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OPINION: Why NRM CEC is Likely to Endorse Jacob Oulanyah as Speaker

By Scovia Nalumansi

(@CovidNalumansi)

The rise of Jacob Oulanyah into the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) will be a huge determinant factor to favour his Speakership bid.

CEC is the most top decision making organ of the National Resistance Movement.

For the first time, both Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Deputy Jacob Oulanyah are members of the NRM CEC representing the Second National Vice Chairperson (Female) and NRM vice chairperson for Northern region respectively.

In the elections that took place in August last year, Kadaga obtained 6,776 votes against the Minister of State for Lands, Hon Persis Namuganza who scored 3,882 votes, while Oulanyah got 7,473 beating Hon Sam Engola the incumbent with a range of nearly 6,000 votes. Engola got 1,665 votes while other contestants, Timothy Okee and Odongo Oledo garnered 895 and 277 votes respectively.

For starters, Kadaga dramatically refused to stick to her word to step down for Oulanyah having served as Speaker for two terms now. The Kamuli Woman MP who is so much obsessed with power claims she “will be Speaker in June” while her Deputy Oulanyah has been gently and patiently waiting for his turn in vain.

Oulanyah is now out of patience and will against all odds challenge Kadaga in June when MPs convene to elect the new Speaker, having stepped down in her favour in 2016 after the intervention of President Museveni. Even when he (Oulanyah) was in position to beat Kadaga in 2016, he accepted to step down after senior NRM members pleaded that her health could easily deteriorate to a sudden fatality if she was denied what she described as “her final term” as Speaker of Parliament.

However, the rise of Oulanyah into NRM top decision making organ (CEC) will throttle Kadaga’s chance of returning for the record 3rd term as Speaker of the 11th Parliament.

Kadaga has been sailing on the advantage of Oulanyah’s absence in the CEC to blackmail him and persuade CEC members to favour her for Speakership. Her persuasion and blackmail was more evident in 2016.

Now with Oulanyah also sitting on the same high table (CEC), the ground is now leveled for both candidates in the race and Kadaga will have a torrid time to manipulate other members to endorse her “forced” 3rd term as Speaker. Well known for his levels of oratory, Oulanyah will this time be on the “round table” as CEC decides who will be the next Speaker of Parliament and he will patiently wait to remind Kadaga of the “Gentleman’s agreement” that they had in 2016 right before President Museveni who is the national chairperson of the NRM Party and head of NRM CEC.

It is likely that it will end in tears for Aunt Becky because the same NRM CEC members who witnessed this gentleman’s agreement will be the same Members to pin her on the cross.  

The writer is a Ugandan mother and pan-Africanist

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