NUP party retreat opens in Jinja shortly after NRM camps in Kyankwanzi

Newly elected legislators from the National Unity Platform (NUP) party will convene today at Jinja Nile Resort Hotel for the first time since the January 14 General Election.

Jinja District, Uganda – Sources close to NUP told Bazzup that the agenda will focus on guiding the new MPs on the party’s main objective ahead of the swearing-in ceremony in May.

Senior party leaders will also guide fellow MPs on how to take over from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) as the leaders of the Opposition, the process of appointing the shadow Cabinet, as well as the accountability committee leaders, sources who didn’t want to be named so that they could speak freely,  said on Wednesday.

According to the sources, top party leaders are in a discussion on whether to front a candidate or throw their weight behind one of the candidates for  the speakership race.

The source also told this newspaper that the party will be reviewing their manifesto to focus on the promises to the electorate .

They MPs will reportedly derive the agenda from their party manifesto. The manifesto seeks to address issues such as inclusiveness in governance, people-centred policies, observation of human rights, the rule of law and economic empowerment of the population.

This process will be led by the chairperson of the manifesto committee, Ms Mary Sserumaga.
Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, the party spokesperson, declined to discuss any details of the retreat.

“I cannot talk much about the retreat but what you should know is this will be the ideal time for us to make decisions for what will happen in Parliament,” Mr Ssenyonyi said.

On May 20, NUP party, which has 57 MPs in the new Parliament, will officially take over from the FDC, which has 32 elected MPs, as the largest Opposition political party.

It is not clear, however, whether NUP will consider backing an Opposition candidate or a candidate from the NRM party for the Speakership position.

The race for the Speaker in the 11 Parliament has attracted four candidates, including the incumbent, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, her deputy Jacob Oulanyah, Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC), and Bukoto Central MP-elect Robert Ssebamala (DP).

Meanwhile, Mr John Baptist Nambeshe, the NUP deputy president in charge of eastern region, said the party will take a keen interest on party supporters who have not been released from custody and the continued abductions.

NUP goes into this retreat with more than 600 supporters allegedly arrested under unclear circumstances.  The party indicates that only 85 of the abductees have been released.


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