Basing on the constitutional requirements, the parliament shall convene on Friday to fill the vacancy of the speaker of the parliament as his body expected by the weekend.
This was revealed yesterday by the minister for ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi following a resolution from the cabinet meeting at state House Entebbe.
“The election of the speaker in Parliament is provided for in the law. My announcement means that political parties can start their internal processes to get flag bearers for the position of the speaker,” he said.
Article 82(4) of the constitution of Uganda provides that subject to Clause (4) of Article 81, “no business shall be transacted in Parliament other than election to the office of Speaker at any time that office is vacant.
At least four names had prominently featured as potential replacements for Oulanyah.
This publication as on Tuesday has confirmed West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth’s resignation from his position as State Minister for Defence to contest for Parliament Speakership.
Mr Oboth is expected to pick nomination forms from the ruling NRM party later on Tuesday.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anita Among also joined the Speaker race.
Several legislators could be seen dashing from one board room to the other catching up with fast paced events after government announced that Parliament will on Friday convene to replace Oulanyah who died in Seattle, United States, on Sunday.
Yesterday President Museveni issued a directive to all the ministers who have interest to contest for the seat to resign by closure of business yesterday. It was not immediately clear how many ministers had resigned by press time.
They are Ms Among, who is also the Bukedea Woman MP, Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hillary Onek (Palabek), State minister for Sports Denis Hamson Obua (Ajuri), and State minister for Defence Jacob Oboth Oboth (West Budama South).
The ruling NRM ruling party yesterday issued calls for expression of interest to its members with a deadline of 5pm today.
Dr Tanga Odoi, the NRM electoral commission, chairperson said they shall present names of the interested candidates to the NRM Central Executive Committee, which shall recommend names for election to the NRM Parliamentary Caucus on Thursday.
“Any member who wishes to contest for the position of NRM flag bearer for Speaker of the 11th Parliament shall deliver a written expression of interest and updated curriculum vitae (CV) to the chairperson, NRM Electoral Commission at Plot 13, Kyadondo Road between 9am and 5pm on Tuesday (today),” the notice states.
Our sources at Parliament said both Ms Among and Mr Onek held several meetings with different legislators yesterday to drum up support for their bids.
Earlier on, Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya made a passionate plea to the legislators to choose the next Speaker from northern Uganda.
“You know our son was the Speaker and if this NRM government has goodwill, let the speakership go back to Acholi Sub-region. We pray that someone should come up and offer himself to be the speaker of Parliament from Acholi,” Mr Olanya said.
The current deputy Speaker has been presiding over most of the House business in the absence of Jacob Oulanyah. She joined Parliament in 2016 and has a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting), a Master of Business Administration (Accounting) and a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University. She is 48 years old.
Hilary Onek, Palabek MP
He is the minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees and Palabek County MP. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He is 73 years of age.
Jacob Oboth Oboth, West Budama
The 50-year-old also serves as State minister for Defence.
He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University and a Master’s degree in Election and Cyber Law from the University of Minnesota.
Theodore Ssekikubo, Lwemiyaga
The legislator informed journalists yesterday he is contesting for the seat. He holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, Bachelor of Laws and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He is 52 years.
Denis Hamson Obua, Ajuri County
Aged 42, the State minister for Sports holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Social Administration and a Master of Public Administration from Uganda Management Institute.
The body of the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, will be flown into the country at the weekend, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Oryem Okello has said.
“Our ambassador in Washington has gone to Seattle to start the process of clearance of the body to be repatriated to Uganda. It requires the participation of the family because this is the body of their father and they have to sign relevant documents,” minister Oryem said by telephone last evening.
He added: “We are trying to target the body to be here latest by the weekend. The burial will likely be the following week but this will be determined later.”
President Museveni on Sunday announced in a tweet that Oulanyah had passed on. He, however, did not specify when he died or what caused his death, two touchy issues that have been a subject of speculation in the past week.
Speaking to a local media house, Radio Mighty, in the Acholi Sub-region yesterday, Mr Oryem linked the death of Oulanyah to kidney failure.
He said the Speaker was largely unconscious when the team of government officials visited last week.
“Chief Justice Owiny-Odollo told me that when he went there with the deputy Speaker, Oulanyah was not able to open his eyes and he couldn’t talk. But he could hear what people were saying,” the minister said.
Mr Oryem added: “He [Owiny-Dollo] said he kept saying words to encourage him [Oulanyah] and prayed with him and gave him messages from home. But he said when he sat down, he [Oulanyah] said only one word “Chigamoi,” and he never uttered any other word.”
Mr Oryem said the doctor at Seattle said they had tried everything in vain.