The political battle between Speaker Rebecca and Government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa is threatening to paralyze parliamentary business after the two took their disagreement to the plenary.
The standoff was sparked off by MPs who refer to themselves as Team Kadaga, who accused Nankabirwa of frustrating Kadaga’s re-election bid by spreading false information that the central executive committee of the ruling National Resistance Movement party has cast their dice with her deputy Jacob Oulanyah.
MPs from across the political divide who now call themselves team Kadaga demanded that she desists from the act, asking the speaker to clarify whether it is true?
Nankabirwa in her defence shot back saying reference was being made to a message he posted in the WhatsApp group of the NRM caucus that she says was clarifying on what she says took place in the central executive committee in 2016.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga would then interject asking whether Nankabirwa wanted them to invite members of CEC to the plenary to clarify on the matter, to which Nankabirwa responded in the affirmative as she was stopped by MPs who shouted her down.
Speaking to the Nile Post later, she insisted there was a negotiation that took place in 2016 in which Oulanyah was requested to step down for Kadaga to allow her complete her ten years in line with a precedent set by Edward Ssekandi
“I was among those who convinced Oulanyah to step down for Kadaga because there is a precedent that every one serves two terms and moves on.”
Deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah has previously referred to a similar arrangement, a narrative rejected by Kadaga
The stand off has significantly affected business in the house as MPs have since grouped into praise singers either candidates.
When Jacob Oulanyah chaired the house after over a year in the cold, three mps who spoke first spent their time congratulating him for his numerous victories with Aringa South MP Alioni Odria openly telling the house they are praying for him to ascend to the top job in the house, a view re-echoed by Nankabirwa.
When Kadaga returned days later , there was a rush to express loyalty to her with many mps including those from the opposition singing praises to the incumbent.
Significant time has since been spent on declaring allegiances to either candidates.
WHAT MPS SAY
BARNABAS TINKASIMIRE, BUYAGA SOUTH
I think the outgoing chief Whip needs to cool down and absorb the ordeal the voters of Kiboga gave her because it looks like she is in shock! Even if she is returned as an ex officio she will have no vote and therefore should let MPs make their own decisions.
MAURICE KIBALYA, BUGABULA SOUTH
MPs are busy in caucuses and meetings to discuss the race yet the 10th parliament has a target to achieve
If it is like this in March i don't how it will be as we get to April may be moving forward the period should be shortened between the general elections and elections for the house leadership
It is really unfortunate that the campaigns have degenerated to this level, but when people express interests for such positions it automatically triggers a mad rush and the need to build alliances to secure victory.
Ssekikubo, who will be running for the deputy speakership position, says it is not a matter of life and death
KIGONGO CALLS OUT PARTY MEMBERS
In a press release the party’s powerful number two and chair of the party disciplinary committee called on the parties to exercise democracy reasonably while conducting matters of national importance.
He also urged those involved to respect the institutions of the state.
“NRM has its mechanisms of conducting its business ,Rule 4 (1) of the NRM code of conduct prohibits a member or a leader of the NRM from using a wrong forum to address pertinent issues” the letter read in part
Parliament will elect a speaker and deputy speaker at the first sitting after swearing in to be presided over by the chief Justice