A 30-member team has been unveiled to serve on the opposition shadow cabinet that will present alternative policies to that fronted by the government in parliament.
In the newly unveiled Shadow Cabinet, the Forum for Democratic Change, which remains the majority opposition party, enjoys the majority with 18 members.
The most recognizable new face in the shadow cabinet is Ndorwa West MP Wilfred Niwagaba who was appointed Attorney General. Niwagaba, a former member of the ruling NRM party who fell out with the party returned to Parliament as an independent.
The parliamentary rules of procedure provide that the majority opposition party, in this case the FDC, provides leadership to the oversight committees. They are four: The Public Accounts Committee, the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), Committee on Government Assurances and the Local Government Accounts Committee.
In the new shadow cabinet;Niwagaba replaces Bugweri MP Abdul Katuntu who moves from shadow attorney general to head the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises which checks the performance of state institutions.
Soroti Woman MP Angeline Osegge will chair the Public Accounts Committee. She will be deputized by Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga.
Obongi MP Kaps Hassan Fungaroo will chair the Government Assurances Committee and his deputy is Kawempe North MP Latiff Ssebaggala
Aswa MP Reagan Okumu will chair the Local Government Accounts Committee. In the 9th Parliament, that position was occupied by new Leader of Opposition Winnie Kizza. Okumu will be deputised by Chua West MP Okin P.P Ojara.
According to sources who attended the FDC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, members aligned former party presidential candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye’s thinking were not happy with the choice of parliamentary committee leaders.
They argue that the appointments seemed steeped towards rewarding members deeply loyal to party Maj. Gen. President Mugisha Muntu.
But Leader of Opposition Winnie Kizza disagrees by sayig there is no divisions based on support for either Mugisha Muntu or Dr. Kizza Besigye.
Also, none of the six MPs of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) was appointed to the shadow cabinet. Some UPC members like Betty Amongi are in President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet.
The combined opposition has less than 60 seats in Parliament with independents coming in closely with over 50 members, majority of who are NRM leaning. FDC calls the shots in the opposition with 36 MPs.
The Leader of Opposition also made appointments to International Parliamentary Associations.
Sources reveal that 30 members had been nominated to the shadow Cabinet but the FDC NEC representatives said it was beyond the constitutionally required 21 cabinet ministers. NEC then recommended the merger of some ministries and provide for state ministers. Nine Ministries will be affected.