By Charles Etukuri
KAMPALA - Bukooli Central Member of Parliament and Forum for Democratic Change spokesperson, Wafula Oguttu is the new Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP).
Wafula was elected on Friday afternoon by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to replace Nathan Nandala Mafabi in a move many see as an attempt by the incumbent president Mugisha Muntu to strengthen his hold on the party.
Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal was elected as the new Chief Whip replacing Kasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza.
The position of leader of opposition is held for a two-and-a-half year renewable term. Nandala’s term expired in December last year.
When the NEC met on Friday morning, Muntu briefed them on his desire to change the leadership of the party in Parliament to ensure proper coordination of the party activities. Muntu personally nominated Wafula.
Nandala was appointed LOP in 2012, and has been one of the most visible leaders in the house. His biggest challenge has however come from his own colleagues in the opposition who have often criticized his style of leadership and blamed for creating disunity among the opposition in Parliament.
Some party members have openly detested his abrasive style of leadership and they have not kept their feeling secret.
In 2012, MPs Florence Ikwau (Kaberemaido Woman) and Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Woman) resigned from the shadow cabinet after Mafabi questioned their competence and loyalty. They openly voiced their displeasure at his leadership style.
Mafabi supporters looked dejected when the announcement was made and felt they had been betrayed.
Mafabi contested against Muntu in the race to elect a new Party President following the resignation of Kizza Besigye.
It was a narrow win for Muntu and immediately after Mafabi’s team blamed the Secretary General Alice Alaso for disfranchising some delegates from his stronghold.
Wafula new Leader of Opposition