KAMPALA: The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among Annet, has declined the re-designation of Martin Ojara Mapenduzi by the Opposition as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee—PAC Local Government.
On Tuesday, Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition – LoP in Parliament, reshuffled some members of the Shadow Cabinet, including the re-designation of Gilbert Olanya of Kilak South County to replace Mapenduzi.
Mpuuga also re-designated Frank Katabaazi, the Kalungu East MP in Masaka District, and the Shadow Minister for Fisheries, as the new Shadow Minister-in-charge of East African Community Affairs, replacing Olanya. Hellen Nakimuli, the Kalangala District Woman MP, has been named Shadow Minister for Fisheries, succeeding Charles Tebandeke, the Baale County MP.
On Wednesday during plenary, she told MPs that she had received a letter from the Opposition Chief Whip, John Baptist Nambeshe, re-designating Olanya as the next Chairperson of PAC Local Government to replace Mapenduzi, the Bardege-Layibi Division MP in Gulu City.
Among other things, PAC – Local Government under Mapenduzi is yet to finalise a crucial report into their findings following the Auditor General’s report for FY 2020/2021. She declined the re-designation and directed a formal motion for Mapenduzi’s re-designation, which will then be voted on in the House.
Mpuuga disputed the Speaker’s directive, arguing that different political parties through their whips have the discretion to re-designate their members in pursuance of the principles of multi-party dispensation in the country.
Section 196 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament states that a Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Committee may be re-designated at any time during his or her tenure by the relevant Whip, with the approval of the House.
Mapenduzi contested under an independent ticket for the Bardege-Layibi Division Parliamentary Seat in Gulu City after he denounced the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party. He was appointed to the position on May 28th, 2021.
In February, Mapenduzi locked horns with the leadership of the National Unity Platform (NUP), the main opposition party in Parliament, after he filed a motion to censure Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake Batebi for insulting the integrity of the Speaker.
When contacted, Mapenduzi welcomed the changes but said he had not yet received formal communication to that effect.