The Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) is electing its leaders today with the opposition accusing the ruling NRM party of hijacking the process. UWOPA is an umbrella platform bringing together all women members of parliament.
The Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) is electing its leaders today with the opposition accusing the ruling NRM party of hijacking the process.
UWOPA is an umbrella platform bringing together all women members of parliament.
NRM women MPs met at State House Nakasero on Thursday morning and elected Rosemary Nyakikongoro, the Sheema woman legislator to be the party candidate for UWOPA chairperson. Nyakikongoro defeated Ibanda woman MP, Margaret Kiboijana, in an election presided over by Karamoja minister, Janet Museveni. Nyakikongoro polled 30 votes against Kiboijana’s 24.
Nyakikongoro was excited about her party endorsement and told URN that it is an opportunity for her to continue pushing for issues she has been advocating while working in the non governmental organizations.
Kiboijana promised to support and work with Nyakikongoro, if the later is elected.
Opposition has meanwhile fielded Oyam woman MP, Betty Amongi for the UWOPA position.
It is not clear how Mrs. Museveni, who is also Ruhaama county MP, came to chair the meeting and preside over the elections. An MP that attended the meeting said the first lady called women legislators to Nakasero to harmonize positions and reach a common consensus for the party ahead of elections.
The move by NRM is likely to cause a rift among women legislators across the political divide. Our reporter at Parliament says there are already fractures along political and regional lines. The last three UWOPA chairpersons have all come from one region. Former Kasese Woman MP, Loyce Bwambale headed the association in the 6th parliament, while Jane Alisemera for Bundibugyo district took over in the 7th parliament. Winfred Matsiko, the former Rukungiri woman MP chaired UWOPA in the 8th parliament.
FDC secretary general, Alice Alaso told our reporter at Parliament today that the NRM women legislators’ meeting at State House spells doom for unity of purpose among women MPs. She noted that it is the first time that the UWOPA elections are going to be held along party lines.
Alaso, who is also Serere woman MP, added that in the past, they all looked for a competent woman, regardless of the party, region or tribe. She accused the first lady of trying to divide women along political party lines.