Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The rivalry between the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah has once again come to the fore, with a proposal reportedly aimed at impeaching Oulanyah in offing.
MPs from the Busoga caucus reportedly started collecting signatures to impeach Oulanyah last week, a move that Oulanyah loyalists are suspicious could be coming from Kadaga’s camp. According to media reports some MPs have already signed the petition in a discreet move.
The fight between the two leaders of the legislative arm of government has over the years morphed into open fights in the leadership and management of Parliament. The rivalry, which is traced to a bitter fight for the country’s number three position in the aftermath of the 2016 General Elections, has seen the two castigate each other, and disapprove each other’s methods, even in the public domain.
While Oulanyah says Kadaga has messed up Parliament, Kadaga accuses her Deputy of being arrogant and incompetent. On several Occasions, Kadaga has overruled decisions taken by Oulanyah, declined his requests to travel and kept him ‘away’ from chairing the house.
“Oulanyah sometimes goes for long without chairing the house, and in some cases he is made to sit during controversial topics, and when something interesting comes up, the speaker herself, takes over,” the source said explaining why Oulanyah has not chaired parliament since the lockdown started.
However, amidst the chaos of the 10 billion Shillings allocation to Parliament, the fight took a new twist. On May 7, When Parliament debated a motion to express displeasure with President Yoweri Museveni’s stance on the payments made to individual members of Parliament, Bugabula South MP Maurice Kibalya, amended the motion to include Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker who they say betrayed Parliament by returning the money, against the guidance of the speaker.
Now URN has learnt that a section of MPs has started collecting signatures, to impeach Oulanyah. To impeach a Speaker or the Deputy, a seven days’ notice, signed by not less than one-third of all Members of Parliament is needed. In this case, those sponsoring the move would require at least 153 signatures in support.
The motion needs to be passed by not less than two-thirds majority of all the voting Members of Parliament. But according to sources who work with the Deputy Speaker, Oulanyah has been preparing to take on the matter legally.
“Ever since the motion was amended to express displeasure for him returning money, by an MP from Kadaga’s side, Oulanyah knew what was coming, and I am told he is going to take this legally” the Source close to Oulanyah said.
URN confirmed from a senior officer in the office of the Clerk to Parliament that there was a proposal to impeach the Deputy Speaker, but this did not go beyond the Busoga caucus which was initiating the idea last week. However, the Private Press Secretary to the Speaker, Sam Obbo said that there is not such war between the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
“What I can confirm is that the speaker is not the one instigating all this. This is what you can quote me on,” Obbo said. He told URN that he had personally read about the petition, but had not seen it physically.
One of the top leaders in Parliament who they cannot be quoted said that indeed there is a fight, but it is only natural for the two people.
Professor Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a Political science Don at Makerere University says that there are always frictions within some individuals especially if one is the deputy.