Uganda People’s Congress [UPC] President, Jimmy Akena, has lashed at the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kiiza, for speaking against the designation of a UPC MP as Vice Chairperson of a Committee.
There was dust in Parliament on Tuesday when the Government Chief Whip, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, announced UPC’s Hon. Maxwell Akora (Maruzi) as the Vice Chair of the Committee on ICT, a position he served in during the First Session that ended in May.
Parliament was constituting Sectoral Committees for the Second Session of the 10th Parliament. Composition and leadership of Sectoral Committees is constituted at the start of each new Session of Parliament.
During the heated debate, members said that the action by the Government Chief Whip designating MPs from the Opposition negated parliamentary democracy, which provides for two sides of the House, with the latter checking the former.
They asked government to enter into a formal coalition considering that the President had appointed UPC’s Betty Amongi, as Minister for Lands.
Kiiza said that Nankabirwa’s action was not in the spirit of developing democracy and prevented Party Whips from carrying out their duties.
She prayed for time to consider whether UPC MPs can still be designated by the Opposition.
“The government side designating Opposition MPs is not correct; it’s not in the spirit of developing democracy. We need to rethink our position before constituting committees,” said Kiiza.
Responding to the development, Akena said they were looking at the bigger picture and asked MPs not to be taken up by individual party affiliations but work for the good of the country.
Akena advised Kiiza to mind her own business and leave UPC to mind its own.
“She is the Whip of Forum for Democratic Change. Her job is to whip members into performing but not to disorganise other political parties,” Akena told NTV on Wednesday.
“We are in agreement with NRM,” Akena explained, saying UPC believes in setting aside political party interests for greater gain.
Akena said they [UPC] have their own arrangement with the ruling party and do not want Kiiza to stick her nose into their affairs.