Transition in Leadership: Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi Assumes Role of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament

Nakawa Division West MP, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, received approval as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP), as declared by Speaker Anita Among during the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 09 January 2023, after Parliament resumed business following a three-week recess.

Speaker Among revealed, “On 22 December 2023, I received communication from the Secretary General of the National Unity Platform Party about changes of office bearers for opposition leadership in Parliament, naming Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi as the Leader of Opposition.”

According to Section 6(b) of the Administration of Parliament Act, a Leader of Opposition in Parliament is elected by the opposition party with the highest numerical strength in Parliament. The designated LOP assumes office upon the formal announcement by the Speaker.

“Congratulations, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, upon ascending to this position. I wish you a productive tenure, and as government and the leadership of Parliament, we will collaborate with you for the greater good,” added Speaker Among.

Ssenyonyi takes over from his predecessor, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga, who served in the position for two and a half years and has now been appointed as a backbench Commissioner of Parliament representing the Opposition.

Mpuuga acknowledged the support from the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and Members of Parliament during his tenure as the LOP. He apologized for any unintentional offenses, stating, “I have been at the service of the country. If anybody felt personally offended, I take this occasion to apologize.”

Ssenyonyi expressed gratitude to Mpuuga for his leadership, emphasizing the role of the LOP in keeping the government in check. He stated, “By God’s grace, I will execute that mandate effectively,” and called for respectful disagreement in the House.

Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua, commended Mpuuga and pledged government support to Ssenyonyi. The backbench Commissioners and Chief Opposition Whip maintained their positions, with additional announcements regarding representatives at the Pan African Parliament and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.