MP Martin Ojara Mapenduzi Appointed as Chairperson of Committee on Public Service and Local Government.

Bardege-Layibi County Member of Parliament, Hon. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi will chair the Committee on Public Service and Local Government following his designation by the Government Chief Whip.

This followed his resignation from the position of Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee on Local Government.

During the plenary session held on Tuesday, 20 June 2023, objections were raised by some Members of Parliament regarding Mapenduzi’s designation.

However, Speaker Anita Among approved his resignation and had him approved the Chairperson of the Committee on Public Service and Local Government, a role that was initially held by Hon. Godfrey Onzima (NRM, Aringa North).

Opposition Members voiced concerns over the legitimacy of changing committee affiliations in the middle of a parliamentary term.

Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda accused Mapenduzi of switching sides, alleging that he had transitioned from working with the Opposition to aligning with the government.

Ssemujju Nganda argued that such changes are only permitted in the final year of one’s term, according to the constitution.

“A member cannot be with the Opposition today, tomorrow he is with the NRM. The Constitution says you can only change affiliation after the final year. He was here working with us, now he has been read the other side,” Ssemujju Nganda said.

However, Speaker Anita Among dismissed Ssemujju’s claims and emphasized that Mapenduzi, as an independent MP can work with either side.

The Opposition Chief Whip, Hon. John Baptist Nambeshe designated Kilak South MP, Hon. Gilbert Olanya as Mapenduzi’s replacement on the PAC (Local Government).

The opposition had been pushing for Mapenduzi’s removal from the committee since August 2022 arguing that his continued presence hindered the committee’s ability to effectively scrutinize government expenditures.

In other committee designations, Hon. Okori-Moe Janet, the Abim District Woman Representative retained her position as the Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

Nyabushozi County MP, Hon. Wilson Kajwengye, was appointed as the Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.

Kibaale District Woman MP, Hon. Noeline Kisembo assumed the role of Chairperson of the Committee on East African Community Affairs.