Dan Kidega Replaces Zziwa as EALA Speaker

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Kidega went through unopposed after the other contender, Chris-Opoka pulled out of the race in support of Kidega. Suzan Nakawuki, the other Ugandan legislator did not return nomination forms picked earlier.
19 Dec 2014 16:11
Kidega, the new EALA speaker
Dan Fred Kidega has been elected unopposed as the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, replacing Margaret  Nantongo Zziwa.

The seat fell vacant after the historical impeachment on Wednesday, of Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, who was ousted as EALA Speaker after being accused by fellow MPs of incompetence, abuse of office, nepotism and intimidation of lawmakers and EALA staff.

The motion for her removal was overwhelmingly supported by 36 to 2 votes, upon which, the Clerk declared the seat vacant. Uganda, whose rotational term ends in 2017, was given up to 48 hours to present nominations for a replacement.

Four Ugandan representatives to the Assembly had picked nomination forms to vie for the post of Speaker. These Included; Mike Kennedy Sebalu, Suzan Nakawuki, Chris Okumu Opoka and Daniel Kidega. However, only two names; Dan Kigeda and Chris Opoka, were presented at the time of nomination, this afternoon.

Subsequently, Chris-Opoka, pulled out of the race to pave way for his compatriot Dan Kidega.  The other contenders did not return nomination forms.

In his acceptance speech, the new Speaker pledged to uphold the dignity of the House at all times and to apply the Rules without fear or favour.

"You will note as a House, we have a big and challenging task ahead of us to legislate and represent a Community whose activities and Membership is expanding fast," Rt. Hon Kidega said.

"I have no doubt we shall deliver.I will pick up from where my predecessors left and continue to promote the good ideals of our mandate of widening and deepening the integration process.In doing so, I will give the majority their way but respect and protect the rights of the minorities at all times" Rt. Hon Kidega added.

Rt Hon Kidega, 41, is serving as a Member of Parliament of East African Legislation Assembly for a second stint having been a Member in the 2nd EALA (2007-2012).

He has prior, been a Member of Parliament in Uganda for a period of five (5) years (2001-2006) representing the youth. Rt. Hon Kidega has been active in NRM politics and was a member of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni's national campaign task-force in 2001, and the Party's National Executive Committee (NEC) member.

Rt. Hon Kidega has also worked as a Private Secretary to the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda. Prior to joining legislative work, he was a youth leader at different levels; including being Chairman of the National Youth Council (NYC), National Representative to the Commonwealth Youth Forum (African Region). Rt. Hon Kidega is remembered in his days in school as a strong student activist.

Rt. Hon Kidega obtained his first degree in Business Administration from Uganda Christian University.  He holds a Master of Science Degree in International Trade Policy and Trade law. He is also a Diploma holder in Bio-Chemistry.

He will now lead the assembly until 2017, when Uganda's rotational term ends.

In his new post, Kidega will be responsible for directing all activities of the House in line with rule 8 (1) of the East African legislative assembly Rules of Procedure.

According to rule 8 (1) of the EALA rules of procedure, the Speaker shall direct all activities of the House and its Committees and shall preside over the proceedings of the House. These include, opening, suspending and closing sittings, ensuring observance of the Rules, maintaining order in the house, administration of voting in the house, and referring to committees, any business that concerns them.

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