He said he was born into a DP family, but he left because DP’s leader, Norbert Mao, is also close to the ruling party, NRM.
  • But Mbabali also mentioned a problem between Mathias Mpuuga, a former NUP leader, and the party.

As Uganda gets ready for the 2026 elections, many politicians are getting ready too. They want to replace leaders who they think aren’t doing a good job.

Jude Mbabali used to be in charge of Masaka district and was part of the Democratic Party (DP). But now, he’s joined the National Unity Platform (NUP). Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as Bobi Wine, who leads NUP, supported Mbabali’s move.

Mbabali isn’t the only one switching sides. Before the 2021 elections, other important DP members also joined NUP. This shows a trend of politicians changing sides to get more power and influence in Uganda’s politics.

Mbabali might run against Abed Bwanika, who’s had problems with the DP leadership over money issues. Bwanika says the party hasn’t been clear about its money, including what it gets from MPs and other places.

In an interview, Mbabali explained why he left DP. He said he was born into a DP family, but he left because DP’s leader, Norbert Mao, is also close to the ruling party, NRM. So, Mbabali felt more comfortable joining NUP.

He thinks NUP is a good place for him because it welcomes young leaders like him. He likes how organized NUP is compared to other parties. He believes Bobi Wine is a great leader who understands young people and can lead the country well.

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Mbabali thinks NUP could win power soon because it has young and capable leaders, like Joel Ssenyonyi, who have held the government accountable for corruption.

When Mbabali joined NUP, other politicians from different parties wanted to join too. But Mbabali also mentioned a problem between Mathias Mpuuga, a former NUP leader, and the party. Mpuuga is accused of taking money he shouldn’t have, but he denies it. Mbabali thinks Mpuuga’s confidence in staying with NUP shows he trusts the party’s leaders.

Mbabali hopes to serve the people through NUP and believes it’s the right choice for him.

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