Kadaga, Oulanyah Clash Over Speaker’s Job
By Patrick Ocaido
Another war of World War three proportions is again brewing between the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah over speakership.
Our sources have intimated to us that Oulanyah has decided to give himself a one month leave over disagreements on who chairs plenary sessions.
This comes barely three months after President Yoweri Museveni intervened to mediate and reconcile Kadaga and Oulanyah over a tense power struggle for speakership job that divided members of the 10th Parliament. In May, pressure from ‘above’ forced Oulanyah to bow down the speakership bid for Kadaga as the former settled for deputy speaker slot again.
According to highly placed sources, the cold war between Kadaga and Oulanyah climaxed and ejaculated in mid July.
Whilst Kadaga was attending the Conference of Speakers of the Inter-Parliamentary Union of IGAD Member States (IPU-IGAD) that took place on 18th -19th July 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oulanyah was chairing parliamentary business in the chambers on her behalf.
During these plenary sessions chaired by Oulanyah, three ministers that is to say minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni, Internal Affairs State minister, Obiga Kania and Security minister, Henry Tumukunde had been lined up on the order paper to present statements to Parliament on issues related to their dockets.
Janet was to present statements explaining the delayed payment of staff in public universities and the operations of Bridge International Academies in Uganda, while Obiga and Tumukunde were to make statements on police brutality against supporters of Dr. Kizza Besigye and security situation in West Nile respectively. However, none of the ministers were prepared to make the ministerial statements, forcing Oulanyah to give them another one to prepare themselves.
In a twist of events, whereas Oulanyah and Kadaga had earlier on agreed that the former chairs the House the following week, Kadaga who returned from Ethiopia on July 25 at the eleventh hour told Oulanyah to back off the House.
“Oulanyah had prepared himself to chair plenary that Tuesday afternoon (July 26), but suddenly a few hours to the sitting, Kadaga called and told him that she is one going to chair the House,” an insider said.
It is said that when the man from Omoro was given the bad news, he felt rather betrayed because he had spent sleepless nights preparing for the sitting, only for his efforts to go to waste.
“He suddenly developed a wrinkled face as veins on his forehead nearly popped out. His eyes were glowingly red and before he moved out, he assured her (Kadaga) that he will not chair the House for at least one month,” an insider added. Indeed, the last time Oulanyah sat in the Speaker’s chair was July 21 as Kadaga has chaired all the successive plenary meetings.
It has emerged that even since Oulanyah boycotted to chair any parliamentary business, Kadaga has been cautious on her abroad trips because no one would represent her in the plenary.
Apparently, Oulanyah spends most of his time in his home village in Omoro whistling and riding his sport bike that has been his hobby for a long time. It is most likely that he will not chair any plenary sitting this month. Oulanyah is currently with the Youth MPs in United States (U.S) attending the International Young Leaders Assembly which is running fromAugust 08 to August 17. Oulanyah will for the second time address the Assembly on the theme: ‘Moral and Innovative Leadership, Vision, Service and Entrepreneurship’.
During the heated speakership race in May, Kadaga lost her cool saying that Oulanyah isn’t fit for her job.
“People are trying to tell him to pull out but he does not want to listen but we are going to defeat him. I am not worried. Even in his home region, the president was defeated there. The man has just come from Uganda Peoples’ Congress, he is new in NRM and he wants to replace me who is a senior member of the party,” Kadaga said.
In response, Oulanyah said that he is ‘a generous when it comes to splitting the law’ and that the House would miss him if he is not voted speaker. Museveni however, through a special meeting with NRM National Executive Committee (NEC) called for harmony between the two and asked for the earlier status quo to remain.