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Nandala Mafabi under pressure to step aside

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th August 2012 12:30 PM

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nandala Mafabi is under increasing pressure to step aside until the process of electing the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president is finalised.

Nandala Mafabi under pressure to step aside

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nandala Mafabi is under increasing pressure to step aside until the process of electing the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president is finalised.

By Mary Karugaba and Charles Etukuri

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nandala Mafabi is under increasing pressure to step aside until the process of electing the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president is finalised.

This is on the grounds that he is using facilities in his office to edge out his opponents in the race for party president.

Three candidates have been nominated to replace the current president, Col. Rtd Kizza Besigye. They are Mafabi, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu who is also the party’s secretary general and Tororo County MP Godfrey Ekanya. The elections will take place in November.

A group of MPs allied to Muntu led by Ngora County MP Francis Epetait are accusing Mafabi of using his office to mobilise voters in the name of “tours” to inspect Government programmes. The group is planning to petition the Speaker of Parliament to ask Mafabi to step down or be forced out of office.

“If we are to have a fair playing field, it is only honourable for him to respect the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC). It is important for us to walk the walk. Even in Parliament, we took a decision that no Government minister should use government facilities to carry out campaigns,” Epetait told Sunday Vision.

 According to Epetait, Mafabi was part of the party’s NEC that drafted the guidelines that state all candidates will campaign on an equal platform. The group cites Mafabi’s trip to western Uganda, where he met delegates last month.

However Mafabi’s supporters have lashed out at Muntu’s camp over what they referred to as irrational attacks.

“Most of those people are frustrated. They wanted to be Leader of Opposition now they want to punish him for that. That is jealousy,” Kap Fungaroo said.

Article 82 of the 1995 Constitution provides for Mafabi’s position under the multiparty system. The Administration of Parliament (amendment) Act, 2006 defines leader of opposition as an MP belonging to an opposition party with the greatest numerical strength, who acts as the leader of the opposition.

Under the Act, the Leader of Opposition (LOP) is accorded the status of a cabinet minister. The entitlements include a state-of-art heavy-duty vehicle, fuel, armed guards, a chase car, stationery and a budget determined from time to time by the parliamentary commission.

 The race to replace Besigye has polarised the party into different camps, the two major ones being Muntu and Mafabi.

Those backing Mafabi include Saalam Musumba, Kassiano Wadri, Amanya Mushega, Jack Sabiiti, Odo Tayebwa, and Ssemujju Nganda. Muntu has received the backing of Cecilia Ogwal, Alice Alaso, Abdul Katuntu and Francis Epetait

Nandala Mafabi under pressure to step aside

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