The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Hon Betty Aol Ocan, has on Thursday named new opposition opposition cabinet bringing to an end anxiety which had gripped opposition members of parliament over the past few months.
“It has been a question since the time I took office from my predecessor, people asked whether I was to continue with the old cabinet,” said Aol.
Aol who took over the Leadership of parliament from Kasese district woman member of parliament hon Winie Kiiza in August had earlier promised to make the change.
The new opposition cabinet were drawn from across the political divide with members coming from Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party and Independents and NRM rebels MPs.
Six people were dropped from previous cabinet and they includes Herbert Edmund Ariko, Robert Centenary, Gilbert Olanya, Micheal Kabaziguruka, Lucy Akello, Abdu Katuntu and Moses Kasibante While the new Shadow Cabinet includes: Wilfred Niwagaba (Ind, Ndorwa East) as the Attorney General, Medard Ssegona (DP, Busiro East) in charge of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Hon Akol Anthony (FDC, Kilak North) holding the portfolio of Finance, Planning and Economic Development minister.
Prominent names like Kyadondo East member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine, Odonga Otto and Ogenga Latigo were missing on the new cabinet drawing mixed reactions from members of the public.
When contacted for comment, senior member of opposition Forum for Democratic Change said being appointed as a shadow cabinet does not add much to the constribution of member of parliament on the floor of the house.
“I beg you not to take this so personal, but being on a shadow cabinet minister means nothing especially in a parliament that is captured by the executive (Mr. Museveni). A good lawmaker can still serve his country fruitfully whether from the front or back bench of the August House,” a prominent member of opposition FDC said.
The senior opposition member further added Bobi Wine declined to take up the position when contacted for appointments.
“I think some of you Don’t know the real Bobi Wine, he is not a man who loves positions, that’s why you will never hear exchanging bitter words over appointments. He knows that he can still perfectly represent the people of Kyadondo, do all that he wants whether in or outside the shadow cabinet. I have personally talked to him but he is much focused on peaceful transition of power than mere parliament positions,” FDC senior member revealed.
The party official further denied the allegations that the singer turned politician was dropped to his affiliations to Mugisha Muntu New Formation party.
“That’s a big lie, FDC is not at war with the People Power Fraternity, like other parties, Bobi Wine is a strong partner in the struggle and as the party we are in good books with him. I however want to tell you that the same way you think that Bobi Wine is close to Gen. Muntu is the same way he is close to Dr. Besigye. Therefore that should not be the point because MPs are not appointed on the shadow cabinet because they support Besigye or Muntu but because someone’s commitment and willingness to serve,” he stated.
In accordance with Rule 14 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, “the Leader of the Opposition shall in consultation with his/her party leadership appoint a shadow cabinet from members of the Opposition in Parliament.
The shadow cabinet members hold portfolio and functions corresponding to those of Cabinet ministers and are mandated to provide alternative policy recommendations to government.