KAMPALA – President Museveni has called for a halt in the campaigns for Speaker and Deputy Speaker in the National Resistance Movement -NRM party, saying the Central Executive Committee-CEC will resolve the matter.
On Monday, President Museveni summoned front runners for the NRM speakership race to State House Entebbe, and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah over the chaotic nature of the campaigns for the elections of the Speaker due in May.
The degeneration of the contest for the seat of speaker of the next parliament into lowly, unparliamentary style has caused concern in the ruling party.
The NRM secretary general Kasule Lumumba last week directed the contenders in the two warring camps to reduce on the fire between them that is currently threatening to divide the party. The incessant attacks and counter attacks have however persisted and the matter has now been escalated to the party national chairman and president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.
In the rather chaotic competition between the two camps of Kadaga and Oulanyah, the Speaker has accused the Deputy Speaker of incompetence and cowardice while the Deputy Speaker has been responding with suave, sophisticated remarks that portray the outgoing speaker as a blatant liar.
Kadaga who is seeking a third term as Speaker has accused Oulanyah of absconding from chairing the house, fearing to chair sensitive matters on the floor of the house including the removal of the presidential age limits. Oulanyah refuted these allegations calling them lies fabricated by the Speaker Kadaga.
Now according to sources who attended the meeting yesterday, campaigns have been halted and all the aspirants have been told to remain silent, as CEC will be the final determinant of who is fronted as the flag bearer for the NRM in the Speaker and Deputy Speaker race.
Another source said that the campaigns were hurting NRM especially the revelations that were coming out of campaigns. Earlier, Kadaga reportedly went as far as reminding CEC members who are hobnobbing with Oulanyah that President Museveni would have had no chance of getting re-elected if she had not delivered the removal of the age limits from the constitution.
For his part, Oulanyah has expressed dismay that Kadaga can blatantly deny having agreed not to seek re-election after her second term. “What are agreements for then?” a visibly pained and disillusioned Oulanyah has often asked. There have been speculations that after her second term as speaker, Kadaga would be given a kick upstairs to the powerless position of Vice President, but she has sneered at the suggestion, saying she would never accept such an appointment.
Because of not-so-clean linen being washed in public, the President will now accordingly give guidance on the way forward.