Published by Patra K on

Money threatens to take over parliamentary speaker race

Some of the contenders for the Speaker and Deputy speaker. (Left top corner-Hon.Rebecca Kadaga, right top- Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, bottom left-Hon. Anita Among, bottom right- Hon Oulanyah

The race for the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament that will be sworn in May 2021, is gaining momentum with a number of candidates aspiring for the two coveted positions.

Reports are beginning to emerge that there are candidates who have already started engaging in voter inducement schemes. It is reported that donations and sometimes even cash, are making rounds in a space that is supposed to be an organ of people’s sovereignty, living by example and representing the interests of the electorate.

The news that legislators may accept donations from aspiring candidates for Speaker, has all the trappings of immorality. And the nation is concerned about the possible degeneration of moral, focus but also integrity in the House.

Three candidates have so far openly declared their intentions to run for the third topmost job in the country. These are: the incumbent, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga (Woman MP, Kamuli district) who is the first and only female speaker Uganda has had, deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah (MP Omoro district) who plans on deposing his current boss.

Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, (a former parliamentary journalist) who is in for his third term as Kiira Municipality MP, also recently affirmed his plans to unseat speaker Rebecca Kadaga who has from 2011 occupied this office.

Even though Hon. Ssemujju believes that he is competent for the job, he is raising a red flag on claims that other contestants are distributing money to MPs in exchange for their support. Efforts to reach Ssemujju on these accusations were futile.

SecretsKnown has however learned that the incumbent Speaker, Hon. Kadaga is allegedly meeting both incoming and current members of parliament giving them money in hope of coaxing their vote. It is purported that each MP that goes into her office leaves with at least 1million UGX ($272).

It is also reported that as the battle proceeds, both Hon. Kadaga and Oulanya have a sum of 20 million for each member of parliament. An inside source from parliament revealed that the incumbent speaker has up to 1 trillion UGX ($272,806,200) at her disposal meant for her campaign in hope of retaining her seat.

Both Ms. Kadaga and Mr. Oulanyah will however have to first face the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) to undergo vetting. Kadaga also alleges that campaign agents of her opponents are issuing custom-made pens, mugs, t-shirts, and books to promote their candidature.

The race for the deputy speaker is equally belligerent as the speaker one. Thus far, there are seven contenders for the position. These include: Robinah Rwakoojo (Gomba West), Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central), Jacob Oboth Oboth (West Budama County, Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North), Anita Among (Bukedea), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), and Shartis Musherure Kutesa (Mawogola North).

SecretsKnown learned that incoming MPs are paying visits to Anita Among’s residence in Ntinda where each of them leaves with a pocketful of up to 6 million UGX ($1,636) in exchange for a vote. For a house that is considered sacred and is supposed to uphold high morals, what is happening is tragic and corrodes the repute Ugandan’s have in Parliament.

It is saddening that such a demeaning and undemocratic practice has sneaked itself into the walls of parliament. This makes you question the breed of parliamentarians Uganda has because they have chosen to dilute the uprightness of Parliament by letting the influence of money take charge.

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