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Sunday,September 27,2020 19:09 PM

Midweek Opinion <em>with John Kakande</em>

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd September 2003 03:00 AM

THE Movement Parliamentary Caucus and the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO) have both new leaderships.

THE Movement Parliamentary Caucus and the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO) have both new leaderships.

Is Kinobe Really Too Busy To Head The Movement Caucus?
THE Movement Parliamentary Caucus and the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO) have both new leaderships.
Charles Bakkabulindi (Workers) has taken over the Caucus chairmanship while Augustine Ruzindana (Ruhama) is the new head of PAFO, a supposedly parliamentary lobby group launched early this year.
Under Ruzindana’s leadership and with such personalities as Miria Matembe, James Mwanda and Wagonda Muguli in its ranks, PAFO, which has hitherto lacked clear political direction, has now emerged as the counterbalancing force to the pro-establishment Movement Caucus.
The new leaderships of PAFO and the Caucus reflect shifting allegiances and hardening dissent within Movement as the country braces itself for opening up of politics. Lt. James Kinobe opted to step down as Caucus chairperson due to the Movement’s internal politics characterised by infighting. It can’t be that he is too busy as Chairperson of the Local Government Accounts committee.
The caucus chairperson is entitled to certain privileges, including office at the Movement secretariat. The chairperson attends meetings of top Movement leaders. How could Kinobe, an ambitious young politician, give up such a privileged position in favour of a politically less significant post? Kinobe is the only caucus chairperson who has not become a minister.
Talk in political circles is that Kinobe is seen as an ally of ex-minister Bidandi Ssali suspected to have presidential ambitions. Kinobe’s detractors believe that his mentor is Bidandi Ssali. They thought that Kinobe took over as chairperson of the Local Government Accounts committee on Bidandi’s advice and in anticipation that he would succeed Ssali as local government minister.
Kinobe has liberal views on issues like opening up the political space. Like Bidandi Ssali, Kinobe was among original advocates for turning the Movement into a political party. In contrast, a new caucus leadership includes some Movement loyalists notorious in the Parliament for their hardline views.
Most, including the chairperson, are representatives of special interest groups who are some of the Movement’s most trusted MPs. Thus Kinobe’s departure, is in a way, a continuation of a process that started with the dismissal of former ministers Bidandi, Kategaya, Matembe and Namusoke.
As the Caucus slips into hands of hard-liners, the dissenters in Movement have been compelled to find an alternative platform, PAFO. The rejuvenated PAFO could emerge as a force to reckon with in the House, just as the Young Parliamentary Association was in the Sixth Parliament.
Ends

Midweek Opinion <em>with John Kakande</em>

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