Former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has urged the new House leadership, led by Ms Anita Among, to continue the late Jacob Oulanyah’s legacy.
Ms Kadaga, the first deputy prime minister and minister for East African Community Affairs, delivered the statements at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s office in Kampala on Thursday during the Oulanyah celebration service.
Oulanyah, a former Speaker of Parliament, died on March 20 in Seattle, Washington.
“I believe the present leadership in the House has to carry on the legacy of the Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah, who had dreams of bringing the House together and passing effective legislation in Parliament.”
As deputy national chairman, he worked tirelessly for the party, particularly in the north,” Ms Kadaga added.
Mr Chris Obore, the head of communications at Parliament, responded to Ms Kadaga’s remark in an interview with this publication, saying: “If you asked Jacob (Oulanyah) who he wanted to replace him, he would have told you Anita.”
The current Speaker is Oulanyah’s mentee, and she has stated that she will continue to follow her previous boss’ legacy of working together in Parliament, showing respect for one another, and reducing conflict.
Following the 2016 General Election, Ms Kadaga and her then-deputy Oulanyah became embroiled in internal feuds, which ultimately spilled into the public eye when the latter accused his predecessor of corruption.
The situation exacerbated last year when the two ran for Speaker of the House of Representatives, which Oulanyah won.
President Museveni’s assistance was required to bring the two together.
Ms Kadaga, on the other hand, was a no-show in Parliament for the more than ten months that Oulanyah was Speaker.
She made her first appearance in the House on Wednesday to pay tribute to Oulanyah.
On March 25, she also voted in the Speaker elections at the Kololo Ceremonial grounds.
Many party leaders stated Oulanyah was a researcher, wonderful speaker, and tireless leader for both the party and the people of the north during a Thursday celebration on Plot 10 in Nakasero, Kampala.
“Oulanyah was faithful to the party and a brilliant leader,” NRM vice national chairperson Moses Kigongo remarked. I’d like to ask the rest of the party’s leaders, as well as other national leaders, to work for their souls because of what would be said about them after they die.”
The NRM secretary general, Mr Richard Todwong, urged party members to quit fighting among themselves and instead support individuals who are struggling in various ways.
“If we continue to struggle, the party, the fountain of honour (President Museveni), and our followers will suffer,” Mr Todwong warned.
Ms Sarah Kagingo, the previous Speaker’s press secretary, revealed why the news of Oulanyah’s illness was concealed from the public.
“I’m aware that much has been said, some of which is false. Even if you blame us for being silent, Jacob was entitled to his privacy, and we have no right to interrogate him about it. Ms Kagingo added, “He was such a tremendous leader and boss to the people around him.”