The President of the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party, Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat, has spoken out on the recent changes in parliament.
Amuriat says the Changes in ‘‘parliament happen, they are inevitable. I don’t actually understand why this has raised eyebrows, opportunity should be given to as many people as possible.’’ He said on Monday.
Amuriat who some accuse of working under the influence of former Party President, Dr. Kizza Besigye came under fire for dropping many party leaders in Parliament including Winnie Kiiza from Leader of Opposition in Parliament and appointing Hon Mubarak Munyagwa chairperson of the Committee on Commissions, replacing Abdu Katuntu. Some have accused him of hitting back at the group for supporting his rival for the party presidency, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu last year.
However, Amuriat while on NBS TV morning show on Monday said that the changes were informed by a number of factors including: loyalty, financial contribution, adding that the other details underground are not for public consumption.
He observed that he has never been vindictive in his life and would never be. ‘‘If I was, then Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda [ Who supported Mugisha Muntu] would not have retained he’s position as chief opposition whip.’’.
Asked what he thinks of the outgoing Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kiiza, Amuriat described Kizza as ‘ ‘ A fine lady. I congratulate her publicly for the good work she has done for the party. When I meet her privately, I will let her know what I liked and didn’t like about her.’’
The FDC president also revealed that ‘‘it has been proven that parliament might not be effective in bringing liberation, so we have to find another way.’’
On what he thinks of the backlash coming with the reshuffles, Hon. Amuriat: said the Party shall weather the storm.
‘‘With over ten Million party members, we just lead. We will deal with the repercussions but I don’t expect these reshuffles to cause a divide, they all knew this was going to happen. I have confidence in the team I appointed, I’ve worked with them and I believe they’ll push our party political agenda forward.’’ He said.
The FDC reshuffle was been criticized by sections of the public who felt that the new FDC leaders in Parliament such as the Leader of Opposition Mary Aol Achan and COSASE chairman Mubarak Munyagwa are not up to the task.
However, Amuriat said that : “We’ve had a lot of consultation and work done in so many months. But it’s on record that we talked to everyone before a decision was taken to reshuffle. One thing that we need to understand is that MPs qualify to be in Parliament and to my mind, all of them qualify and once they qualify to be in Parliament, they qualify to be in a Parliamentary committee. I think the public is very unfair to Hon. Mubarak Munyagwa, they should give him time to step into the committee and do his work. I’ve been around him for the past months and he is a very honest man.”
“When you talk about Betty Aol Ochan being little known, you underrate her political capacity and where she came from, she started early and now a third term MP, so why would you think she would never perform in the position of Leader of Opposition! I have confidence in the team I appointed, I’ve worked with them and I believe they’ll push our party political agenda forward,” he added.