PARLIAMENT- The National Resistance Movement on Sunday voted party leaders in Parliament. The leaders join the Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa to complete the NRM party structure in the August House.
Former journalist and MP for Burahya County Margaret Muhanga beat Paul Amoru (Dokolo North) and former Police publicist Simeo Nsubuga to the position of publicity secretary.
Ms Mariam Naigaga (Namutumba), a former banker with Centenary Bank was elected treasurer while Mr Solomon Silwanyi (Bukooli Central) was elected caucus vice-chairperson, among others.
Speaking to Daily Monitor after the election, the team pledged to promote unity and ensure good performance of the party in Parliament.
Ms Muhanga noted the need for NRM to publicise its achievement and highlight the work of its members.
“We have done so much but it is not spoken about. We need to engage the public more through social media,” she said.
“MPs have been demonised in the face of the electorate. They say MPs are the most paid yet they are the most indebted. We need to explain this. We pay tax even on medical allowance and only recently protested the tax on our fuel. But no one has been there to explain this to the public,” she said and promised to work closely with journalists at Parliament.
Speaking on what she brings to the team in the finance docket, Ms Naigaga pledged to improve transparency and accountability of members’ subscription fees, a thing she said has been lacking in the House caucus.
“There has been poor preparation of financial reports and lack of transparency. Even members do not know how to access financial help from the party through the caucus. We will ensure transparency and accountability,” she said.
She promised to expedite the formation of a caucus saving co-operative.
“We also run broke. Some of our members have emergencies of even Shs500,000 and are forced to borrow from money lenders at interest rates of more than 20 per cent. We should save our members from such,” she said.
The NRM chairman electoral commission, Mr Tanga Odoi, said he expects the new team to perform.
“The team looks vibrant and we look forward to seeing them deliver on their promises,” Mr Odoi said.
“They should focus on improving members’ welfare and harmonising the caucus with the other organs of the party. We don’t want to see things in the media. We want to handle everything internally,” he said.
He also warned those complaining about the whipping culture in the House, saying they had better get used to multi-party politics.
“Once you subscribe to a political party, you lose the freedom to talk recklessly. You embrace collective responsibility with all its merits and demerits,” he said.