The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has said that he is alive and well despite reports that he has been unwell.
Mr Oulanyah returned from the United Kingdom on Friday after over one month in what Parliament says was a private visit to check on his family.
He last presided over Parliament at the reading of the 2021/2022 financial year Budget at Kololo Independence Grounds immediately after his election as Speaker of Parliament.
His absence from the public, however, raised speculation with several reports indicating that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Some reports also indicated that he was allegedly transported to Entebbe International Airport in an ambulance and carried on a stretcher to the plane that evacuated him from Uganda.
However, Deputy Speaker Anita Among told the press that Speaker Oulanyah was on leave and would return to chair the House, as they had agreed that either Speaker chairs the house for two months.
Mr Oulanyah who is back at his home in Muyenga, Kampala told Uganda URN on phone that there should be no worry as he is totally okay.
When asked on how he was doing, Mr Oulanyah chuckled in amusement, saying that he is alive and well. This is the first time Oulanyah has spoken to the media following concerns about his health.
He said that there have been several concerns on social media about his health, and yet he is doing fine.
Mr Oulanyah says that several people had asked him if he is okay, simply because of the several messages on social media.
“It has been too much on social media, but I am fine," Mr Oulanyah said.
"I know this call is to confirm that I am still alive because there have been all those reports that I am sick, others saying I have died,” he added.
Mr Oulanyah is expected to start chairing the House soon. According to sources, it could be as soon as this week.
According to one of Oulanyah’s close confidants, although many people want to visit him, he doesn’t like the idea of people visiting him at home because of COVID-19, and that is why he might soon come to office.
The Speaker's office which was occupied by the former Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has been completely refurbished and Oulanyah is expected to start sitting there after months of operating in a temporary committee room.
Information obtained from the Speaker's team also indicates that there will be a prayer at the Office of the Speaker to dedicate the office to God.