MEMBERS of The Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) have unanimously declared their support for Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga rejecting Jacob Oulanyah, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa’s candidate for The 11th Parliament Speaker.
Calling Kadaga their star player who can not be substituted by any sane football club which is looking for a win, Women MPs say, they can not allow all the three arms of Government to be led by men.
“We have a male president who heads The Executive and at the same time, a male Chief Justice heading Judiciary. So to their deputirs. We can’t allow another man to head Legislature or else, women emancipation will become useless.” Quoted one of the women MPs, who attended a meeting where Kadaga was endorsed by UWOPA.
The group which also include direct constituency elected MPs and some male legislators summing to 280 members, uniformly stated that Kadaga should be the Speaker of 11th Parliament and that they won’t listen to any one diverting them.
Nankabirwa who in January lost to NUP’s Christine Kaaya for Kiboga District Woman MP is vending Oulanyah for Speaker.
Through their Association, Women Mps made the announcement at the Golf Course Hotel on Friday during a meeting to drum up support for the passing of some pending Bills affecting women in the society.
The UWOPA Chairperson, Pamela Kamugo Nasio told the cheering participants that the two arms of Government including the executive and the judiciary are being spearheaded by men and their deputies and that calls for reserving Parliament for women.
“We have come here to get solutions for the issues affecting women and we cannot forget about our involvement in the governance of this country. The head of executive and his deputy are men, the head of judiciary and his deputy are also men, automatically meaning a woman should be in charge of Parliament,” Pamela said.
President Yoweri Museveni is the head of executive deputized by Edward Ssekandi and the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dolo is deputized by Richard Buteera.
She continued that the woman they want is none other than Rebecca Kadaga.
“Our strongest voice in this country is Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga. We are strongly behind her to make sure she heads the 11th Parliament.” Said UWOPA.
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Kadaga is facing competition from her deputy Jacob Oulanyah, who is saying the former has exhausted her two terms and it is now his time to ascend to Speakership.
To his disadvantage, Owiny Dolo also comes from Acholi sub-region just like Oulanyah leaving Eastern and Central Uganda with no one, apart from Kadaga, heading any arm of Government or deputizing.
Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is a Ugandan lawyer and politician who has been Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda since 19 May 2011. She is the first woman to be elected Speaker in the history of the Parliament of Uganda. She succeeded Edward Ssekandi, who served as Speaker from 2001 to 2011. She is also the current Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kamuli District Women’s Constituency, Busoga sub-region, a position she has held since 1989.
She was born in Kamuli District, Eastern Uganda, on 24 May 1956. Rebecca Kadaga attended Namasagali College for her high school education. She studied law at Makerere University, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB), in 1978. She went on to obtain a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center in Kampala in 1979. In 2000, she obtained a Diploma in Women’s Law from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2003, she obtained the degree of Master of Arts (MA), specializing in Women’s Law, also from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2019, Nkumba University, a private university in Uganda, awarded Kadaga an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Between 1984 and 1988, she was in private law practice. From 1989 to 1996, she served as the member of parliament for Kamuli District in the District Woman’s Constituency. She served as the Chairperson of the University Council for Mbarara University, between 1993 and 1996. During 1996, she served as Secretary General of the East African Women Parliamentarians Association.
From 1996 to 1998, Rebecca Kadaga was the Ugandan Minister of State for Regional Cooperation (Africa and the Middle East). She then served as Minister of State for Communication and Aviation from 1998 to 1999 and as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs from 1999 to 2000. She was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2001, a position that she held until 19 May 2011, when she was elected Speaker of Parliament.
Following the February 2016 general election, Kadaga was unanimously re-elected as Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2016.