Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Asuman Basalirwa, the sole Member of Parliament from the Justice Forum-JEEMA has said that opposition political parties have no option but to work together in order to outsmart the ruling government.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network, Basalirwa who was recently appointed deputy chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee-PAC of Parliament said that the only way they will be able to check government is accepting to put aside their misunderstandings as parties and work together.
Basalirwa was however quick to add that there is a need for them to reach out to each other for the parties to work harmoniously together. He said assuming that parties will work together simply because they are both in the opposition is why they failed to unite behind one candidate in the recent parliament’s speaker election.
The National Unity Platform-NUP whose president is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is currently the biggest opposition political party in parliament having displaced the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC, which occupied the position for 15 years.
Jacob Oulanyah and Anita Among, both candidates of the ruling NRM defeated their opponents to emerge as speaker and deputy speaker of parliament respectively. Basalirwa said before he was named as vice-chairperson, Kyagulanyi first reached out to him and he accepted the appointment.
Other than Basalirwa, NUP appointed three other MPs from outside its members to head accountability committees in Parliament. These include Lucy Akello [FDC], woman MP for Amuru district who was appointed as the deputy chairperson of the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi [Independent] MP for Gulu West appointed chairperson Local Government Accounts Committee, and Paulson Luttamaguzi Ssemakula [DP], Nakaseke South who was appointed deputy to Mapenduzi.
According to David Lewis Rubongoya, NUP Secretary General, this was done to foster brotherliness among opposition parties. He said although some individuals within some parties remain hostile to NUP, others have expressed willingness in working together. He hailed those who were appointed as very deserving because of their competencies.
After the president released the list of cabinet ministers, it’s expected that in the coming days, NUP is also going to release the list of those who are going to be part of the shadow cabinet. According to Rubongoya, this list is expected to also feature more MPs from outside the NUP.
Currently, there are five opposition political parties with representation in parliament. These include NUP with 57 MPs, FDC 32 MPS, DP-9 MPs, UPC-9 MPs and JEEMA and PPP with one MP each.