I retained Oulanyah office furniture, aides – Tayebwa

Left to right: Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, and Omoro County MP and one of the late Jacob Oulanyah’s children, Andrew Ojok, at the memorial service of the former Speaker at All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero in Kampala on March 20, 2023. PHOTO/STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • The Deputy Speaker says there is a lot of mistrust in public offices.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, has revealed that he retained the office, and some of the furniture and aides of the late Jacob Oulanyah. Oulanyah passed away on March 20 last year in the US. He had been battling cancer.

Speaking at the memorial service for the former Speaker at All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero in Kampala yesterday, Mr Tayebwa, who represented his boss, Ms Anita Among, said this was done in a bid to dispel the mistrust in public offices.

“I have maintained his driver, bodyguard, personal assistant, chair, office furniture because we take it for granted the level of mistrust we have as a country. But I have never had a problem with [Oulanyah’s] team. Let us learn that [everyone in] public office is holding it in trust,” he said.

He added that the rate at which Oulanyah trained him when he was still Chief Whip and the then Deputy Speaker, Ms Among, seemed as though he knew that his time on earth was up and he needed to impart his leadership skills to the team he was leaving behind.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo said his relationship with Oulanyah was cemented during the search for peace in northern Uganda during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) war.

He described their relationship as poetic, philosophic and sometimes mischievous.
“Jacob was extremely loyal and dependable. He would put everything aside to help a friend. When you talk of wealth, people think of material things but wealth is at the time of your need and how many people turn up. That is the wealth we are talking about,” he said.

Mr Andrew Ojok, one of Oulanyah’s children, said: “He taught us the spirit of servant leadership. Let’s continue serving humanity. I am only good if you are good.”

Bishop Hannington Mutebi, the assistant Bishop of Kampala Diocese, described the late Oulanyah as a committed Christian who didn’t publicise his faith for all and sundry to see. He said when he was ill in 2019, the late Oulanyah asked then Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, to mobilise the MPs to raise money for his treatment.

He added that Oulanyah sometimes surrendered his personal vehicle to take clergy to intercede in all corners of the country.

As part of the memorial activities, a memorial autocross competition will be held followed by prayers on Sunday at his ancestral home in Omoro District.