KAARO KARUNGI | KAMPALA – Today is exactly the 65th birthday of Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the re-elected Kamuli District Woman representative to the 11th Parliament, which holds its first sitting today at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. The first activity, according to Parliament, will be the election of a Speaker and Deputy Speaker and Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, or a judge he designates, will preside over the poll. Ms Kadaga already has 20 years under her belt – split in equal halves – as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
She has already made history as the first female Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament and while breaking ranks with ruling party to run as Independent is an historic, winning would place her in good stead to become Uganda’s longest-serving Speaker of Parliament. If she garners majority votes today, Ms Kadaga will have double celebrations: pop champagne at birth and dance to victory as Speaker of 11th Parliament.
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), which controls a solid majority, yesterday rallied behind Mr Jacob Oulanyah, the bow-tie spotting Deputy Speaker who now wants to take full charge of the Legislature.
If the Kamuli Woman Member of Parliament loses re-election, questions will emerge about her future relations the party she has defied and indeed her political career. Or, she could leave NRM and break away to found her own party and run for President in 2026 as a payback to a party she proclaimed loyalty to.
Unless named a minister, Ms Kadaga will from today – her birthday – become a backbencher in the House which she has for the last 10 years superintended as Speaker. With such unceremonious exit, she will lose the trappings of the office of Speaker, including lead cars and official and personal security, returning to the torture of traffic gridlock she last endured two decades ago. Such would be an anti-climax for a birthday legislator, one who, while Speaker of the 10th Parliament, prided during the race for CEC membership in facilitating the removal of age limit to allow President Museveni run again.
Source : monitor