New Speaker to be elected on Friday

Speaker Jacob Oulanyah chairs a session at Parliament recently. He was announced dead on March 20, 2022  Photo/David Lubowa

What you need to know:

  • Article 82(4) provides that subject to Clause (4) of Article 81 of this Constitution, “no business shall be transacted in Parliament other than an election to the office of Speaker at any time that office is vacant”.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has set tomorrow, Tuesday as the date for expression of interest for the position of Speaker of Parliament following the demise of Jacob Oulanyah, according to highly-placed sources. 
The Central Executive Committee (CEC) will later convene on Wednesday and Caucus on Thursday.
Sources added that the election of Speaker will be conducted on Friday.

This was later confirmed by the minister of ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi while addressing journalists in Kampala.

"The sitting of cabinet today at State House, Entebbe which was chaired by President Museveni took a decision that Parliament of Uganda shall convene on Friday, March 25, 2022 to fill the vacancy of a Speaker," he said.

In an earlier statement, Government Chief Whip and NRM Parliamentary Caucus chairperson, Thomas Tayebwa, said he had been instructed by President Museveni who is the NRM chairman to call for a special caucus meeting on Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 2pm at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds to discuss the issue of Speaker of Parliament.

“All members are required to undertake a Covid-19 test. This procedure will take place on Tuesday 22nd March 2022, 9:00am- 4:00pm and Wednesday 23rd March, 2022, 9:00am - 12:00 noon, at Parliamentary Conference Hall. Only members who will have taken this test with the prescribed service provider at the Parliamentary Conference Hall will attend the caucus,” Mr Tayebwa said in a Monday afternoon statement.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo is said to have last evening left Seattle, United States of America where Oulanyah died from.
Dollo who is constitutionally mandated to conduct the election of Speaker reportedly left in Seattle Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao, who is expected to return with Oulanyah's body.

Article 82(4) provides that subject to Clause (4) of Article 81 of this Constitution, “no business shall be transacted in Parliament other than an election to the office of Speaker at any time that office is vacant”.
Clause 4 of Article 81 relates to incoming lawmakers taking oaths of office, and of Member of Parliament, in order to be eligible to vote, and be voted, as Speaker.
President Museveni on Monday directed all flags in the country to fly at half-mast until  Oulanyah is buried.
“Countrymen and Countrywomen Yesterday, at about 12.40 pm, it was my sad duty to announce the untimely death of our Speaker, the Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, MP for Omoro.

Today, I add the following: I extend my condolences, the condolences of my family and of all Ugandans to the children of Oulanyah and to his wider family. The government and the NRM will always stand with them. I will say more about Rt. Hon. Oulanyah in the coming days reads part of Museveni’s communication.
The President adds that he has activated the National Organizing Committee, under the Minister for Presidency Milly Babirye Babalanda, to organize the official burial of the Late Speaker. “They know what to do. More will be said and communicated as we go along,” Mr Museveni further writes.

Cabinet met on Monday and official communication is yet to be issued. A meeting between Parliament officials and the family was held late last night and on Monday morning a team from Parliament had already left for the late Speaker’s village in Omoro for burial preparations.

Another meeting chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Anita Among is still ongoing at the Parliament. It remains a sombre mood around parliament with few Members of Parliament present. No committees of Parliament are meeting and it is all quiet at the Speaker’s Chambers.
Oulanyah, 56, died on Sunday morning at a Seattle Hospital in the United States of America where he was indisposed since February 4th, 2021. He was referred abroad on February 3 for specialized healthcare by Doctors at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he was first admitted in January.     
 

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