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🔴 LIVE: Parliament pays tribute to Oulanyah

Full house in parliament today to pay tribute to Oulanyah. PHOTOS PARLIAMENT MEDIA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament is today paying tribute to former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah in a special sitting. The body of Oulanyah will lie in state throughout the night.

At 9.00 am tomorrow, the body will be taken to Kololo Ceremonial Grounds for a State Funeral.

After the Ceremony, at 3.00 pm the casket will be airlifted to Omoro, Lalogi village; the Speaker’s ancestral home where it will be received by the family and Acholi leaders.  There will be a night vigil at the home.               ·

Thursday 7th April 2022 the body will lie at Lalogi for final respects by members of the public.

Friday 8th April 2022 the burial ceremony will start at 9.00 am. The day will be observed as a Public Holiday  The National Flag will continue to fly at half-mast up to Friday, April 8th the day of Burial.




    On the 20th/03/2022 Jacob oolanya legally breathed his last…I intentionally state…”legally” because medical statements indicate that he actually bit the dust on the 19th/03/2022. The death of Oolanya is emblematic of a larger problem in Uganda’s socio-political lifestyle. At the age of 57 and already a speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Jacob Oolanya, had beaten the odds and surpassed all expectations. It all seemed that he had escaped from the inevitable pangs of poverty and crossed into the promised land but death works in stealth mode. Jacob’s first kiss of death happened in 1989 where two of his colleagues died during a cost-sharing strike at Makerere university..he escaped with a bullet in the ribs. It is this bullet that rudely baptized and ushered him into national politics. His second brush at death happened in 2006 when he had lost an election. In 2001, Jacob had contested and won to become a member of the 7th parliament. Although, during this time Uganda was officially under the single movement system, Oolanya had presented himself as a UPC candidate. However, the 2006 elections didn’t come with much promise and soon after the elections he fell ill. It is secretly discussed, that it is this illness as a consequence, that introduced him to the NRM as it proved to be costly to meet his bills personally. In 2011, Oolanya bounced back… this time on an NRM ticket and luck came smiling as he also won the deputy speakership….a seat he successfully maintained for two terms before fully becoming a speaker in May 2021.
    In my article, “Museveni and Uganda’s transition politics”, 4/06/2021, I painted a political dark cloud that would befall Uganda had Jacob trounced Rebecca in the speakership race. This was at the backdrop of an overbearing executive that had infused all the other arms of government into itself. My argument was, Oolanya had been presented as the pointman for Museveni and to me this spelled doom. On the other hand, Rebecca Kadaga had illustrated some steel, she had on several occasions indicated to carry her own head inside the precincts of parliament…a renegade of sort which I considered to be healthy for a budding democracy. But it wasn’t to be. What is more remarkable about my article is the closing line where I stated….my fingers crossed for Rebecca… As I’ve stated, I worried about Museveni pegging parliament onto his statehouse backyard but I also worried about Kadaga’s health…she seemed to be death warmed up by the time of those elections and I couldn’t figure out how she could cope up with a defeat…. but God keeps his plans close to his chest…. Oolanya seemed full of beans and after a triumphant victory, he could only whistle to the heavens. Oolanya had also won the position of vice chairman northern region in the NRM. But as Jacob was building his personal social and political castle, as a country we were sowing seeds of massive self-destruction and all this came to bare at his death. As a country we lost a member of parliament…as a country we lost a speaker of parliament…as a national political party, the NRM lost a vice chairman. With the loss of a single person, the country morns three vital positions. So, with the loss of one man the country came to a grinding halt. And this is atypical of all the African countries…. with the big man syndrome… this is what breeds impunity and a sense of self importance…. With the funfair displayed at the death of Oolanya, it is lost on me whether we’re honouring a member of parliament, a distinguished speaker or a vanguard and an idiologue of the NRM. But what I am sure of, is that the death of Oolanya punctuates the life of Uganda as a country and that of the NRM. Before his final send off, we have already replaced his seat with a novice in Anita Among. As a country we are back to the wall. Oolanya had trained in law… tutored and had 20 years experience in legislation he knew his onion. Therefore, as a country we are going to face a setback that comes with a new set of leadership in parliament. We also face the financial consequences of multiple new elections. As a country, we are also witnessing the ugly head of tribalism taking centre-stage. It appeared at Oolanya’s vigil in Muyenga….it continued to lurk in the organisation of his burial. That even when it was announced that Oolanya was offered a state funeral and a national organising committee was formed, even when Oolanya’s casket was draped in black, yellow and red, there was more ethnic representation and overtones at his funeral. With a bit of hindsight now, I am inclined to state that Oolanya had clearly come to the conclusion that he had hit his political ceiling….. with an immoveable object both at the helm of the country and within his own party the NRM, he had lost all hope…. it is this hope that Jacob Oolanya’s death should reignite….fare thee well

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