KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has brushed off concern by some Members of Parliament on the continued absence of her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah.
Oulanyah has not chaired any parliamentary session for over a year now, raising concerns from some legislators. Oulanyah last chaired the house on 4 February 2020.
After Tuesday’s parliament session, Oulanyah announced on twitter that he will chair the house on Wednesday.
Oulanyah and Kadaga will once again contest for the Speaker’s job in May, five years after a bitter battle for the top job, that ended with an intervention by President Museveni.
The tension continued between the two, with Kadaga insisting on chairing the sessons of parliament for a year now. This has led to several cancellation of plenary sessions, whenever Kadaga was not available.
At Tuesday’s as MPs consoled Kadaga over the death of her niece, Koboko Woman MP Margaret Babadiri questioned the whereabouts of the Deputy Speaker.
Babadiri said that the Deputy Speaker should be helping Kadaga at moments such as when she is bereaved.
However, Kadaga brushed off the concern, saying they will not fail to see Oulanyah when he is around. “You will see him,” she retorted.
Recently, MPs supported a proposal in the Constitutional Amendment bill 2019 to introduce a Speaker’s panel of more than four, citing the heavy work overload.
With a Speaker panel, parliament would have many more options other than Speaker and Deputy to chair the plenary.
In July 2020, Oulanyah brushed off reports of clashes with Kadaga, insisting that he does not see any problem with his absence as chair of plenary, saying that he will resume when asked to do so.