I'll guard this seat jealously, I worked for it - Speaker Among

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By Priscella Nakayenze

Speaker Anita Among has vowed to jealously guard her seat at Parliament, saying she worked hard as a house girl, local brew seller and cleaner at a local bank to get to it.

The tribulations she reeled, she said, followed her escape from home following rejection by her father, who wanted to force her into child marriage.

“As I told you, I will keep this seat jealously because I worked for it. I refused to become a teenage mother. So I am going to be in this seat, so you better guard this seat, other than this business of saying I want a kid, no, those kids are a problem, you will get them later,” said Among.

The Speaker made the remarks during the launch of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum to End Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy, where she rejected the call for use of contraceptives among teenagers, saying despite the poverty, the girls should know what they want in life and delay to have children.

Bukedea Woman MP Among, 50, was nowhere near the political pillars of the country even at her former party, the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change, but rose to prominence in the run-up to the 2021 general elections when it became apparent that Jacob Oulanyah would challenge her then boss Rebecca Kadaga's for the top Legislature seat.

Oulanyah, who died in 2022, teamed up with Among to oust Kadaga in May 2021 following a bitter jostle for the top seat that threatened to split Parliament.

But when POulanyah tragically succumbed to illness in March 2022, Ms Among was the outright queen for the Parliament throne.

While many look at the sudden rise, they forget the long walk the Bukedea politician traversed to get to even share a glass of juice with a political grandmaster like President Museveni.

Yet she has recently come under intense scrutiny following Western sanctions against which she remains defiant and resolute in her decision to carry on with her mandate.

The UK declared asset freeze and travel ban on Ms Among on April 30 before the US followed suit in May but President Museveni has stood by the Speaker, who he has recently taken to showing a rare public display of affection.

On Heroes Day in Gomba last week, Mr Museveni was seen patting the Speaker on the shoulders. He had taken her with him for the event at which he awarded more than 50 medals.

A week earlier on the Martyrs Day, the President delegated Ms Among - a Catholic married to a Muslim - to represent him at the Anglican celebrations when many would have expected Vice-President Jessica Alupo or Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to get the honours.

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