Kadaga setting me up, says Oulanyah
Posted Monday, October 7 2013 at 01:00
PARLIAMENT- The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Jacob Oulanyah, says he feels he is being used by his boss, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, to oversee the passing of controversial laws.
Speaking on the popular KFM political talk-show, Hard Talk on Saturday, Mr Oulanyah said one such incident involved the passing of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012.
The deputy speaker told talk-show host and Daily Monitor investigations editor, Mr Chris Obore, that he had only arrived in the country from the US on the eve of the voting on the Bill in November 2012, when he got a call from Ms Kadaga.
Forced to work?
“I arrived at Entebbe in the middle of the night about 11pm then my security tells me the Speaker wants to talk to you,” narrated Mr Oulanyah. “I picked the call then she said, Hon Oulanyah chair the House tomorrow. My feet were swollen. I said madam, what is the issue? She said I have finished with the oil Bill, just come and process the voting.”
The Deputy Speaker continued: “I am telling you I was tired, my feet were swollen. In my communication (to MPs) I said I was briefed by the speaker that you people had resolved these issues, what is left is to process the voting. What do I get? Everybody shot up. I had to go and do things a normal person would not do. I read the Hansard there and then when everybody was listening. Is that something pleasant to do? I read that voting had started then it was suspended then it was referred to the committee.”
Mr Oulanyah, who is also Omoro County MP, was responding to a question about the growing perception that he conspires with the ruling NRM party to force through controversial Bills in Parliament.
Kaweesa says no rift
Mr Oulanyah was in August thrust in the eye of the storm when he presided over the passing of the Public Order Management Bill, which the opposition branded illegal since it gave the police powers previously struck out by the Constitutional Court.
Daily Monitor failed to get a comment from Ms Kadaga on the allegations yesterday but Parliament’s spokesperson, Ms Hellen Kaweesa, downplayed reports of a strained working relationship between the Speaker and her deputy.
“The Deputy Speaker deputises the Speaker and the two of them always agree on who does what. They know their responsibilities and I would not like to interpret it otherwise,” Ms Kaweesa, who appeared alongside Mr Oulanyah on the show, said.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW
Qn: I want us to focus on our independence. Wednesday is our Independence Day, what are the implications, how far have we come in our self-governance? Fifty-one years of independence, there are still many governance issues. Honourable Jacob Oulanyah, you are not new to news in this country. I think you are aware that the country is discussing you, everyone is asking, what is wrong with Oulanyah? When he is in the House, he does the most awful thing, is he on the state payroll? Does he think with his own brain? What has happened to the brilliant lawyer? Why are you at the centre of the storm?
Ans: You know Chris, it is very easy to seek popularity, all of us like to be popular but seeking popularity can easily mislead you. It is a lot easier to do the popular thing than to do the right thing; that is where I have a problem. I am always confronted with the choice of making myself popular or doing the right thing and face the consequences of doing the right thing. People come back and say may be he was doing the right thing, it is that benefit that time gives me to get over this thing, that is why I don’t even respond immediately when these issues come up. But it has become a problem to me when issues come up, people are debating and castigating me, but I always keep quiet.
Qn: In other words you are saying great men are set free by history…
Ans: Absolutely, that is the principle I believe in. If I am right, time will absolve me, I don’t have to defend myself on anything. Time will prove me right.
Qn: May be we start with the simple things, what are these right things you are always on?