Opposition legislators gearing for showdown with Oulanyah
Posted Sunday, October 6 2013 at 01:00
The lawmakers said Mr Oulanyah is running parliamentary business like his home and treating them like children.
Opposition MPs on Friday labelled Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah a “bully, a schemer, dictator, and a senseless angry man” whom they accused of using “devious” methods to position himself for Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s job in the next Parliament.
Addressing a stormy news conference at Parliament, the opposition lawmakers, led by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi, declared a “war” on Mr Oulanyah. The news conference was in response to the force used in the ejection of Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda from the House on Wednesday on Mr Oulanyah’s orders.
The opposition legislators warned Mr Oulanyah that they are not his “children” and Parliament is not his “home”. They said if Mr Oulanyah thought by opposing the passing of what they called a “draconian” law the MPs misbehaved, the right procedure should have been to instruct the Disciplinary Committee to deal with the matter.
“We want to invite the public, especially the civil society, to condemn and fight against the behaviour of Mr Oulanyah because not doing so is a licence for impunity,” Mr Mafabi said. “The Opposition will continue checking the excesses of the government and will not accept to be intimidated by Mr Oulanyah,” he added.
Mr Oulanyah could not be reached for comment, but he said in a televised interview on Thursday that as long as he is a Deputy Speaker, he will not allow “anarchy” in Parliament and that the four suspended legislators must apologise to him before they are allowed to return to their seats in the House.
Mr Kripus Ayena (UPC, Oyam North) asked Mr Oulanyah to follow the right process and to stop behaving like a headmaster. “He cannot make his prescription of sentences outside the rules of procedure because he is the Deputy Speaker. The final battle in defence of democracy must be in Parliament,” Mr Ayena said. “This headmaster-versus-students behaviour must stop. Members of Parliament are not children.”
Mr Mafabi said Ugandans will know Mr Oulanyah’s true character when the Opposition motion comes to the House floor.
The Opposition Chief Whip, Ms Winnie Kiiza, said Ms Kadaga last week suspended Buyende MP Veronica Kadogo and she returned to the House without an apology. She wondered why Mr Oulanyah was pushing for an apology to him.
Mr Otto reiterated his resolve to unseat Mr Oulanyah in 2016 elections. “I am happy he is making more mistakes and on Tuesday, we are going to ensure he makes more mistakes,” Mr Otto said.