The battle for Speakership is raging in Parliament, Media & Public arena.
The Position for Speaker has attracted two Aspirants so far, Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah, the current Deputy Speaker and Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, the current Speaker.
The Position of Speaker is actually the Second most important, authoritative Political position in the type of Democracy we have in our Country.
It must therefore, be given to a person who has demonstrated certain unique ability by making the Presidential Candidate win big in the region or district or Constituency.
Loyalty to the Principal/party is another important consideration above competency. This explains why LOP was given to Hon Betty Aol Ocan instead of Hon Winnie Kiiza retaining it, yet she is far better than Hon Betty Aol Ocan.
Without any doubt, both Aspirants are competent enough to be Speakers and have demonstrated that for more than 10 years.
If qualification was to be the only determinant, both Aspirants would just be allowed to contest and MPs choose the person they want.
However, in a multiparty dispensation, elections of Speaker and Deputy Speaker are determined by many factors majority of which are political/based on party Interests and personal to the Principal/President elect.
WHY IT WILL BE A DANGEROUS TO ENDORSE KADAGA FOR SPEAKER AGAIN?
1. Politically, she doesn’t have any merit.
Mr Museveni lost in her district and Subregion yet it was her main responsibility to ensure that the first Winner in her Constituency & Subregion is the Presidential Candidate. Hon Rebecca Kadaga is the Second National Vice Chairperson NRM. All CEC members got reasonable facilitations to mobilize votes for Mr Museveni. What happened with almost 1 billion shs given to Hon Kadaga to Campaign for Mr Museveni?
Supporting her will render the Political support for a Candidate irrelevant, setting a dangerous precedence, unpalatable to the biggest party Interest of retaining power. It will become okay for a Constituency to vote out Presidential Candidate and expect to get such lucrative Political positions. No dull person can make such a mistake, politically.
I am very sure NUP will equally want to select someone in whose Constituency the party won for LOP.
NRM Must not make that mistake because other Constituencies or Subregions/regions will begin to demand for such Political positions even when they don’t support the winning Presidential Candidate. Yes, there should balance created but must NOT cause backlash in-terms of voting pattern/ must not discourage people in a region or Constituency where to the Presidential Candidate got important win.
Infact Hon Kadaga loss of Speakership will send a STRONG POLITICAL MESSAGE to her Constituency/Subregion that such Positions should be appreciated by the Constituency/Subregion/region supporting the party President. This is a Political position.
Eastern region can be balanced at Ministerial level or Civil Service level. Speaker is too important to surrender to a Constituency/Subregion that voted out the Winning Candidate. Equally, other Subregions in Eastern Uganda where Mr Museveni won should be considered. Eastern Uganda is not only made up of Busoga Subregion. May be we get a deputy Speaker from Eastern Uganda but from a Subregion where Mr Museveni won. This will make voting pattern important and encourage voters to value or appreciate having voted for the winning Presidential Candidate.
2. Hon Rebecca Kadaga has been in Parliament for 32 years and in Speaker’s Office for 20 years.
√ Supporting her Speakership will simply confirm the now Official & highly resonating message of NRM Govt being for old people who don’t wish to give way for young generation to take over Positions/Offices. We already took enough blame for supporting a Presidential Candidate at advanced age and should not play into the hands of Opposition by supporting someone who has been Speaker for 20 years and in Govt for 32 years and is of advanced age.
We must speak this thing openly that some other people should equally be given chance to become Speakers and Deputy Speakers. We must avoid blocking young people from ascending career wise and Position wise.
We must reject any form of intimidation or bullying by people who want to entrench themselves in positions and allow Negation to take place. We have maintained President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa Kaguta because the party has not identified another more credible person to lead us. Why must we maintain the Speaker at a time when we have another young credible person? What Problem is will we be solving in-terms of agitations of young people who are the majority? That they should stop aspiring for such Positions until those occupying them die?
I even suggest a much younger person is identified for Deputy Speaker who should be below 50 years. This Deputy Speaker should be groomed to become the next Speaker, just like Hon Ssekandi Edward groomed Hon Kadaga to become Speaker.
It will be disastrous to have all Senior Political Offices having Occupants who are in their 70s & 80s. The Youths will respond if alerted and vote out NRM basing on such identifiable information.
In 2026, Mr Museveni will be 82years old, Madam Kadaga will be 70+, Gen Moses Ali will be 80+, the same applies to Mr Rukahana Rugunda, Mr Kasaija Matias, Mr Patrick John Amama Mbabazi etc.
My view is that we can only maintain President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa Kaguta and replace all others with much younger people to appeal to the Youths that we have listened to their voices in 2021 Elections. We should equally prepare to replace Mr Museveni in 2026/31.
Otherwise, NRM Govt should adjust first or will go with the old generation or relegated like UPC.
Matua Job Richard is NRM Cadre intake 02 of 2010.