Kampala. Bickering and counter accusations have taken shape, pitting two Democratic Party’s key figures, Ms Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality), and Mr Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East).
The development that has seen friends turn foe has been sparked by Mr Sseggona’s push for an amendment of the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2019, to provide for an elected Leader Of Opposition, committee chairpersons and Opposition chief whip.
Mr Sseggona, who doubles as the shadow Justice and constitutional affairs minister, is the legal brain for the amendment that was tabled by Kabale Municipality MP Andrew Aja Baryayanga (Independent).
However, according to Ms Nambooze, Mr Sseggona’s stance is intriguing and ill driven, and that he should be subjected to party disciplinary processes for backing an anti-opposition law.
“We shall still go back to our political parties and inform them about the conduct of some of our colleagues,” Ms Nambooze recently told a press conference held at Parliament.
She said: “You can’t come here in a DP van and as soon as you reach Parliament, you say we want to detach ourselves from the political parties, that you are no longer interested in the vehicle.”
However, Mr Sseggona, in an interview with Daily Monitor, said he has no time to waste on people who have not read the Bill, but have instead chosen to insult him.
“I am happy to swallow the insults of those who are hell-bent on insulting me, but to some limit, my time of responding will come if I am pushed to the wall,” he said.
“To me, Opposition does not mean a clique of a party, not even the whole party but a clique within that party,” Mr Sseggona advised.
Mr Nambooze is the Opposition mouth piece in Parliament and has been at the core of Opposition press briefings at the August House.
She said the Bill by Mr Baryayanga and Mr Sseggona has been mooted in bad faith to frustrate the incumbent Leader of Opposition, Ms Betty Aol. The Bill, she claims, helps achieve President Museveni’s dream to finish off the Opposition.
But Mr Sseggona said the Opposition’s fears are misplaced since the Bill, if passed into law, will not take immediate effect.
“It should be the National Resistance Movement to worry, not us (Opposition), because it is going to work from 2021 and it will be NRM in the Opposition. We will not be in the Opposition unless some people think that even as we cross into power, they will remain in the Opposition,” Mr Sseggona said.
The Busiro East MP said he will be eager to make responses to his party if summoned, but he stressed that his pursuit is to have democracy practised at its best.
About the bill
Due for debate. The Administration of Parliament (amendment) Bill, 2019 was tabled last month and is due for debate. The Bill seeks to provide for the manner of choosing back-bench members of the Commission, the LOP, the Chief Opposition Whip and Party Whips and to establish the office of Deputy Leader of Opposition and Deputy Chief Opposition Whip.
It also seeks to provide for the tenure of party Whips and to establish the office of dean of Independent Members of Parliament.