NRM’s CEC could have final say on who takes the top job in Parliament
Kampala, Uganda | URN & THE INDEPENDENT TEAM | The election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament will be held on Monday 24th May 2021, the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige has confirmed. May 24th will also mark the first sitting of the new parliament.
Leading the contest to be Speaker of the 11th parliament are current Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy for 10 years Jacob Oulanyah. This second battle for the Speakership of Parliament between the two threatens to be more bruising than the first in 2016.
Oulanyah and Kadaga are members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, and President Yoweri Museveni already in March called for a halt to their campaigns, saying the Central Executive Committee-CEC will resolve the matter.
Before Museveni’s decision, Oulanyah had expressed dismay that Kadaga was denying having agreed not to seek re-election after her second term.
“What are agreements for then?” Oulanyah asked.
There has been speculation that after her second term as speaker, Kadaga would be given a kick upstairs to the position of Vice President, but she has sneered at the suggestion, saying she would never accept such an appointment.
She among many things boasted that “I delivered the presidential age limit to NRM” and deserves another term.
They have been bickering since 2016 when Oulanyah sought to unseat Kadaga when she sought a second term. Oulanyah, it is reported, stepped down from the race hoping to contest in 2021.
Unlike in 2016, Oulanyah now sits on CEC. He was elected NRM vice chairman for northern Uganda which gives him a degree of clout in CEC, where Kadaga also sits as NRM second national vice chairperson.
President Museveni intervenes again
President Museveni in March summoned the front runners for the NRM speakership race to State House Entebbe because of concerns about the chaotic unparliamentary style nature of the campaigns that were going on.
Speaker Kadaga and her deputy Oulanyah are wooing a House that has 527 Members of Parliament (MPs) of the 11th parliament, whose swearing-in ceremony is set for May 17 and 20th. That is roughly 100 more MPs from the last round in 2016.
Outspoken legislator Ibrahim Semujju, the Kira Municipality MP from FDC,
The position of Deputy Speaker has a huge field of contenders including Jacob Oboth (West Budama), Thedore Ssekikuubo, (Lwemiyaga County), Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North) and Mawokota South MP-elect Yusuf Nsibambi.
Final week, sh4.8 trillion in loans approved
The tenth parliament officially ended its business this week, after a hectic final fortnight that concluded a journey that started five years ago.Parliament’s five-year term concluded Tuesday the 11th of May 2021 with the approval of five loans worth sh4.8 trillion in a few days.
On Monday, Parliament approved two loans worth sh2.3 trillion from the AFREXIM Bank and the Trade and Development Bank to finance the Budget for the Financial year 2021/2022.
Additionally, the house approved a loan request by Government to borrow up two Special Drawing Rights SDR worth sh97 billion from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank for COVID-19 response and Uganda Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Improvement project.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Finance yet again tabled three loan requests worth sh3 trillion which were approved by Parliament.
MPs also approved government’s request to borrow for additional financing of up to of sh894 billion of SDR from the IDA of the World Bank to support the Uganda Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers Programme for results.
Parliament also approved loan request by the government to borrow up to a total of sh1.4 trillion from the African Development Fund, African Development Bank, and the corporate Internalization fund of Spain for the refurbishment of the Kampala-Malaba Meter Gauge Railway.
Another one is sh112 billion from the African Development Fund to finance Revenue shortfalls has also been approved.
At their final session May 11, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda praised the Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan for her good working relationship with the government since she assumed office. Rugunda commended Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah for their leadership in Parliament.
He confirmed that the 10th Parliament passed and enacted 118 bills, approved 75 loan requests, made 47 resolutions to pay tribute, heard and considered 349 Ministerial statements, considered 653 urgent questions while 49 questions for oral answers were considered and 858 questions for the Prime Minister were answered.