Outgoing Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has announced that she will run for the position as an independent candidate.
Kadaga made the announcement during a presser at Hotel Africana this evening following her loss to Jacob Oulanyah in internal elections in the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
In a terse, short statement, speaking in English (the official language) and then Lusoga (her native tongue), Kadaga explained that she had decided to stand as an independent.
Kadaga said that she had not been fairly heard in the party during the debate. She said that she had decided to contest because she feared that women were being forced out of leadership positions in the party.
She said that she had fallen out of favour with some sectors of the party because she had insisted on speaking for the rights of ordinary people. She said that is determined to continue to speak for the people who are marginalised.
Kadaga said that there had been multiple attempts to force her out of leadership positions in the NRM but she had prevailed. She said that, for example, there had been “tremendous state interference and funding” to prevent her winning the Central Executive Committee national vice chairperson.
Kadaga appealed to these ordinary Ugandans to call their representatives to vote for her in the May 24 contest that will be held on the floor of parliament.
Voting for the new speaker will be the 11th parliament’s first duty on Monday.
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo will preside over this sitting. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be in attendance since as head of state, he swears in the new speaker.
The elected speaker then takes over the house to preside over the voting for his or her deputy.
Prior to this morning’s CEC meeting, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo had reminded party members that they must adhere to NRM positions on who will stand for speaker as its flagbearer.
Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is a Ugandan lawyer and politician who has been Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda since 19 May 2011. She is the first woman to be elected Speaker in the history of the Parliament of Uganda. She succeeded Edward Ssekandi, who served as Speaker from 2001 to 2011. She is seeking her third term in the position.
Kadaga is the Kamuli district woman MP. She retained her position in the 2021 election. She is considered a power broker in the Busoga region.
This story is being updated