February 13, 2014

Mafabi To Muntu: I am Comfortable On The Back Bench

Nandala Mafabi, MP Budadiri West and outgoing Leader of Opposition in parliament.
Nandala Mafabi, MP Budadiri West and outgoing Leader of Opposition in parliament.

Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the outgoing leader of the opposition in parliament declined reappointment on the shadow cabinet, Red Pepper Online has learnt.

On Wednesday morning, Wafulu Oguttu, the incoming leader of the opposition in parliament issued a list of members appointed to various oversight committees and the shadow committee.

However, the former LOP did not feature in any of the new positions. Gen Muntu explained that Nandala wrote to Wafula saying he was not interested in any position on the shadow cabinet and was comfortable sitting on the back bench.

As a leader of opposition, Wafula Ogutu automatically becomes a member of the Parliamentary commission leaving one sit that Muntu had retained for Nandala. However, following Nandala decision to turn down any appointment Gen. Muntu gave the Parliamentary commission position to Reagan Okumu, the Aswa County MP.

Aruu County MP Odonga Otto the former committee chairperson Government assurances committee was moved to shadow minister for Internal Affairs which he turned down. He stated that the FDC has now taken a diplomatic approach instead of being confrontational and appointed lukewarm leaders such as Wafula to lead the party.

He added that he strongly fought to prevent the passing of the Public order management Bill and needed to be given a lucrative committee position. Otto argued that he was better placed to manage the Public Accounts committee which has gone to Alice Alaso Asianu, the Serere district woman MP and not a shadow minister.

But Muntu defended his decision to appoint Otto as Shadow Minister saying his confrontation character suits the Internal Affairs position.  Gen. Muntu argues that the FDC has many battles to fight in Parliament and the best person to do it is Otto.

Odo Tayebwa is on the Parliamentary Pension Fund but he also declined the position saying he has a masters in economics and deserves better. Gen. Muntu and Wafula also appointed Elijah Okupah a former Parliamentary commissioner to the Pan African Parliament.  Akello Franca Woman MP Agago, Bihande Bwambale MP Bukonjo East were appointed to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Christine Abia is the new Ambassador to the African Caribbean and European Union.

During the meeting, Abia had been appointed the PAC chairperson while Alaso had not been given any position. However, party members objected, arguing that Abia has been indisciplined and has not been paying party fees. He then asked members to suggest names to which they fronted Alaso. Muntu had argued that the reason he wanted Alaso to retain her position as secretary general is because the party is heading towards the 2016 general elections and he wants the SG not to be diverted by other responsibilities.

The party members stated that after Nandala being dropped, the party would not only have to deal with bad blood from Bugisu but Teso thus the need for Alaso to have a position. Betty Nambooze who is now information minister had been deployed as shadow minister for Kampala.

However, Nabila Naggayi told NEC that she does not want to collide with the Mukono Woman MP because she had claimed that Naggayi is an NRM mole in FDC.

The party National Chairman Joyce Ssebugwawo had also told Muntu that she needed more Baganda to take the Kampala positions. She argued that Nabila the former vice chairperson of local government should be the chairperson instead of Ssemuju Nganda the new chairperson on statutory authorities. Kasiano Wadri, the former PAC chairperson had been appointed Shadow Minister for local government but was later replaced by Nambooze.

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