The opposition shadow cabinet retreat that ended on March 17, 2019 failed to find a common stand on the proposed amendment of the Administration of Parliament Bill.
Majority members of the opposition shadow cabinet put pressure on the shadow minister for Justice Medard Sseggona, the Busiro East MP, to withdraw his support for the bill but he declined to succumb to their pressure.
The bill seeks to have the leader of opposition elected following the nomination of at least three contenders by the leading opposition party.
It also seeks to amend the procedure of appointing the opposition whip and the deputy leader of opposition.
The leader of opposition Betty Aol Ocan pleaded with Sseggona but to no avail.
She said: “My son you’re shooting at your own self. Today is Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) with majority opposition in parliament, tomorrow it could the Democratic Party(DP). This amendment gives chance for the ruling National Resistance Movement to pass through one us to decide who leads the opposition”.
Kaps Fungaroo Hassan, chairman of the committee on Government Assurances said the amendment would hand the office of the leader of opposition to the speaker of parliament and the entire house with majority NRM.
“Our own is selling us. We can’t accept this. Let him withdraw support,” said Fungaroo.
Nakaseke South MP Luttamaguzi Ssemakula said the amendment would erase the opposition power.
“We all have to fight this proposed law, if it passes we will not exist anymore. The law is not in good faith,” he said.
Sseggona refused to withdraw his support for the bill.
He said: “The views of the shadow cabinet members are just mere opinion; everyone has a right to hold an opinion. I also have my views and that is why I am standing by them. There is no chance I can bend low at this level. I will stick with the proposed amendment but we can continue to discuss it,” he said.
Mathias Mpuuga, the MP for Masaka Municipality sided with Sseggona.
He said: “The problem with our members they don’t read. Their arguments are [based on] ignorance and there is no clear indication that they took trouble to read the details of the amendment and to understood them. Some are just opposed to a proposal they don’t understand.”