The National Unity Platform (NUP) Aspirant for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Mariah Namuwanga has broken silence on why she wholeheartedly supports incumbent Rebecca Kadaga to be reelected Speaker of the 11th Parliament and carry on from where she stopped in the previous parliament.
Kadaga whom many envisage will retain the seat is battling her deputy Jacob Oulanyah, FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and Richard Ssebamala, the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi’s political tormentor.
Elections for speaker and deputy speaker are slated for May 24 at Kololo ceremonial grounds following the swearing-in of 529 Members of Parliament.
Speaking to Red pepper in Kampala on Thursday, outspoken Namuwanga, an ardent NUP activist who wants to represent Uganda in EALA argues that Kadaga is on record for guaranteeing the independence of Parliament for the benefit of Uganda, a grand champion of issues that affect families, women and marginalized groups.
‘’Having been at the helm of the August house since 2011, Kadaga has amassed a great deal of legislative knowledge and this is one of the many reasons I genuinely hold her dear. She has been one of the proponents of shattering the glass ceiling that had been created to bar women from attaining top positions and the so-far achieved success of gender equality we see today can be partly attributed to her’’, said Namuwanga .
She added that the distinguished Woman from Kamuli has weathered several political hurricanes which have left her emotionally equipped for every leadership office on the land.
‘’For a person who has been gagged down by some members of her party, it is praiseworthy that she has come out with a commendable track record because of her powerful professional work ethic. Much as some top notch members of her party have on many occasions spewed allegations of her acting in unison with the opposition, for me she comes out of this as a person who embraces all, despite divergent political affiliations’’, expressed Namuwanga.
Namuwanga who is among the scores of opposition politicians, who publicly declared their support for Rebecca Kadaga to continue serving as the speaker of parliament, emphasized that much as she is from the ruling party, she remains by far the most suitable candidate for speaker-ship.
Other than a number of MPs belonging to the NUP who were also publicly unveiled as Kadaga’s supporters including Joseph Ssewungu, Joyce Bagala, Kazibwe Bashir, Teddy Nambooze, Wakayima Musoke, and Ronald Balimwezo among others, there are some MPs from FDC who are also backing Kadaga.
After being sworn in as a woman MP representing Kamuli District in the 11th parliament early this week, Kadaga on Wednesday presented her credentials to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) electoral commission expressing interest to contest again for the position of the Speaker of parliament.
Kadaga told reporters at the party headquarters that; “I am their voice and I think you have heard the work we have done, for instance we have the first day care centre in the country, no other institution has a day care centre. We have done that to help women in the parliament and the staff. We have conducted a number of those to support the families, I am their biggest voice,” she said.
Back to her bid for the EALA seat, the alluring Namuwanga who is the first NUP member to express interest in the seat is optimistic she will have support from all corners arguing that she is a unifying factor in Uganda’s Politics offering the chance to every citizen irrespective of their parties.
It should be remembered that while campaigning in Kamuli District in December last year, former National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine promised Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, “a bigger role” in his government, if he had won at the ballot in January 2021.
Kyagulanyi’s statement that he respects Kadaga as his ‘aunt’ and that he would entrust her with a position in his government if he had been declared president , shows the latter’s capability to win the speaker race .
The EALA is a sub-organ of the larger East African Community, being the legislative arm of the Community. Members are sworn into five-year terms.