The deputy NRM Secretary General, Richard Todwong has said Rebecca Kadaga and Jacob Oulanyah who are both vying for the speakership position will not attend the forthcoming party retreat at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Todwong said the two week retreat will only be attended by the newly elected MPs and that the incumbents will not be allowed to attend the retreat.
“Because of the current tight parliamentary schedule , the incumbent NRM Members of Parliament numbering 137 and the independent NRM-leaning MPs numbering 18 who got re-elected to the 11th parliament will not be attending the session of the leadership retreat,” Todwong said.
Todwong said that the retreat will therefore be attended by a total of 243 newly elected NRM MPs plus the 27 Central Executive Committee members and those from the East African Legislative Assembly.
However, when asked about the fate of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah , Todwong said both of them will not attend the retreat since they have to chair parliamentary proceedings.
“We were guided out of consultation from the parliamentary commission that helped us understand the timetable of parliament and the speaker chaired meetings. It was from parliament that were were advised that the current Members of Parliament will not be able to attend because there is a constitutional requirement to pass the national budget. Definitely parliament can’t sit minus the speaker and deputy speaker,”Todwong said.
“The Speaker and deputy speaker will not be able to attend the retreat because the business of parliament must continue.”
Both Kadaga and Oulanyah are members of the NRM’s Central Executive Committee.
However, earlier this week, President Museveni in his capacity as the NRM national chairman directed that campaigns for the speakership be halted and that the Central Executive Committee will have the final say on the next course of action.
It, however, remains to be seen whether during the retreat at Kyankwanzi, the fate of both Kadaga and Oulanyah will be sealed, and in their absence.
The NRM deputy Secretary General said the retreat scheduled for April 7 to 29,2021 is meant to ideologically reorient the new NRM MPs.
“The core objective for the retreat is to ideologically re-orient the NRM leadership to enable them refocus on the socio-economic transformation of Uganda within the broader context of the survival of the African race given the current global pressures and challenge,” he said.
“The participants will be taken through the ideological foundation of the NRM, challenges and opportunities for Uganda, East Africa and Africa, assessment of the NRM’s past manifestos and priotizing commitments of the 2021/26 NRM manifesto.”
Following the announcement, analysts have concluded that the retreat will partly be used to indoctrinate the newly elected NRM MPs .
By excluding the incumbent legislators where Kadaga commands alot of support, the move has been seen by some commentators as one that will disadvantage the Kamuli Woman MP in her speakership bid .