Kadaga, Tayebwa defy NRM, to run as independents in the Speakership race

Rebecca Kadaga
Kamuli Woman MP Rebecca Kadaga

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Kamuli Woman MP Alitwala Rebecca Kadaga says she will defy her ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), and contest as an independent candidate in the race for the 11th Parliament Speaker.

Ms Kadaga told journalists at a hastily organized press conference at Hotel Africana that while her party has decided to field her former deputy, Jacob Oulanyah for the position, she will not heed to the position and therefore will exercise her right to run as an independent when Parliament meets tomorrow Monday 24, May 2021 to elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively. 

Today, both the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) and the party caucus resolved to field Omoro County MP, Mr Jacob Oulanyah as the party’s preferred candidate for Speaker of the 11th Parliament. Ms Kadaga reportedly stormed out of the meeting at State House Entebbe after non-CEC members were allowed into the meeting and she was being accused of disloyalty to the NRM party. From Entebbe, Ms Kadaga drove straight to Hotel Africana to address the journalists. 

Dressed in a mixed-colored African attire, at Africana, Ms Kadaga looked calm as she addressed journalists in both English and Lusoga in just about 2 minutes. She did not entertain any questions, instead, she called on Ugandans to ask the MPs to vote for her because according to her she has stood for Ugandans in times of need. 

“Fellow Ugandans, I have come to inform the people of Uganda that my party, the NRM party has opted not to give me the party flag for the position of Speaker of Parliament. I have therefore decided to contest [as an independent]. As you recall, there have been many attempts to eject me from the party leadership.

You recall during the CEC elections last year, there was tremendous state interference, intimidation, funding, but I won the contest for second national vice-chair, and today I was not given an opportunity to present myself to the electorate,” said Ms Kadaga, who has been the Speaker of the 9th and 10th Parliament and also the Deputy Speaker for the 7th and 8th Parliament. 

She says the major reason she is being chased out of the party is because she has been speaking out on issues affecting ordinary people. She said that by ejecting her, the position of women in the constitution has been eliminated to the peripheral. 

“The major reason why am being pressed out is because of speaking on the issues of the ordinary people. I want to assure you – the people that I will continue speaking on those issues. Secondly, despite the constitutional provisions, the position of the women has been relegated…I want to stand out for the rights of those still marginalized. Therefore am appealing to the people of Uganda to ask your representatives to do the needful,” Ms Kadaga added. 

Read Also: What NRM looks for when choosing Speaker of Parliament

The Speakership race now has four candidates, who include; Ms Kadaga, Mr Oulanyah, Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC) and Bukoto Central MP Richard Ssebamala (DP) among others.

Meanwhile, information trickling from the NRM caucus that had been sitting past 7pm Sunday 23rd evening indicated that the MPs had decided to front Bukeda Woman MP Anita Among for the post of Deputy Speaker. Among reportedly garnered 168 votes against her closest rival, Thomas Tayebwa. Tayebwa according to the sources that attended the closed-door meeting got 149 of the total votes cast.  

Others in the races included Gomba West MP, Robinah Rwakoojo Gureme. Sources indicate that other contestants like Jacob Oboth Oboth, the West Budama South MP was talked out of the race.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that Ruhinda North MP, Thomas Tayebwa has also vowed to offer himself as an independent. This publication tried to reach Tayebwa on phone but he was not answering.