Skeletons have started flying out of the cupboard as the race for Parliament Speaker hots up. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has used her campaign launch ceremony to 'expose' her rival, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya as a timid person who was scared of handling the Age Limit constitutional amendment Bill sessions and opted for the safety of going to a foreign country, leaving her to handle the difficult session.
The Kamuli Woman Member of Parliament made the startling accusation today as she launched her bid for a third term as Speaker of Parliament with at least
100 Members of Parliament backing her.
In a colorful ceremony held at Speke Resort Munyonyo Wednesday, the MPs who are members of the National Resistance Movement -NRM, the opposition and
independents professed their unwavering support for Kadaga in the race to
retain her seat as Speaker of Parliament.
Amuru Woman MP Lucy Akello sung for her and prayed that she could retain her seat, while all the female MP gathered at the centre of the room and sang and danced in circles as she launched her campaigns.
The MPs include those who retained their seats and
newcomers to the 11th Parliament who introduced themselves one by one,
indicating that they were 100% Kadaga, while others said they were team Kadaga
Kadaga unveiled her team who she said is composed of more
than 300 MPs, but only 150 had been invited to meet the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.
However, among the 150, Kadaga read only one Minister, Sarah Opendi as a member of her team. Opendi is the
Minister of State for Mineral Development.
Alex Byarugaba Bakunda the MP Isingiro South who was absent was unveiled as the National
Chairperson of Kadaga’s campaign team, with Gabriel Okumu - the newly elected Okoro County MP - as the National Vice
Others are; four Vice chairpersons including; Dokolo Woman
MP Cecilia Ogwal as Vice-Chairperson Northern Uganda, Sarah Opendi as the Vice-Chairperson Eastern, Bright Amooti
for Western Ugand and Robert Migadde the Buvuma Island MP as chair of the
Kadaga also unveiled regional whips in Macho Geoffrey from
Busia Municipality leading the East, Joseph Ssewungu the MP Kalungu West
leading the Central, Dononzio Kahonda the Ruhinda MP leading the West, and Gilbert Olanya the
Kilak South MP representing the North.
During the occasion, Kadaga used the opportunity to open up on the
the alleged decision of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the NRM of reportedly supporting her closest rival Jacob Oulanyah.
Kadaga said it is not true that CEC does not want
her for Speaker. She says that although some CEC members are spreading false information
that CEC has decided on her rival, she personally seats in CEC with the
President and National Vice-chairperson and to her knowledge no decision has been made.
She also refuted claims that CEC in its 2016 decision allegedly gave her a final term as Speaker, saying that in 2016 she only questioned why they
wanted her to serve only one term and yet there was a precedence set that
people serve two terms.
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On the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah not chairing the house
for over a year, Kadaga said that Oulanyah absconded from chairing plenary several times preferring to go abroad.
She says that on several occasions when
she asked Oulanyah to chair the house, he responded by saying that he had a trip
and an engagement. She says it is then that she decided to do her job by chairing
the house for all that while.
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On the age limit bill, Kadaga also accused Oulanyah of
fleeing the house at a time of chairing the controversial bill. She says that
she was abroad, and Oulanyah called her saying she should come back and chair
Kadaga said everyone witnessed how tense the age limit
bill was, and how chairs were flying, and yet Oulanyah was very far away safe
after he said he can't handle it.
She says she handled the age limit well.
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According to Kadaga, she has stood in the gap between Ugandans and
Government and that is why sometimes she gets issues because she is
expected to stifle the opposition, but she has maintained that she is a
Speaker for all.
Kadaga also said that some people campaigning against her
were losers. She urged MPs getting phone calls from Statehouse to disregard
it, saying that it was not the president calling them. Kadaga also refuted
claims of bribing voters.
Dokolo Woman MP urged the MPs to vote Kadaga as the right
Speaker, saying she is a mother who has stood with Parliament. She however
cautioned Kadaga not to take Oulanyah lightly since he now sits in CEC.
Ogwal also decried the fact that NRM’s CEC did not protect Kadaga when she contested for CEC, but protected Chairperson President Museveni, and
the National Vice-chair Alhadji Moses Kigongo was protected.
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She says since the three arms of Government are dominated
with males, Kadaga should be left to remain as the head of Parliament.
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Other MPs who were once known as the rebel MPs hailed Kadaga
for protecting them even at a time when the party wanted to kick them out.
According to Barnabas Tinkasimire, and Wilfred Niwagaba, Kadaga was an
independent Speaker who fights for Ugandans.
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Tinkasimire says that Kadaga's objectivity is admirable.
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Other people who attended the function are included Rosemary Nyakongoro the Sheema Woman MP, James
Kaberuka from Kinkiizi West, Anifa Kawooya
the MP Ssembabule, Joyce Bagala the MP Mityana, Elijah Okupa the Kasilo
County MP, Hebert Kinobere the MP Kibuku, Suzan Amero the MP Amuria, and Lokii John
Baptist the Matheniko MP.
Okori-moe the Abim Woman MP, Charles Ayume the Koboko MP, Betty Engola the Apac
Woman MP, Alex Ruhunda the MP Fort Portal, and Kahunde Hellen from Kiryandongo were also identified as part of the team.
Notable among the opposition is; Wilfred Niwagaba the
Ndorwa East MP, John Baptist Nambeshe the Manjia County MP, Joel Ssenyonyi the
Nakawa West MP, Christine Kaaya of Kiboga, Barnabas Tinkasimire Buywaga West,
Kawempe MP Bashir Kazibwe among others.