Museveni woos Acholi as speaker ties the knot
Posted Monday, January 21 2013 at 02:45
Mr Museveni blamed some leaders from the region for hampering his programmes.
President Museveni used the wedding of Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah on Saturday to woo Acholi, saying his plans for the area had always been hampered by “bad” leaders.
“I have always wanted to do something for that area, but we were disturbed by Kony and bad leaders,” Mr Museveni said at Speke Resort Munyonyo where Mr Oulanyah wedded Ladywinnie Amoo Okot, daughter of former MP Santa Okot.
In Mr Oulanyah and like-minded colleagues, the President said, he now has “progressive” leaders with whom he would work to transform Acholi.
The other leaders of Acholi Mr Museveni named were ministers Okello Oryem (State Minister for Foreign Affairs) and Betty Bigombe (State Minister for Water Resources) and Uganda’s Ambassador to Sudan, Betty Aketch.
Mr Museveni’s speech must have hit hard at two opposition party presidents who hail from the region, Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao and Uganda Peoples Congress’s Olara Otunnu, who were also in attendance.
Acholi has in the recent past emerged as one of Mr Museveni’s vote hubs, having won there for the first time in the 2011 presidential elections. With some of his traditional strongholds like Buganda no longer guaranteed, the President seems keen to consolidate his hold on Acholi, probably explaining Mr Oulanyah’s becoming deputy speaker.
Opposition MPs absent
Mr Benson Obua (UPC) was the only opposition legislator to grace the wedding, probably giving a hint into the state of relations between the deputy speaker and some MPs. About 30 ruling party MPs also attended, with Kinkizi East’s Chris Baryomunsi the only “rebel” MP in sight.
In the less than two years as deputy speaker, Mr Oulanyah has been criticised by some MPs for allegedly doing President Museveni’s bidding instead of steering Parliament.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who missed the church service also held at Munyonyo, turned up for the reception held in a 1000-seater marquee shortly after 7pm.
But the ceremony was dignitary-studded, with First Lady Janet Museveni, Vice President Edward Ssekandi, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, his predecessor Prof Apolo Nsibambi, Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki all attending.
The Paramount Chief of Acholi, Rwot Onen David Acana II, also attended, with Margaret Zziwa, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly.