KAMPALA – Opposition Chief Whip and Kira Municipality MP – Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has officially announced the desire to run as the next Speaker of Uganda’s parliament.
The offices of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker will fall vacant with the expiry of the term of office for the 10th Parliament in May, 2021.
Ssemujju, announced his desire to run for the speaker’s seat at a press conference held at the Parliament on Tuesday. The Kira Municipality legislator claimed that he had the values that would easily enable him the speaker of the 11th parliament.
He explained that MPs want an impartial speaker while presiding over parliamentary business – adding that he was accessible to all and ready to distribute any available opportunities to all.
He added that he would be a speaker who will not take offense when criticized for the good management of the House.
“I’m going to be a speaker for every Member of Parliament and will handle disagreements with colleagues and other subordinates who serve us in parliament in the most professional and dignified manner possible,” noted Ssemujju.
When asked whether he wasn’t the wrong choice for speaker, Ssemujju urged that he wasn’t fronting name from an opposition angle but rather a face for all.
He however revealed that he had written to the presidents of all opposition political parties in Parliament notifying them of his intentions as well as reminding them that the opposition could not just sit back and watch as the NRM tussles it out for the top job in the house.
Ssemujju disclosed that he will be talking to each MP-elect of the 11th Parliament during his campaign and will soon traverse the country to market his bid for Parliament’s top job. He states that those who are supporting his campaign are a mix of MPs from both sides of the aisle and that there are a few names in his camp that will surprise the public.
Ssemujju says that he has the experience to steer the house having covered Parliament as a journalist for ten years and serving as an MP for two terms. He recently won his third in parliament as the Kira municipality legislator.
He says during his tenure as MP he has been entrusted with several leadership roles including as chairperson of the committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises which he says is a similar role as a speaker.
The contest for speaker has already bred animosity between the two front runners including the incumbent speaker, Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah. Their rivalry and dislike for each other have often played out publicly and the vote for speaker is expected to be a heated affair.
Who is Ssemujju
In 2011, Ssemujju resigned from his journalism assignments to contest the parliamentary seat of Kyadondo County East. He ran on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political party platform and won. In February 2016, general elections, Kira Municipality was elevated to a full parliamentary constituency after being curved out Kyaddondo East.