SPEAKER RACE AFTERMATH! Oulanyah social media army claim to have been abandoned @ sea

One of the group cordinators Bills Agaba

By our reporter

During the recently concluded Speakership race, various candidates expressed interest in positions for the speaker and deputy. With or without these candidates’ consent, their fans formed camps and kicked off campaigns in high gear. One of the candidates widely marketed was former deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who eventually emerged victorious as the speaker. However, various groups—directly, indirectly or not at all sanctioned by Oulanyah — popped up and did all their best to register his victory. Naturally, such fans support their candidates hoping that once victorious, they will never be forgotten when time to share the national cake arrives (read eating). Some expect monetary rewards, gifts, juicy contracts, deals, powerful connections (read ‘gamba noogu’), and other amenities. As a result some fans turned into keyboard warriors on social media platforms to sell Oulanyah candidature. Due to their efforts Oulanyah floored incumbent Rebecca Kadaga.

REGRETS

Whereas it cannot go unmentioned that the smoke from CEC, teams by Ofwono Opondo, Betty Amongi, Ruth Nankabirwa, Mps and others all ensured Oulanyah victory, a section of social media gurus believe they did a lot and now they are demanding their share. They say the only rewards they got are ‘lies and black mail’. They say most of them, if not all, are still renting and it is difficult for them to get daily bread. The group reportedly used to get Shs105,000 during the heated campaigns. And now say, immediately after elections they didn’t receive a coin until today.

They are only reportedly being given endless promises and calls to be patient.

They further opine that they were told to establish companies to get contracts and most of them spent money in incorporating companies. None of them has now been given a single contract. They feel abandoned at the sea. It is not clear whether Oulanyah made these promises to them himself or his agents. And it is not clear whether Oulanyah knows this group at all.

All these frustrations have been vented through a WhatsApp platform called #Speaker Oulanyah. Initially it had members like deputy speaker Amongi, GCW Tayebwa, PM Nabbanja, ministers Muhanga, Betty Amongi and Mp Alloni Odria among others. These have since been removed by one of the admins Ronald Agaba Bills after the group discussion over the matter degenerated into a shouting match.  And one of those excited about their removal is Gabriel who commented: “Now that you have removed ‘serious people’ let me first go and tank waragi then come back to attack…”, and Bills shoots back: “I am not your waragi material sir.” Some members like Cadre Gerald B reached a point of praising former speaker Kadaga as someone who doesn’t abandon her army:“Kadaga pays her fighters handsomely. She even paid all those who fought during the race and many could still be on her payroll. It is a fact.”

However, Parliament’s director of communication and public affairs Chris Obore, who is also a group member, has since asked members to exercise patience.

“Colleagues it’s too early to make conclusions. The speaker has interest in working well with people but within what is legally and morally acceptable. Some things take time and come too fast. Slow things are painful but most times come out well. Faster things come but most times illegally or morally wrong. To do things legally, we must accept the painful processes. I can assure you the Oulanyah we know is honest and considerate. He doesn’t like to do things in a rush though because in doing so, mistakes are made. Allow us time to plan so that whatever is done is done right.”

Bills who appears to be one of their coordinators, has also promised to sort matters: “I am willing to host any member of this group or even the entire team at my office to listen and handle any issues that are pending. Social media ranting is the lowest form of finding solutions. And more importantly, our conduct now will make all the difference for our future engagements.”

He has been supported by MJR: “I strongly discourage any attempt top disorganize us for whatever reason. Kindly exit and follow your interest directly with the person who whom you worked with. Etesot Gabriel, Martin Mubangizi please give us peace. We have had enough.” He also tells off those who have personal grievances to reach the principal (Oulanyah) in person.

 

Milton, one of the most talkative ones, also had no kind ones for those complaining: “Guys lets be sincere, are we the only ones who made it for RT.HON? Let’s be fair. Why do we act as if we made the final strategies for the speaker to make it? Really? Our work contributed to his victory. No doubt about that but some of us act as if we made it finally. Let’s be responsible and patient. I come in peace.”

Milton also tells some complainants like Sandra Mwesigwa not to “over fool” other group members, to “stop expecting too much” and to be “patient”. And then Sandra shoots back: “But also serves us right. Believing so much when nothing was given. All those that put in their money and time, I apologize.” She also reminds everyone how they have no idea on how she pays her bills. Attempts by Milton to tell her to respect herself attracts another dig in, “you are the decay of morals I am talking about here. Zero reasoning.”

Sandra continues her tirade: “You are a bunch of liars! Users! You don’t want people to talk claiming “don’t let the pot break when you are almost near the well” BLACKMAIL???… We were promised funds for company registration but never delivered…. That was a big lie and some foolery you all pulled on us. Nze to be honest I worked hard for the speaker on twitter. You can’t talk about his campaign and my name doesn’t pop up. It’s now a year…. If I ever have a chance to air out my grievances, I will wholeheartedly. Black must be separated from white. But we need to move on. Nothing is going to put this right. Those who have benefitted congratulations. I hate pretending, those are my feelings.” She is supported by Hon Kibwika Micheal with “right” comment and at one point reminds Bills Agaba that even minister Chris Baryomunsi promised to meet the group but in vain.

Twinomugisha Katushabe also chips in:“been long overdue mazima. Been long fed on empty promises.”

As the debate heats up to an extent of one member commenting “Shut up, stop diarrheaing here, I know your problem”, a one Angupale Swadick posts along thread trying to de-escalate tensions: “How many of us had an agreement with the Speaker for his campaigns? How many of us started with him from day one. I mean from the national vice of the region that gave him high chances of becoming a CEC member. How many of you had a chance to meet him and get the first hand information of our bitterness on the forums? How many of us have ever campaigned for the president since he came to power and have been paid for work well done? Based on these, he needs us and we need him. We should therefore use a proper approach to explain to him the pain rather than throwing bitter words anyhow because annoyance is a sign of ignorance. Let’s engage people who are close to him to seek an audience and he will understand as a human being. The truth is he has been sick and still sick but slowly improving. We all needed a better parliament for the nation and I think we have seen changes being made in the few days he is in office. Missing a contract shouldn’t make us discouraged.” He also makes it clear that people like RDC Andrew, Festus Ayikobua and another lady have already benefited. “I call for calm, if somebody had made promises on behalf of the speaker, he is a very straightforward person who will clear some of the issues raised here.”

However, Obore tells him not to be apologetic about defending the Speaker.

“The speaker is straightforward. He will not do things because that is what he is being pressured to do. He will do things because it’s the right thing to do. And the right thing to do to respect, honor, and appreciate people within what is procedurally correct. He will not do so because someone else has done so. If we are to do things because they must be done there and then; it means there will be no order in the world. There are usually some quick wins but many things happen gradually,” he advised.

PARLIAMENT PRESS WHATSAPP GROUP

A similar war is in the Parliament press WhatsApp group. The admin has reportedly been removing journalists perceived not active at Parliament but this has rattled some members who say there are those who left journalism but are still on the platform and were never removed.

 

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