Speaking at the conference, Kiiza said that the Opposition should not be viewed as enemies of the ruling government but seen in its advisory role.
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kiiza. Photo/File
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kiiza is in Ghana to attend a conference on strengthening the role of the opposition in Parliament for effective governance and oversight.
Speaking at the conference on Tuesday, Kiiza said that the Opposition should not be viewed as enemies of the ruling government but seen in its advisory role.
She said the Opposition is a government in waiting and should not be classified as being against government programmes.
“On many occasions we have worked with the government; the only problem is people think the Opposition does the work of criticizing government and possibly does not even work towards providing solutions to the problems raised,” she said.
The conference was organized by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs and ends March 10, 2017.
Kiiza added that they have ensured that services to the people are effectively and sufficiently delivered without necessarily wasting resources.
“When we criticize the issue of education for all, we don’t refuse the aspect that there should be education for all Ugandans,” Kiiza noted. She added that, “there should be free but quality education. Can you make the cost affordable even for the poorest of the poor so that there is equal opportunity for all Ugandans?”
The Kasese Woman MP urged Ugandans to look at the Opposition as their greatest ally.
“I look at someone who advises me as their friend; I don’t look at that person as an enemy most especially if that person is looking at the weaknesses that I have because when you point at my weaknesses, you want me to be better,” she added.
Kiiza called on the ruling party to listen to them if they have to deliver services effectively, “especially if the policy benefits all Ugandans”.
Defence and Internal Affairs Shadow Minister, Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala) however, expressed fear about the perception of the population that if the Opposition is working with government then they have been compromised.
“This has undermined the spirit of cooperation because the Opposition fears to be perceived as a compromised entity,” he said.
He added that the government should also be faulted for creating the impression that if the Opposition is cooperating then they have been ‘taken’.
Kivumbi says that the country is at a loss on the development agenda if this is not understood and addressed by all the stakeholders.
“There are issues that are non-partisan where we can find a middle ground and build a win-win situation. The winner in that situation are the people but the people themselves undermine that possibility by saying, whenever the Opposition works with government they are compromised,” he added.
Opposition politicians who have come publicly and supported government programmes have for long been accused of being in cohorts with government even by their own parties. This has often led to mistrust among members of the party or the Opposition in general.
The seminar is aimed at improving the capacity of opposition parties to hold government to account, promote and stimulate debates in Parliament and how to work with the media and civil society to ensure good governance.
The delegation also includes MP Angelline Osegge, Anne Adeke Ebaju and Santa Alum. The team also includes four technical staff from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.