Alex Onzima has resigned as shadow defence minister, citing bad working conditions,
Onzima communicated his resignation in an August 9 letter to the Leader of the Opposition, Prof. Ogenga Latigo, with a copy to the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi.
Onzima, the MP for Maracha who was elected on an FDC ticket, has of late been suspected of moving closer to the ruling NRM.
In his letter, Onzima accused Latigo and FDC secretary general Alice Alaso of failing to lobby for offices for the shadow ministers.
Both Latigo and Alaso are members of the Parliamentâ€™s governing body â€“ the parliamentary commission.
During the debate on the State-of-the-Nation address recently, Onzima demanded that the parliamentary commission provides suitable offices for each shadow minister to help them carry out their duties efficiently.
He also asked for shadow ministers to be provided with secretaries, researchers and political assistants.
â€œHow does the commission explain the fact that the parliamentary commissioners, chairmen of parliamentary committees, their deputies, clerk assistants as well as junior parliamentary staff enjoy all the above facilities and yet shadow ministers are deliberately neglected, hence rendered totally irrelevant?â€ Onzima asked in the letter.
â€œI demand to be convinced that our leading opposition offices do care and pressurise the parliamentary commission to resolve the pathetic environment under which shadow ministers volunteer to operate.â€
He said the shadow cabinet deserved these minimum pre-requisites, which he believed were more rational and important than the repeated demand for recognition at public functions.
Latigo, in his reaction to the State-of-the-Nation address, had complained about the way he was being seated at public functions.
â€œIn the prevailing circumstances, unless there are very strong guarantees by the commission to urgently address these discrepancies, I do find myself unable to continue discharging the functions of shadow minister any further, hence the tendering of my resignation letter,â€ Onzima concluded.
Efforts to get a reaction from Latigo yesterday proved fruitless.
FDC shadow minister resigns post