Leaders from different opposition parties in Parliament have accused President Yoweri Museveni’s government of sabotage tactics to frustrate multi-party politics in Uganda, saying he’s behaving like if not worse that former president Dr. Milton Obote behaved.
This is after the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige, blocked a meeting that was supposed to be held on Monday this week, between the Leader of Opposition in Parliament and the Opposition Political Parties’ leaders on the crucial pending bills in parliament.
The leader of the Opposition Betty Aol Ocan revealed that she had called a meeting with the leaders of opposition political parties to discuss and come up with a position on the Constitutional Amendment Bill and the Parliament Bill by the Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Ssegona.
The seemingly agitated Ochan revealed that her office was informed that she could not have the meeting through a loose minute not even addressed to her by the Director of the Office of the Leader of opposition.
The document authored by Kibirige indicated that Parliament of Uganda would be hosting the Bank of Uganda officials in an exit meeting with COSASE and therefore the institution would not be able to handle both groups at the same time.
However the lead of opposition objected to the alternative venue which was the conference hall at the prime minister’s office.
“I demand for explanation from the Clerk’s office, as to why the sudden change and why didn’t she consult my office…… Is she (Jane Kibirige ) being used by opponents? It is becoming hard,” Ocan lamented.
According to Ocan who expressed her disappointment through a response, the actions of Mr. Kibirige were deliberate and aimed at embarrassing her and the entire opposition leaders since they have not requested for a meeting venue at the prime minister’s office.
Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze, supported Ocan by adding that the move by the clerk to parliament is one of the many schemes that are geared at frustrating the opposition to the extent of having no sound political opposition in the country by 2021 as per the wishes of President Museveni.
Refering to the precedent set by Dr. Milton Obote in 1964-1971, Nambooze said the office of the Clerk to Parliament and other key offices in Parliament are being used to fail the operations of the leadership of Betty Aol Ocan and the entire opposition in parliament.
She mentions that the office bearers appointed by the leader of opposition for different committees and other offices are yet to take their roles just because continued intimidation.
“The leader of opposition designated New committee chairpersons and their deputies but they have not taken up their offices…..we suspect this could be a well calculated move to frustrate the leader of opposition in parliament”-Nambooze
Nambooze gave an example of Kawempe North MP Mubaraka Muyagwa saying he could be framed just like in the rape case of Dr.Kiiza Besigye.
Last week, the Leaders of the political parties had a meeting to agree on the administration of parliament bill that seeks to among others make the office of the leader of opposition elective and the constitutional amendments bill fronted by Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba which seeks to introduce a number of key reforms in the constitution.
Meanwhile Nambooze says though the Administration of Parliament bill is proposed by their very own Medard Ssegona they will strongly fight it.
She explains the Bill by Ssegoona seeks to introduce reforms regarding how the leader of opposition and chief opposition whips are elected, yet in a multi-party dispensation it is clear the second largest party in parliament comes up with the Leader of opposition.
Nambooze further notes that this very bill may be used by the ruling party to further frustrate the opposition in parliament.
Democratic party Secretary General Gerald Siranda who somehow managed to access the LOP’s office demanded for a clear position on whether political leaders are not supposed to access parliament even for a meeting. Siranda also questions what could be behind the bills that are not supposed to be discussed by the opposition political leaders.
Currently the Administration of parliament bill is before the Parliamentary committee on legal and Parliamentary affairs for scrutiny while the constitutional amendment bill is already on the Order paper under business to follow.