President Yoweri Museveni on Monday called for a halt in the campaigns for Speaker and Deputy Speaker in the National Resistance Movement -NRM party, saying the Central Executive Committee-CEC will resolve the matter.
The suspension followed the chaotic nature of the campaigns being conducted by incumbent Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her closest competitor Jacob Oulanyah. The elections are due in May.
The NRM secretary general Kasule Lumumba last week directed the contenders in the two warring camps to reduce on the fire between them that is currently threatening to divide the party.
In the course of the competition, the Speaker has accused Deputy Speaker Oulanyah of incompetence and cowardice while the Deputy Speaker has been responding with suave, sophisticated remarks that portray the outgoing speaker as a blatant liar.
However, during the Monday meeting that stretched for more than five hours at State House Entebbe, the President halted the speakership and Deputy Speakership campaigns saying CEC will be the final determinant of who is fronted as the flag bearer for the NRM in the two races. .
“They stopped all the campaigning and CEC will resolve the matter” a source who attended the meeting told Uganda Radio Network (URN).
Another source said that the campaigns were hurting NRM especially the revelations that were coming out of campaigns. Earlier, Kadaga reportedly went as far as reminding CEC members who are hobnobbing with Oulanyah that President Museveni would have had no chance of getting re-elected if she had not delivered the removal of the age limits from the constitution.
For his part, Oulanyah has expressed dismay that Kadaga can blatantly deny having agreed not to seek re-election after her second term (2016-2021).
“What are agreements for then?” disillusioned Oulanyah has often asked. There have been speculations that after her second term as speaker, Kadaga would be given a kick upstairs to the powerless position of Vice President, but she has sneered at the suggestion, saying she would never accept such an appointment.
Meanwhile, team Kadaga say that the move to halt campaigns is unfair since CEC members are campaigning in favor of their rival, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah.
The Bugabula South MP Maurice Kibalya, a team leader of the Kadaga campaign efforts says that team Oulanyah has been campaigning and CEC has been quiet, but now that Kadaga has launched her campaigns, which is gaining ground, they are being stopped. He has now warned that if any CEC member speaks out in support of any candidate openly, they will resume their campaigns.
“We are stopping the campaigns because it is CEC, but if any of them are seen to be speaking in support of another person, we will be left with no option but to campaign,” Kibalya said.
10 facts about Jacob Oulanyah:
1. Oulanyah was born in the then Gulu District, on 23 March 1965. He attended St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr. Obote College Boroboro, and Kololo Senior Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Level education.
2. In 1988, he joined Makerere University, where he studied agricultural economics. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelors degree of Arts in that subject.
3. That same year, he entered law school, also at Makerere University, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He served as speaker of the university students’ guild during his stay at Makerere. In 1995, he attended the Law Development Centre (LDC), where he obtained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.
4. Following his graduation from the LDC, Oulanyah worked as a lecturer at the centre. During the same timeframe, he began private law practice at the law firm of Oulanyah, Onoria & Company Advocates.
5.In 2001, he entered politics by successfully contesting for the parliamentary seat of Omoro County, the then Gulu District under the no-party system also known as the Movement Political System. He was however a cardholder of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).
6.He also participated in the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.
7.In 2006, standing as a UPC candidate, he lost his re-election bid. In July 2006, he quit the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). In 2008 he served as the chairman of the commission of inquiry into the controversial sub-lease of Kisekka Market, one of the markets in the city of Kampala.
8.In March 2011, Oulanyah was elected to represent Omoro County then in Gulu District, in the Ninth Parliament, this time on the NRM ticket. He was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2011.
9.Following the February 2016 general election, Oulanyah was re-elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2016. In the vote, conducted by secret ballot, he received 300 votes, while Mohammed Nsereko received 115. On 13 July 2019, Oulanyah was awarded a honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Zoe Life Theological College USA and acquired the title, Doctor enabling him be called Rt. Hon. Dr. Jacob L. Oulanyah.
10. Besides his duties as Deputy Speaker of Parliament, he sits on the following parliamentary committees: Appointments Committee – The Committee reviews all Cabinet appointments by the President and may approve or reject an appointment: The Deputy Speaker is the vice chairperson of that committee.
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