Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Patrick Oboi Amuriat has said the party is under attack from social media detractors and negative pushes from the leadership of parliament. Amuriat said that the negativity targeted mainly on the opposition leadership in parliament is aimed at stifling multiparty democracy.
Amuriat was speaking in reference to squabbles in recent weeks that pit the FDC leadership against the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over the leadership of the committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises.
FDC appointed Kawempe North MP Mubarak Munyagwa to lead to lead the committee. But the Speaker extended the mandate of the committee led by Bugweri County MP Abdul Katuntu from January 13, 2019, when the term expired, to February 22. The move was to allow the team to complete ongoing investigations into the irregular sale of commercial banks by the Central Bank.
She also rejected the appointment of Moses Kasibante, an independent Member of Parliament as the vice chairperson of the committee, as designated by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Betty Aol Ochan, and instead assigned him to the appointments committee.
At the same time, the opposition was faced with the presentation of the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2019, which proposes to remove the powers of appointing a Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP), Opposition Whip, and Deputy Opposition Whips from the majority opposition party. The law suggests that the process should be opened up to involve all Opposition MPs.
The bill fronted by the Kabale Municipality MP Andrew Baryayanga and Busiro East MP Medard Sseggona has seemingly received blessings from the speaker. But it has been rejected by FDC in totality. Amuriat said it’s absurd that the bill has been sponsored by the opposition leaning legislators who should be their allies.
Amuriat, however, says the party has been re-energized to fight its detractors. He made the remarks on Monday morning as he opened a retreat of party National Executive Committee (NEC), standing committees, selected district chairpersons and MPs at FDC headquarters, Najjanankumbi.
Amuriat appealed to party leaders to walk the party line. He warned that there are many politicians who ride on the party colors but later turn against it after being elected. He added that a number of politicians, who seem to be in the opposition, are not actually in the opposition.
Amuriat said the FDC has gained stability following the departure of former party president Mugisha Muntu and a section of other members.
“As you’re aware, sometime last year, we had some of our comrades leaving the party for no good reason. Much as they left and left some gaps behind, we have been able to fill up those gaps and ensure that the party is run effectively,” he said.
He added that there is increased cohesion in the party and better alignment of party activities both at the regional and national level.