It’s no longer a top secret that following the demise of speaker Jacob Oulanyah, a scramble for who should replace him has rocked parliament and many big name politicians have started pitching for the top seat in the legislature.
There’s brewing tension like it was in May last year when Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga who had been Deputy speaker for 10 years and Speaker for still years pulled off a fierce battle with the late Jacob Oulanyah who beat her hands down with 310 votes against her 197 votes.
The National Resistance Movement has invited it’s members to express interest in the speakership flag bearer in a notice signed by the party’s electoral commission boss Dr. Tanga Odoi because elections for the speakership are set for 29th this month. The exercise for nominating those showing interested is going to be held for only one day.
Tanga Odoi’s notice to those who want to be speaker to express interest was followed by another notice by the government Chief Whip who invited all NRM leaning legislators for a caucus sitting on the directions of the president and it will take place on Thursday 24th and top on the agenda is the election of the next speaker of parliament.
However, going by what’s trending in the mainstream media and online, the current Deputy speaker of parliament who is also Bukedea district member of parliament Anita Among Annet is much interested in replacing her boss at the helm of the country’s national assembly.
She won the deputy speakership race in May last year overwhelmingly when she beat the other candidates like Kampala central legislator Muhammad Nsereko and law Don also Mawokota South MP Yusuf Nsibambi. She garnered 425 votes, Yusuf Nsibambi came second with 35 votes and Nsereko got 24 votes.
While her boss was away on the several times he’s been in and out of hospital, Anita Among has been chairing house sittings including all the other committees where the speaker sits most importantly the appointments committee which verifies and approves presidential appointments. She also served as the Deputy head of the COSASE committee in the 10th parliament alongside Abdul Katuntu before FDC decided to end their term prematurely.
She has chaired over 70 house sittings and passed several bills against a backdrop of highs and lows. She was accused of graft in a scenario that led to the arrest of NUP’s Moses Bigirwa in November after setting him up in a bribe soliciting scandal. However, the most recent was the impeachment of Hon Francis Zaake from the parliamentary commission.
This caused her back lash when several provisions under the rules of procedure were by-passed in the interest of getting rid of Zaake whom she accuses of abusing her using his social media pages when she took a jibe on him that he’s been tortured several times but was able to win a medal for the country at the East African parliamentary games. Zaake has since gone to court protesting his removal.
The race yesterday evening gained momentum when it was reported that former Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga was opting to abandon her duties as the first deputy premier and minister for East African affairs and coming to retain her lost glory and will also express interest in the speakership job after being convinced her a certain number of MPs who convened at her swanky home in Muyenga.
Kadaga who has been Member of parliament since 1989 served as deputy speaker for 10 years from 2001 to 2011 under Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi who is also former vice president from Bukoto central. She then headed for the top job from 2011 to 2021 when it was resolved by NRM’s top body that she let’s Oulanyah stand as president Museveni was organizing for her something kidogo in his cabinet. This didn’t go well with her and hurriedly decided to run as independent which she miserably lost.
However, going by experience if the two Anita Among and Kadaga stood for the same position, the iron lady from Kamuli would beat Anita Among hands down, even her personality of being tolerant would favor her since during her time despite the lows she faced during the Homosexuality bill in 2014 and the Age limit removal in 2017, she’d been a darling to both NRM and opposition.
However, the laws provides that she must first resign her ministerial positions before joining the race, this means she has to either be of a sure win or trade carefully not to loose both unlike Anita Among whom the laws don’t require to resign as deputy speaker to stand for speakership. Anita Among would remain deputy speaker even if she lost the speakership race unlike Kadaga who would loose out to the two ministerial positions she holds and only remain a commoner legislator.
However, some insiders say Kadaga can only tender in her resignation when the party has endorsed her or when the party has endorsed some one else and she decides to run independent like she risked in the last election. With the party endorsement, it’s a sure win but coming independently is a two edged-sword like decision.
Besides Kadaga and Anita Among they’re other big name politicians who are pitching interest in the position, among these is Bugweri county legislator Abudul Katuntu, Rwemiyaga legislator Theodre Sekikubo, Kampala Women representative Shamim Malende, West Budama MP Jacob Oboth Oboth, Thomas Tayembwa who is the current government Chief Whip representing Ruhinda north county, Prof Elijah Mushemeza representing Sheema South among other names that are still coming up
Join the conversation and tell us who of the two would win the speakership race between Kadaga and Anita Among?
If you have a story in your community or opinion article, let’s publish it. Send us an email via email@example.com or WhatsApp +254797948150