President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the ruling NRM national chairman on Sunday revealed to the party members why the Central Executive Committee(CEC) had zeroed on Jacob Oulanyah as the NRM flag bearer for the Speakership race.
The CEC, which is the top organ of the ruling NRM party on Sunday dropped the incumbent and Kamuli Woman MP, Rebecca Kadaga as the party flag bearer.
Speaking in a meeting where journalists were sent out of the State House gate to stop them from listening to his address to ruling NRM party Members of Parliament, Museveni detailed reasons the party’s top organ zeroed in on Oulanyah.
Museveni explained to the NRM caucus that there has been consistency in the terms each member from the ruling party holds.
He told the members that it would be foolhardy to change from two terms that the previous Speakers have each held, noting that it was time someone else took over.
“This time round, NRM had to keep its image. In case of a norm or culture in the party, it has to be followed. The norm has been two terms for each member as Speaker of Parliament,” Museveni said.
Museveni said the position of Speaker should not be a matter of death and life, noting that it can always change hands.
According to Museveni, the party nominates and endorses its flag bearer for the position of Speaker and that the decision should always be respected.
He noted that it is also wrong for a Speakership candidate to hold meetings for campaigns.
For many months, there has been a stalemate within the ruling NRM party on who to become the Speaker.
Oulanyah’s camp openly said he is the rightful candidate for party in the speakership race after an alleged 2016 agreement that he lets Kadaga complete her 10 year tenure as speaker of parliament and he takes over from there.
On the other side, Kadaga has vehemently dismissed the same, saying there has never been such an agreement.
However, the 2016 understanding was on Sunday in play as the Central Executive Committee considered the ruling party’s flag bearer for the Speakership race.
Speaking to Nile Post later, Jacob Oulanyah said whereas he was not part of the CEC meeting that decided his fate and that of Kadaga, some of the key issues considered during the deliberations was loyalty to the party.
“I wasn’t there when they were setting up the criteria. I presented my papers, they later called me to make my presentation and left. I heard the president talk about some of the yardsticks like loyalty and the outcome of the 2021 elections among other issues,” Oulanyah said.
According to sources, CEC rated highly Oulanyah’s ability to ensure the Northern region which he represents as its NRM Vice chairperson voted for the ruling party by more than 80% of the votes, compared to how the party performed in Busoga where Kadaga hails from.
Commenting about the matter, the NRM Vice chairperson in charge of Eastern Uganda, Capt. Mike Mukula said the party’s top organ resolves issues by consensus after “deep discussions.”
“CEC has never voted on most issues as we believe in consensus. The party supremacy is primary and party discipline reigns over and above all .No single individual is bigger than the party,”Mukula said.