Caption for the landscape image:

Decoding Speaker Among’s remarks

Scroll down to read the article

Johnson Mayamba

In an emotional tone as she presided over the launch of the Parliamentary Forum to End Child Marriages and Teenage Pregnancies at Parliament last week, Speaker Anita Annet Among, who doubles as the Bukedea District Woman MP, sent a stern warning to whoever dares to cross her political path.

Ms Among declared she would “jealously” guard her seat, a hard-won prize after a life of adversity. Among’s rise from selling malwa to pay her school fees to presiding over the August House is nothing short of many successful people’s motivational speeches we have heard that would make Horatio Alger nod in approval.

From humble beginnings as a housemaid, and later a cleaner who climbed the ladder to become a cashier at Centenary Bank, her story is seasoned with sprinkles of bravery and determination. It’s a tale that seems plucked from a rags-to-riches manual and sounds like a soap opera with an inspirational twist. As she recounts these trials to inspire youngsters, it’s clear that her story is more than a personal victory—it’s a rallying call to her political allies alike.

And her account of overcoming a troubled past, including a harrowing escape from a rape attempt and a strained relationship with her father, adds layers to her resolve, caution to her opponents. It’s a testament to the power of personal perseverance and an unwavering refusal to succumb to societal pressures. Yet, while she polishes her hard-earned laurels, she still has roadblocks ahead; looming shadows of sanctions and murky waters of suspected misuse of public funds spin around her colleagues involved in the iron sheet scandal, “service award”, and lately alleged interference with the budgeting processes. These allegations of widespread corruption and mismanagement of public funds in Parliament have evoked public anger with many wishing the worst for the Legislature. Ms Among seems unbothered, ebikolimo byenkoko tebita kamunye (chicken’s curses do not kill hawks).

And President Museveni appeared to cap it during this year’s State of the Nation Address when he commended her stewardship of Parliament, a compliment that Ms Among gladly accepted.

The President’s praise for her role in fostering a good working relationship between Parliament and the Executive underscores her political acumen, one that separates her from a park of amateur politicians who came from their villages “using fuutu (foot)” to join national politics. Yet, it also highlights the risky balancing act she must maintain in a landscape where alliances can shift as quickly as the political winds. In this cutthroat theatre of power, Ms Among’s commitment to her role is not just about self-preservation; it’s about vindicating her life’s journey. Her promise to protect her seat is a bold declaration that no matter how fierce the opposition, be it from external forces or internal dissent, she will stand firm as the Holy Scriptures instruct her.

This comes as no surprise; after all, surviving the parliamentary fray might seem like another chapter in her lifelong survival story from childhood, through Forum for Democratic Change politics, to where she currently is; one of Uganda’s most admired politicians, even when her opponents think otherwise. Among’s personal narrative, woven with threads of struggle and triumph, serves as her armour and sword in our unrestrained arena of politics. She’s damn ready to go to the highest, lowest ends to defend what she considers hers, just like anyone else. It’s a do-or-die affair, reminiscent of a heroine’s quest, fraught with trials that would make lesser mortals falter.

For someone who has transformed personal pain into public service, the stakes are incredibly high but so is her determination. She’s telling us that despite her current political turbulence, no one should write her off yet—at least not without a fight that would make even the most seasoned politicos notice. She’s ready to prove to her naysayers, the “evil people” plotting to snatch her daily bread, that while our politics is as treacherous as a game of snakes and ladders, she isn’t just playing to win, she’s rewriting the rules. Ms Among is making it clear that in the game of political thrones, she’s not just an average player—she’s a reigning queen. Fellow Ugandans, the trumpet has been blown ahead of the 2026 political battlefield; prepare to roll the red carpet for the reigning political queen.

Mr Johnson Mayamba is a journalist and media trainer.