Ahead of the first seating of the next parliament in May, the atmosphere is expected to be very high between the camps of Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and his boss Rebecca Kadaga.
Those behind the Deputy Speaker have argued that the ten years that Kadaga has manned the legislature are just enough for her to give a chance to another person. They have also variously alleged that a decision was arrived at in 2016 during the NRM’s Central Executive Committee-CEC meeting where Kadaga was to serve for only ten years and give way for her deputy.
Proponents of the Oulanyah Speakership have argued that unless their man is considered for an equally important cabinet position like Vice president or Prime Minister, they do not see a situation where he will be opting out of the contest.
At the very extreme, some Kadagists have already started drumming her support for the presidency come 2026. Mr Kyanda Charles, a famous team Kadaga member argues that his candidate has exceedingly performed at the highest level and that beyond the Speakership, there is nothing more for her to do other than at the top most office of the land. He also adds that her prominance calls for a much required credibility to the debate of national balance where the Eastern region, which has never produced a president would finally have one in Kadaga.
Kyanda is however not the only one that has advanced the Kadaga Presidency subject. A number of voices from different parts of the country have already been heard wishing for bigger things for the current Speaker. Buvuma Legislator Charles Migadde says that much as he thinks his candidate for the Speakership is qualified enough to replace Museveni, he is for now accepting to root for her reelection as Speaker since it’s what he can decide on.
WHAT IF KADAGA’S EYES ARE ON THE PRESIDENCY AND NOT THE SPEAKERSHIP?
Many people, mainly from the ruling side have already began to interpret Kadaga’s quest for a third term as an unappreciative one having been given a freeway in 2016. Over the time, her haters led by Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa have been throwing her loyalty to the party into question baptizing her an opposition sympathizer who rarely protects the interests of her party.
Last year, Nankabirwa fearlessly decampigned Kadaga (for NRM 2nd Vice Chairperson) during CEC elections, arguing that President Museveni needed someone more accommodative by his side than a pro opposition Kadaga. She thus appealed to the CEC delegates to vote for Persis Namuganza for the good of NRM.
With her relationship within NRM degenerating every the other day, the possibility for Kadaga to challenge for the Presidency come next general election becomes a viable one.
Whether she loses the race against Oulanyah or not, Kadaga would use this as a stepping stone for her candidature come 2026. As a winner, it would be seen that even without the backing of the party National Chairman, she is able to have the House on her side. Yet if she is beaten, Kadaga would make the party look ungrateful not to appreciate the excellent service she has rendered to the country and party in particular for all those years. As such, she would rip public sympathy to propel her candidature.
This is however not the first time the issue of Kadaga’s Presidency is coming up. The bitter confrontation between the Legislature and the Executive over the MPs’ role in the fight against COVID-19 last year had ignited speculations that the Speaker was laying ground for a possible Presidency challenge in this year’s general election.
Even though she has never come out to openly confess her interest in the presidency, she has also never ruled out a possibility of trying to seek the office at some time in future.
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