Joel Ssenyonyi, the new Leader of the Opposition in Parliament – LoP, has expressed optimism that he will build his leadership charisma based on the strong foundation laid by his immediate predecessor, Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba.
The Nakawa Division West MP was appointed by his party, the National Unity Platform – NUP in December 2023 and made the remarks after Mpuuga officially handed over the LOP’s office on Wednesday at Parliament.
The handover brought Mpuuga’s 30-month’ tenure since May 2021 to an end.
Ssenyonyi described the handover as a peaceful change of guard by the Opposition which Ugandans rarely experience, adding that a peaceful transition of power is very possible and should be emulated by all Ugandans in positions of authority.
Ssenyonyi becomes the 10th LOP since 1962 when Uganda attained Independence from the British colonialists. He explained that his leadership will ride on the strong foundation laid by Mpuuga to push for the desired socio-economic changes in the country and give new hope for better service delivery for all Ugandans.
Speaking at the same event, Mpuuga lauded the peaceful transfer of power and asked Ssenyonyi to use his zeal to take on the new mantle to continue to advocate for a better and united Uganda based on the foundation his leadership has already laid.
Mpuuga, who is the Member of Parliament for Nyendo-Mukungwe Division in Masaka City, has now been appointed Commissioner of Parliament replacing the embattled Mityana Municipality lawmaker, Francis Zaake who has been appointed the Deputy Opposition Chief Whip, and Shadow Minister for Presidency.
Both Mpuuga and Ssenyonyi emphasized that there is growing hope in the opposition by Ugandans who hold those in opposition leadership in high esteemm as evidenced by the attention and positive criticism of their work to deliver change.
Section 6(b) of the Administration of Parliament Act stipulates that a Leader of Opposition in Parliament shall be elected by a party in the Opposition having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament.
While chairing a plenary sitting of Parliament on Tuesday, Speaker Anita Among congratulated Sssenyoni, the former Chairperson of Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises – COSASE upon ascending to this position and wished him a productive tenure of office.
Rule 14(1) of our Rules of Procedure stipulates that the principle role of the LOP is to keep the government in check.