With the storm surrounding the quest for the Speakership between incumbent Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah, the contest for the Deputy Speaker seems to be overshadowed.
As many as ten members have so far declared interest in the seat whose incumbent Oulanyah is relinquishing for an upgrade to the Speakership.
They are West Budama MPs Oboth-Oboth and Fox Odoi, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko, Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa, Gomba West MP Robinah Rwakojo, Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga County MP, Mawokota North MP Yusuf Nsibambi and State Minister for Finance David Bahati.
Of all the aspirants, Tayebwa,Among, Bahati and Oboth Oboth remain the favorites for the seat when CEC finally meets later this month to decide on the matter. Below Watchdog’s Andrew Baba Buluba gives a detailed analysis on the strengths of each one of them.
1. David Bahati, 48
Bahati has been a Member of Parliament for Ndorwa West since 2006. In January this year, he won his fourth successive term to the eleventh Parliament. He was appointed Minister of State for Finance in 2015, a position he still holds up to date.
He studied both O and A levels at Kigezi College, Butobere. Mr Bahati holds Bachelor in Commerce, a Master Degree in Business Administration and is a certified public accountant (CPA). He also boasts of an Executive Certificate from Warton University, USA, and Campaign Leadership Certificate from Leadership Institute, Arlington, USA.
In the 9th Parliament, he served as the Deputy Government Chief Whip and treasurer of the NRM Parliamentary Caucus. He is the current chair of the National Prayer Breakfast and at some point chaired the Presidential Budget Advisory Committee. He represents the Finance ministry on the Parliamentary Commission and was influential in the enactment of Public Finance and Management Act and the National Development Plans II and III.
Before joining politics, he was the head of finance and administration at the Population Secretariat, Ministry of Finance, from 1998 to 2005. In the same ministry, he served as the accountant of the Population Secretariat (1997-1998). Mr Bahati worked with the Diamond Trust Bank as a Banking Officer.
However, Bahati’s chances of getting the node from CEC seem very slim in the interest of regional balance. Being a Minister already could downplay his suitability for the position as it could be ideal for common members to have a chance. Besides, with the West having the president and the Prime Minister coming from the region, his endorsement for the seat would make very little if any sense at all.
2.Muhammad Nsereko, 40
Mr Nsereko is the MP for Kampala Central.
He was first elected to Parliament on the NRM ticket in 2014. After being branded a “rebel” MP, he was among the four NRM legislators that were ordered out of the House but later held on following prolonged legal battles.
Mr Nsereko later left the ruling party and has twice won elections as an Independent.
He sits on the Business and the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committees. Mr Nsereko also chaired the Equal Opportunities Committee in the 9th Parliament.
3.Thomas Tayebwa, 41
The Ruhinda North MP is a proud holder of two bachelor degrees; Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, both from Makerere University. He is a member on the Committee of National Economy. He also sits on the Natural Resources Committee.
A refined modern entrepreneur, Mr Tayebwa wants to bring the fusion of his legislative experience, business proprietorship and management into the day to day running of Parliament.
Currently, he is a director of SMS Empire Limited, Wandaz Products Ltd, Gateway Associates Ltd and Cholmat Investments (based in South Sudan).
A member of the Makerere University Council, Mr Tayebwa is also the board chairperson of Bayimba Cultural Foundation. Mr Tayebwa says he wants to be the Deputy Speaker to improve the quality of debate in the House.
“We are looking at improving the quality of debate through building the capacity of MPs through annual review and assessment of members’ performances instead of leaving it to outsiders who give a scorecard,” he says.
Tayebwa has widely been seen as a representation of the hard to ignore urge by the new generation to step forward and take part in the administration of their country. At just 41 years of age, he says there could never have been a more appropriate moment for his generation to step forward and learn from the more senior leaders that will soon be giving way.
4.Anita Annet Among, 48
Formerly of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Among has just been elected for his second term to the House. He suffered a buren political career between 2007 and 2011 when she contested for the Bukedea Woman MP seat on the FDC ticked and lost on each of the occasions. In 2016, she went through as an FDC leaning independent.
Immediately after joining Parliament, Ms Among associated with the ruling party and also voted for the removal of the presidential age limit in December 2017. She recently got re-elected unopposed to retain her seat but this time on NRM ticket.
Deeply believed to be well connected to State House, Among has been looked at as a representation of a new brand of leaders being prepared for big things from the Teso sub region.
It has however widely been speculated that she is expected to be on the next cabinet list, a fact that could have her convinced to give way for either Tayebwa or Oboth.
Currently a member of the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ms Anita was between 2016 and 2019 the vice chairperson of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase). Ms Among holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Business Administration and a Postgraduate Diploma in Banking. She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration.
According to the parliamentary records, she is still a Lecturer at Kampala International University and Makerere University Business School since 2006 and 2008 respectively. Her first job was manager in Centenary Bank between 1998 and 2006.
5.Jacob Oboth-Oboth, 50
He recently won election as the first MP for the newly created West Budama Central. He has been the MP for West Budama South in Tororo District since 2011.
Mr Oboth has had a glittering career in Parliament having chaired different committees. The current chair of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Mr Oboth has also chaired the committees of Rules, Discipline and Privileges, and Natural Resources.
He is also a serving member of the Parliamentary Business Committee.
Mr Oboth holds a Master of Laws from the University of Minnesota, USA (2007) and a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University (2001). He is also an advocate of the High Court.
Before joining politics, Mr Oboth served as acting principal State attorney/head of the Mbale Regional Office under the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs from 2003 to 2010. Before that, he served as a legal assistant at Mugisha and Co. Advocates.
A member of the Uganda Law Society, he has been providing pro bono legal services to many civil society organisations.
As chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Mr Oboth steered the MPs in the processing of the Age Limit Bill before presenting a report recommending to the House to have it passed.
Currently, he is processing the Constitutional Amendment Bill No, 2020, which is privately moved by Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba.
“The position of Deputy Speaker is the only vacant position in Parliament at the moment. I am ready to offer myself to run for this position having chaired critical committees in Parliament,” Mr Oboth says.
With Amongi to be in the next cabinet, Oboth, by far who remains the most senior and experienced on the long list of suitors and the youthful Thomas Tayebwa remains the two strongest contenders ahead of the CEC meeting that will decide on the matter any time from now.
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