Last year, during the NRM’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections, the country witnessed a bitter war between the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa.
The verbal war started when Nankabirwa openly decampaigned Kadaga who was vying for the NRM Second National Vice Chairperson post.
CEC is the second topmost decision making organ of the NRM.
The outgoing Kiboga Woman MP went bare-knuckles on her Kamuli counterpart by circulating messages through a social media platform-WhatsApp, where she accused her of working for the opposition at the expense of the ruling party.
“I have gone through a lot in Parliament; we want people who are committed to fighting for the party, not those that betray us, working with the opposition to undermine our party. You have been following on TV how Rebecca Kadaga conducts herself in Parliament. Let us support Persis Namuganza [state minister for Lands] to help President Museveni in working for the party,” Nankabirwa said in audio that circulated on WhatsApp.
When Kadaga defeated Namuganza in the CEC race, the battle seemed to be over. However, all signs indicate otherwise.
Apparently, Nankabirwa has decided to wage another war on Kadaga by mobilizing NRM MPs to vote out Kadaga from the post of Speakership in the 11th Parliament.
On Wednesday while presiding over the plenary, Kadaga was informed by the outgoing Kasambya County MP Mbwatekamwa Gaffa that Nankabirwa informed them that the party’s CEC nolonger needs her in the top seat of House.
“Madam Speaker, there is information that CEC does NOT want you to be the Speaker in the 11th Parliament. I put it to you, Is it true Madam Speaker that CEC does not want you to be the Speaker?” asked Mbatekamwa.
As Kadaga was still wondering on what was happening , Bugabula County South MP Henry Maurice Kibalya immediately came on the floor and informed her that her long time enemy Nankabirwa no longer wants her to lead the House and since NRM will still be the majority in the 11th Parliament, it might be harder for her to win the third term. He said Nankabirwa was busy mobilising MPs to kick her out.
“On different forums, the Chief whip has been cited saying that CEC has decided (preferred Speaker in the 11th Parliament). Is it allowed for the Chief whip to continue saying that “CEC” has decided, yet the Speaker is elected here in Parliament?” He asked.
The two questions annoyed the Kamuli Woman MP before she fired at Nankabirwa.
“Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa does not speak for CEC; the decisions of CEC do not bid this House in any way; so stop (Ruth Nankabirwa) bringing issues of CEC here.”
The battle for Speakership for the 11th Parliament could this time around be hard for both the opposition and the government given that no side has conclusively zeroed on one candidate.
NRM has Kadaga and her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah eying for Speakership, the duo has created serious factions within the party.
In the opposition, Ibrahim Ssemujju of Kira Municipality has also declared his interest in the position.
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