Last year UPC's Betty Amongi was appointed Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development
The former leader of opposition in Parliament, Wafula Oguttu has labelled Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) a “side dish” of the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM), but that it fears to publicly confess.
Oguttu a journalist and politician said UPC and NRM are secretly working together, adding that the two parties can concretize their relationship, sign a memorandum of understanding, merge the parties into one and work together openly.
“UPC is NRM’s side dish. The former should stop hiding, accept the marriage and sign MOUs, showing that NRM has married UPC and openly work together,” he said.
“Thereafter, they can go for elections and merge the party into one, because at the moment, the laws do not recognize their relationship. UPC should stop this foolery of going back and forth, accept that they are working with NRM,” he added.
His comments follow a recent debate at Parliament raised after government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, riled opposition legislators by designating UPC’s Maxwell Akora (Maruzi Country) as the vice chair of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology.
Oguttu was speaking shortly after a press briefing by Dr. Kizza Besigye at his Katonga Road offices on Tuesday.
Last year, President Yoweri Museveni also appointed UPC president Jimmy Akena’s partner, Betty Amongi as the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
Parliament rules of procedure provide that the Party in Government shall designate the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of each Sectoral Committee provided that no active Member of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces shall be designated Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.
The Rules also provide that parties through their whips designate members to serve on Committees.
During the heated debate, members said that the action by the Government Chief Whip designating MPs from the Opposition negated parliamentary democracy, which provides for two sides of the House, with the latter checking the former.
They asked government to enter into a formal coalition considering that the President had appointed Amongi.
Oguttu also accused the Nankabirwa of disrespect, noting that she is not the one supposed to designate members of the opposition such positions but rather the opposition chief whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
He also called on the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to stop giving responsibilities to MPs from the opposition or taking them abroad without consulting the leader of opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, saying it is also a sign of disrespect.