By Steven Enatu
A number of Political leaders in Teso sub region across the political divide have voiced their opinions on Rebecca Kadaga’s decision to contest as an Independent for Speaker of Parliament.
The National Unity platform coordinator Teso has said that the National Resistance Movement Party leadership has betrayed their own Kamuli Woman MP, Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga in favor of her former deputy Hon Jacob Oulanyah also Omoro County MP, who has been selected as the party flag bearer, ahead of today’s election of speaker and deputy for the 11th parliament.
The development comes after the NRM top organ, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) dropped Kadaga and she came out to contest as an independent.
Kadaga, who has been the Speaker of the 9th and 10th Parliament and also the Deputy Speaker for the 7th and 8th Parliament, said there have always been many attempts to have her ejected from the party leadership but has always risen above the storm.
Okoit George William, the NUP coordinator Teso Region says Kadaga has been dropped because of her action that saw almost three quarter of the amendments in the constitution happening while she was presiding.
He said as NUP party, they have not declared their support for any candidate in today’s election but it’s up to the candidate’s ability to convince the votes from the 63 MP’s that NUP has in the current parliament.
“It’s not necessary for the NRM party to impose the speakership Candidates before parliament, it’s an election for the chair of a house not party leadership, and we don’t have any bidding agreement with the MP’s to show them who to back” he said.
He added that “Oulanyah may lose the election because the other MPs are now seeing that the NRM is pushing for them a candidate who is coming to push their agenda and the party not as a national parliament.”
Paul Omer, the mayor Soroti Eastern Division and also the FDC party mobilizer said what NRM did was unconstitutional.
According to Omer, the speaker and the deputy speaker are elected in accordance with article 82(2) of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
“What NRM is doing is not within the principle of governance as per the constitution,” he said.
He said as FDC they also have their candidate Hon Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda but this does not bar independent candidates.
Musa Oroma, the NRM registrar Soroti said Kadaga contesting as an independent candidate is a violation of the party’s constitution which will call for another measure on how to handle it internally.
Meanwhile, the NRM party chairperson Soroti District, Charles Elasu said that Kadaga’s move was constitutional adding that it’s not only Kadaga that the NRM party is seeing contesting as an independent candidate in election.
He says that Uganda has seen many people leaving their parties to contest as independent candidates after losing in the party’s primaries at various levels of leadership.
The newly sworn-in members of the 11th Parliament have converged today at Kololo airstrip to elect candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Article 82 of the Constitution states that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament are supposed to be elected by MPs from among their number.
In this regard, the Chief Justice (CJ) Alfonse Owiny Dollo is presiding over the election of the Speaker, who then shall preside over the election of the Deputy Speaker.
By press time, three names had been nominated by Hon members for the third powerful position in the nation and they are Oulanyah Jacob, his former boss Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga and FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.