Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah had not chaired any parliamentary session for over a year now, raising concerns from some legislators. Oulanyah last chaired the house on 4 February 2020.
It was until Wednesday, when he presided over a session.
According to reports, the House leader Rebecca Kadaga has been punishing the big man for his disobedience.
In one of the recent interviews she had with one of the local newspapers, Kadaga said that she decided to make her deputy redundant for almost a year because he moved out on her and went to Germany for two months without her permission.
“When he came back, he stayed for a few days and again he said that he was going somewhere else unconnected with our work. That is why I decided that I’m not going to beg this man to do work because I can do it,” said Kadaga in an interview.
Kadaga also narrated another scenario where the two had to travel to Canada and Germany leaving Parliament without a leader. Yet according to Kadaga although the law is not written, at any given time whenever one of the two leaders is to travel, one must stay to lead the House.
She asked him to stay but Oulanyah refused.
“I asked him who he was going to meet in Germany because we do not have relations with German Parliament or anybody. So I told him, do not travel because I’m going to Canada for a meeting and we cannot be away at the same time, the next thing I heard was that he was on the plane,” she said.
From that day, the Kamuli Women MP started running the House alone.
However, the death of her niece Sheila Kadaga Kivunike prompted MPs who had noticed that she working alone to speak out in form of inquiring since it was not right for her to preside over the sitting while mourning her niece.
On Tuesday while opening the plenary, Kadaga informed legislators about the sad news and informed the members that they will sit shortly since she was still mourning.
It was from this point that Dokolo county MP Cecilia Ogwal expressed her sympathy towards Kadaga and family.
“We feel your pain. You are courageous, that is why you are here chairing the House. You are a mother, you are human. We express our condolence to you, “she said.
Koboko district MP Margaret Baba Diri consoled her also but she went ahead and asked why she would be chairing the plenary yet the Deputy is around.
“You would not be sitting here, you should be at home. Madam Speaker, for long, I have not seen the Deputy Speaker chair the House. I want to inquire why and his whereabouts. He should be helping you during these trying moments like these.”
And today’s session has been chaired by Oulanyah although he decided to adjourn the house until tomorrow to give room to the Speaker to mourn.
“I’m doing this because even if this was the last opportunity for me to preside over the 10th Parliament, I would let it go because it’s not human to proceed while the Speaker mourns,” Oulanyah said as he adjourned the House.