Having witnessed the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni two days ago, now all eyes are on the Parliament Speakership race whose election is slated for 24th May, 2021.
As of now, the stiff competition is between two top members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) who have for the past 10 year been leaders of the 9th and 10th Parliament. That is to say, Rebecca Kadaga who has been the Speaker for the past 10 years and Jacob Oulanyah who has also been deputizing the former for the last 10 years.
Traditionally, as President and national chairman of NRM, Museveni has been dictating who will be the Speaker or Deputy Speaker using the numerical strength of MPs subscribing to the ruling party. However, this time around, the party has failed to agree on who it should front for the 11th Parliament Speaker position between Kadaga and Oulanyah.
According to media reports and sources within the ruling party, the Kamuli district Woman MP has on several occasions been advised to leave the race in favour of her deputy. It’s also alleged that the big man had promised her a fatty position within the cabinet. However, she refused all the offers, a move which left many loyal cadres not happy with her decision.
In 2016, the duo was also going to face off but President Museveni intervened at the last minute forcing Oulanyah to leave the Speakership for Kadaga. But this time round Oulanyah is prepared to challenge his boss as President Museveni maintains his silence on whom NRM should back.
Nevertheless, Kadaga’s stubbornness to refuse the offer and stay in the race was a clear indicator that she can win the race with or without the party’s endorsement. And to Museveni this is a sign of disrespect.
“President Museveni has already made his first move by giving each new NRM MP Shs20m as a take-home package and is soon meeting only the new MP after the inauguration. And remember some prominent NRM MPs majority are supporting Oulanyah. Probably the President is planning something vicious against Kadaga,”said the source.
The source further noted that if Kadaga is to win the Speakership race without her party endorsement, she should secretly convince a sizeable number of NRM MPs as well as having Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform (NUP) MPs plus other legislators from the opposition side.
“If she meets Bobi Wine and convinces him to persuade his MPs to support her over Ibrahim Ssemujju, plus the independents she will have chances to win Oulanyah. The race is now run by money and remember most MPs are indebted, so if President Museveni is to show Kadaga that she is too small as he claims, he is going to use money silently to buy off her allies.”
The 11th Parliament is going to have over 500 members of whom 316 are from NRM, 73 are Independent, 61 are from NUP, 28 from Forum for Democratic Change, 10 from Uganda People’s Congress, 9 Democratic Party, and 1 from People’s Progressive Party.