Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament – LOP has slammed the speaker’s office for shielding Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja’s incompetence as leader of government business in the August House.
He was responding to questions from journalists at Parliament on Wednesday following the Opposition’s mid-term review meeting that focused on appraising the level of service delivery and accountability in the country.
Mpuuga accused Nabbanja of rarely attending plenary sessions, noting that if she surfaces in the House, she is less knowledgeable and hardly spends enough time to attend to pertinent issues that require a timely response from the government.
He cited the forced disappearance of an opposition supporter, John Bosco Kibalama whose whereabouts remain a mystery.
Mpuuga also cited a litany of 50 questions that he raised in August to be answered by the Prime Minister but none of the inquiries were answered by her nor her subordinate Ministers.
The LOP also observed that the framers of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda tried to mirror the British Parliamentary System to give the Prime Minister a final say in every affair of government, which explains why Nabbanja’s role as PM is at a crossroads.
Since being appointed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on June 8th, 2021 to become Uganda’s seventh Prime Minister, Nabbanja has been under intense scrutiny by the opposition who accuse her of gross incompetence.
Attempts to get a response from Nabbanja on the matter were futile.
But Charles Odongtho, the publicist for the Office of the Prime Minister – OPM questioned the rationale and parameters used by the LOP to determine the Premier’s incompetence especially when he (Mpuuga) is not Nabbanja’s supervisor.
“That is a mere accusation because as far as I know, the Prime Minister has been performing her duties, and in her absence, she delegates the Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament or the Government Chief Whip to appropriately respond to emerging issues at hand,” Odongtho told URN on phone.
Adding that, “I would rather hear from the presiding officers themselves who handle issues in the House about the PM’s incompetence and not the LOP.”
Under Article 108 A of the Constitution, the Prime Minister is the Leader of Government Business in Parliament. In addition, the Premier is responsible for the coordination and implementation of Government Policies across Ministries, Departments, Agencies – MDAs and other public institutions.
During a monitoring and evaluation tour to demand accountability in Government schools and health facilities in June, Mpuuga and Nabbanja clashed with the former ordering Resident District Commissioners – RDCs across the country to arrest the LOP should he attempt to visit the facilities.
It followed the LOP’s visit to Luwero and Buikwe where he was taken to tour primary schools where children were studying on a dusty floor and under trees respectively. In Kawolo Hospital, the LOP discovered that out of 147 enrolled staff, only 35 were on duty while others were on strike over salary delays.
The findings which were published by different media outlets including national TV stations prompted Nabbanja to rush to Kawolo Hospital to reprimand the striking health workers.
On several occasions, the duo clashed on the floor of Parliament over the whereabouts of 18 missing supporters of the National Unity Platform – NUP party supporters.
At one point, Nabbanja admitted Kibalama was in government custody before contradictorily denying the same.