At the conclusion of a three-day retreat for Opposition lawmakers, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga unveiled a new approach intended to improve the MPs’ performance in the plenary sittings of the House and committees.
For months, the Nyendo-Mukungwe legislator has been consulting senior legislators including those that served in previous parliaments on the best intervention to enhance the opposition lawmakers’ knowledge, skills and ultimately their performance in the House.
The majority of the 11th Parliament’s 109 Opposition MPs are new not only in Parliament but on the political scene as well.
These including some 20 independents that have expressed willingness to work with the Opposition platform in Parliament will be in sector-based clusters to build their capacity and enable them to make informed and knowledgeable contributions to Parliamentary business.
“We want to empower the Opposition MPs in a particularised way to enable them do their job. Through the clusters, the MPs will be supported by a technical team of researchers and experts so that at the end of the day, we have particular people we are empowered to speak about a specific subject matter with enough knowledge and information,” Mpuuga told the retreat at Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe.
This, he said, is the foundation for development of the Opposition Legislators’ mentorship programme, and a basis for pursuing and building partnerships with various stakeholders in conduct of Parliamentary activities.
Mpuuga’s sights are set on the actualisation of the Opposition legislative agenda for which he needs quality debaters.
“To achieve this, we have to empower our members to be able to effectively and efficiently keep the government in check,” he said further expressing optimism that this would improve the MPs’ confidence and boost public trust in the Shadow Cabinet and Opposition legislators.
The Opposition MPs are now at liberty to choose to belong to any of the 10 clusters namely, constitutionalism and human rights, natural resources, gender, health and education. The others are, economy, defence and internal affairs, agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, infrastructure, tourism and hospitality, governance plus technology and communication.