KAMPALA – The race for who will be the next Speaker of Parliament has taken a new twist after the incumbent, Rebecca Kadaga, accused Presidential Advisor on Defence and Security matters Proscovia Nalweyiso and Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa of working with people in State House to decampaign her.
According to Kadaga, the two have been using the State House hotline to influence the voting of the Speaker of Parliament by calling several MPs and telling them to vote her deputy and rival for the seat, Jacob Oulanyah.
Kadaga made the claim as launched her campaigns for speakership at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday. At least 100 MPs attended the launch.
According to Kadaga, the two have been using the State House hotline to hoodwink the MPs that calls were from the President. She says these calls are intimidating members.
She asked the MPs to ensure that when they are told by the callers that the call was from the President, they should ask the President to call them on their lines by himself.
Ruth Nankabirwa and Nalweyiso were not immediately available to respond to the allegations. But Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama said that he was hearing this for the first time, adding that he is sure the Speaker knows where to raise these concerns and who to raise them to.
The revelation adds controversy to the contest between Kadaga and Oulanyah for the seat, with MPs, particularly from the ruling party over who to support since the duo is all from NRM.
Earlier this month, Nankabiwa was dragged into Kadaga-Oulanyah row on the floor of Parliament after some members claimed that she was campaigning for Deputy Speaker Oulanyah. Ms Nankabirwa denied the claims, saying she was just reminding MPs of the 2016 Central Executive Committee (CEC) resolution to the effect that Ms Kadaga was to serve only 10 years and pass on the baton to Mr Oulanyah.