A little over a week ago, Maracha County MP Denis Lee Oguzu became the latest person to show interest in replacing Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who is challenging for the Speakership of Parliament.
Oguzu joins the already congested list of candidates vying for the slot which includes Kampala Central’s Muhammad Nsereko, West Budama’s Jacob Oboth Oboth, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, Buyaga West’s Barnabas Tinkasimire, and Minister David Bahati among others.
He says it’s the urgent need for reforms in the office of the deputy Speaker that informed his decision to seek the mandate of the members of the eleventh Parliament to help him return sanity to Parliament.
“We might not have been in that parliament long enough, but we have been around too long to know what has become of that office,” Oguzu told the media recently.
He also refers to the office currently occupied by Jacob Oulanyah as an avenue that has become nothing but one where all kinds of dubious bills are cleared from and he offers a change in leadership as the only solution to turn things right. He also cautions members against following party affiliations while deciding on the next Deputy Speaker, a move in the past that has germinated the current rote.
Oguzu Lee belongs to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) opposition party.
Who is Oguzu?
Born in 1983 in Matcha – West Nile, Oguzu is the Shadow outgoing shadow Minister Science, Innovation & ICT, a member of the steering committee of African Parliamentary Network on illicit Financial Flows, a World Health Organisation recognised Health Innovator, the MP Elect, Maracha Constituency joining the eleventh parliament for a second term.
He is also the Founder, West Nile Rural Development Agency; Initiator, Maracha Academic Excellence Award and former Speaker, Makerere Arua Students’ Union, a position which he says “propelled me to successfully challenge my then Constituency MP.” Aguzu is also a student pursuing a Bachelor of law.
Though considerably young, the youthful Legislator has been around long enough to deserve an audience from fellow members of Parliament.
At 37 years of age, downplaying Oguzu’s claim to the office of the Deputy Speaker would be a big miscalculation for he falls in the same age bracket with the majority of the members which could attract solidarity towards him, rising the potential for an an upset.
Besides, he is the only candidate from both Northern and West Nile to show interest in the seat. This could help him win a block vote from the two regions, which would require him to get a small top up from the rest of the regions to become the Deputy Speaker in the next Parliament.
Oguzu has also tried to strategically position himself away from the current divisions along political party and personality lines. Though from West Nile, he has peacefully bonded with Kadaga’s Eastern the same way he does with the North. This, not withstanding the fact that he is an opposition MP. As his other contestants waste valuable time fighting such divisive wars that could risk their chances, he is busy consolidating his chances.
All that side, the battle to decide who will become the next Deputy Speaker is certainly a hot one. With over ten members interested, the winner will most likely be that one with the best strategy of mobilization.
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