Uganda’s oppostion party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) National Executive Committee is proposing to offer the current Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nandala Mafabi a post as shadow Finance Minister.
Speaking to local media, some of the 56 NEC members say they want a change in leadership and the position should be filled by a female candidate.
If the Budadiri West MP agrees to take the position of Shadow Finance Minister he will be taking over from Geoffrey Ekanya (MP Tororo County).
So far the current secretary general Alice Alaso and Dokolo Woman MP Atim Cecilia Ogwal are vying for the seat and have started campaigning ahead of the December elections for LOP.
The two women lost the LOP position to Mafabi in 2011. Kasiano Wadri (Terego County MP) and Abdu Katuntu (MP Bugweri county) and Patrick Oboi (MP Kumi) also had an eye on the seat then.
In 2011 the FDC NEC after an emergency extraordinary meeting at Katonga road sat and suggested to elect Mafabi who was in Tanzania at the time as LOP against Cecilia Ogwal.
At the time most FDC MP’s were not in support of Alaso for LOP and a group led by Elijah Okupah (MP Kasilo County) and Ekanya lobbied Winnie Byanyima to speak to Dr Besigye to make Mafabi LOP.
Later on during a management committee meeting, members by consensus all agreed that Mafabi take the seat which was then forwarded to NEC for approval and appointment.
Currently only Wadri is expected to retain his seat as chairperson Public Accounts Committee (PAC) while Katuntu Shadow Attorney General is being fronted for the Local Government Accounts currently being chaired by Jack Sabiti (MP Rukiga County).
Nabila Nagayi (Woman MP Kampala) who is deputizing Odonga Otto (MP Aruu County) in the Government Assurances Committee is seeking for the chairperson position as NEC debates which other female should take over as chairperson of the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises committee.
The leadership of these committees is supposed to be reviewed after two and a half years.
However, Mafabi’s fate in the party will be known after the five man elders committee led Augustine Ruzindana makes its report public.
The committee was given 14 days within which to resolve the question of the 2 to 5 year tenure of the party President which have now elapsed.
The Party Spokesperson Wafula Ogutu last month acknowledged that during the November 2012 elections, there were some misunderstandings and disagreements within the Party on whether the newly elected President Maj. Gen Mugisha Muntu was to serve for two years or five years.
Some people within the party reasoned that the elections would be a stop-gap measure, to enable the new president serve for two years and complete former party leader Dr Kiiza Besigye’s term, while others said the new leader would serve a full term of five years as per the party Constitution.
Wafula stated then it was a short coming on the part of the party not to explicitly communicate to party members about Gen. Muntu’s tenure before the elections.
Ever since the 2012 elections Mafabi has been under pressure with some party members cajoling him to stop opposing Gen Muntu’s position as party president and let him complete a five year term and in return Mafabi would be allowed to retain his seat as LOP.
It is yet to be seen if Mafabi’s demotion from leader of opposition to shadow finance minister will not lead to his walk out and further split of the party.