By Moses Mulondo
The newly appointed Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) Wafula Oguttu will today take over office from his predecessor Nathan Nandala Mafabi.
Shadow minister for information Nabilah Sempala said the newly appointed shadow ministers and committee chairpersons will also officially take over their offices.
“Tomorrow, expect the new Leader of Opposition to unveil his plan on how he intends to lead the opposition in parliament,” Sempala on Monday told a news conference in Kampala.
The Kampala woman MP said the party leaders are persuading Aruu County MP Odonga Otto and Bushenyi Municipalty MP Odo Tayebwa to accept their appointments as minister for internal affairs and chairperson for the parliament pensions committee respectively.
Whereas Otto rejected the appointment, Tayebwa delayed acceptance pending consultations on whether he would manage the task given to him.
Meanwhile, FDC has rejected President Yoweri Museveni’s proposal of amending the constitutional to remove the right for bail for certain offenses.
During their retreat at Kyankwanzi last week, the NRM MPs resolved to back President Museveni’s proposal to deny bail for sodomy suspects, defilers, rapists, treason and economic sabotage suspects and tasked Ministry of Justice to expedite the process of amending the Constitution to that effect.
Reacting to the President’s proposal, Sempala said, “As FDC we believe the President’s proposal on the removal of bail is politically motivated to have opposition leaders kept in jail for long. But this is unconstitutional because the constitution guarantees the right to be innocent until proved guilty,” Sempala claimed.
The right to bail is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 23 (6) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. Its basis is found in Article 28 of the same Constitution which states that an accused person is to be presumed innocent until he/she is proved or he/she pleads guilty.
“We shall not accept to be striped of our fundamental rights. Government wants to use such laws to deter the opposition from mobilizing and organizing by keeping the key leaders in jail,” she stated.
She appealed to government including the NRM MPs to reject the proposal which she said is draconian and colonial.
“NRM has always claimed that it fought for the rights and freedoms of Ugandans but this proposal is aimed at tying our legs so that we don’t freely carry out our political activities,” she elaborated.
Asked what alternative they have if it is passed, she said, “We shall use all possible means including taking the matter to courts of law and activism to protest the abrogation of our constitution.”