Kadaga’s journey at the helm of the legislature came to an end on Monday when she was defeated by her former deputy Jacob Oulanyah. Oulanyah who was fronted by the NRM CEC polled 310 votes while Kadaga who chose to contest as an independent candidate polled 197 votes.
Members of Parliament have said that the legacy of the former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga
will be remembered for her advocacy for human rights and presiding over an independent parliament.
Kadaga’s journey at the helm of the legislature came to an end on Monday
when she was defeated by her former deputy Jacob Oulanyah. Oulanyah who was fronted by the NRM Central Executive Committee
polled 310 votes while Kadaga who chose to contest as an independent
candidate polled 197 votes.
After 20 years as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Kadaga was the face
of Parliament, and her role as Speaker made her powerful in Eastern Uganda.
Because of her firm grip in Parliament, Kadaga also influenced who
got a job at Parliament and who could not. The most recent case is that of the Director of Communications
and Public Affairs (CPA) Chris Ariko Obore who was sent on forced leave in
2019, Obore returned a day after Kadaga’s defeat.
A section of MPs says that Kadaga’s most lasting legacy will be
remembered because of her stand on democracy and human rights. They say she was
a Speaker who stood out for Ugandans and transformed Parliament’s independence.
Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal who has been in Parliament for more
than a decade credits Kadaga for balancing debate in Parliament between the
opposition and Government regardless of how sensitive the debate was.
She says that Kadaga also had a strong stand against the
Government especially when it came to women and children issues.
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Ogwal also said that Kadaga leaves a legacy of an independent
Parliament. She says that on several occasions Kadaga stood against the Executive
and the Judiciary even when it came to areas of direct interference like court
orders that didn’t make sense and when the legislature was attacked by the Executive.
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According to Ogwal, she will remember Kadaga’s leadership as bold,
courageous and balanced.
She says Kadaga used her
position and raised funds for girl child education, fought against female
genital mutilation and also fought for women’s rights through passing laws
safeguarding the integrity of women.
Cyrus Aogon, the Kumi Municipality MP says that Kadaga will go
down as one of the best Speakers of Parliament. He gave an example of the NRM
rebel MPs who had defied the party and the party threw them out but Kadaga
saved their seats.
Aogon said that although Kadaga is blamed for presiding over the
passing of the Presidential Age Limit Bill passing and the fracas that
followed, Kadaga ably steered the house and challenged the invasion of the house
by security personnel.
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He also says that Kadaga treated all MPs equally.
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Last year Kadaga while defending her candidature before the NRM
party Central Executive Committee (CEC) said that it was her
effort that pushed through the unpopular age limit law.
The Busia Municipality Member of Parliament Geoffrey Macho says
that she will remember Kadaga for standing up for women. Macho says that Kadaga
was passionate when it came to issues affecting women like maternal deaths,
girl child education among others.
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The Amuru Woman MP Lucy Akello says that during Kadaga’s reign in
Parliament she also acted as Uganda's key ambassador abroad through her passion
and participation in international conferences like the Inter-Parliamentary
Union (IPU). Akello also says Kadaga advocated for the rights of people with
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Charles Angiro Gutumoi, the former MP Erute North says that
Kadaga will be remembered for passing the homosexuality bill and speaking
against it even in international forums.