Winifred Kiiza (Kasese Woman) is among the FDC members who supported Mugisha Muntu

The leader of the opposition in the 10th parliament will be decided by leading opposition party Forum for Democratic Change soon amid a view in the party that either Kasese Woman MP Winnie Kizza or Dokolo woman MP Cecilia Atim Ogwal should occupy the post.

“There is a tradition of election in the main parliamentary opposition party. After the ruling party’s speaker and deputy elections, FDC can now appoint the leader of the house and the chief whip and apparently two senior women MPs who i can’t name are front runners,” a party insider told EagleOnline on Monday.

Section 6B(1) of the Administration of Parliament Act (2006), provides for the election of the LoP from an Opposition party with the greatest numerical strength. FDC has 36 MPs, DP 14 and the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) six MPs. The entire Opposition is in control of only 56 parliamentary seats. On the other hand, NRM has more than 280 MPs, with the majority of the Independent legislators also siding with the ruling party.

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While a section of the party feels it is only Ms. Kizza, 46, on whose name a consensus can be built among all MPs for the post of the leader of the August House, the name of senior leader Prof.  Ogenga Latigo, MP for Agago North for the post is also doing the rounds.

Kizza is the current FDC Women’s League leader. She has served on the parliamentary committee of Local government Accounts, Gender,Labour and Social Development and the Business Committee. Ms Kiiza has been in Parliament since 2006.

“I have the capability and competence to be the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament because I have acted in that position for a long time when I was Chief Whip,” Kizza said when asked why about her interest in the job.

“That gave me enough experience that I now want to put in practice. For the last 10 years, that post has been taken up by men and I think we should give it a feminine touch. I wouldn’t want to think my party would want to disappoint its women by denying them a chance to serve,” she added.

Other FDC members who are likely to vie for the LoP job include Mr Elijah Okupa (Kasilo), Samuel Odonga Otto (Aruu County), Abdul Katuntu (Bugweri) and Hassan Kaps Fungaroo(Obongi).

The party has already made it clear that any change for the post of the party’s leader in parliament, where outgoing Bukooli Central legislator Wafula Oguttu was occupying it, will be made only after consulting him.

While there is no problem for Cecilia Ogwala in getting the post of leader of the opposition as she can get the requisite numbers, its ability to get the same in FDC- leaning independents has come under scrutiny as Winnie Kizza is seen as is a younger option of an experienced legislator having risen from the opposition back benches to successfully serve in key roles including Chief Whip in the 9th Parliament and previously as the Deputy Chief Whip.

Ms. Kizza is considered as former FDC presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye’s blue-eyed eyed girl and has support from party President Gen. Mugisha Muntu and senior Oxfam boss Winnie Byanyima who is actively campaigning for her “Winnie Kizza would be an effective Leader of Opposition.  I hope FDC will endorse her,” Byanyima the party’s deputy Chairperson said.

However, party leaders have been maintaining that while there are some statutory requirements to get the perks of the leader of the opposition, there is “absolutely no legal bar” on the next LoP coming from the northern part of the country like two of the only three.

“We are still carrying out consultations among the members of FDC; the 10th Parliament caucus is still carrying out consultations so we are waiting to hear their views on it. We have been carrying out consultations before and we will make our final decision very soon,” Gen. Muntu said.

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