OPPOSITION political parties in Uganda have sounded war drums ahead of Speaker of Parliament elections on Monday 24th May 2021.
They have vowed, if ruling NRM error and bring a ‘stubborn’ Jacob Oulanyah for Speaker who has already threatened to suffocate opposition members of Parliament, they will have remained with no other option but to make Parliament ungovernable for him.
Speaking to a section of journalists at Parliament on Thursday, Justice Forum president who doubles as Bugiri Municipality legislator Asuman Basalirwa said, they are aware Oulanyah and a clique of his supporters are fighting Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga because she has been giving space to opposition legislators to speak on behalf of their voters.
“Under which rules of procedure are opposition MPs not supposed to represent their voters in Parliament? If those fronting him think he can shut our mouth in Parliament, then we are going for a war.” Declares Hon. Asuman Basalirwa.
He vowed, “Parliament will be a battle ground. We will make Parliament unruly and government ungovernable for president Museveni and his people.”
The former Makerere University Guild President said, Oulanyah cant turn Parliament into his home, Members of Parliament have a right to legislate and raise matters of National importance on the floor.
“A speaker who thinks he can stop MPs from airing out issues affecting their constituencies, a speaker who thinks he will lock out the opposition Mps, is just day dreaming. To hell with dictstorship in the Parliament of Uganda. Let NRM make a mistake and front Oulanyah who has already threatened our MPs, we will fight to protect and defend the constitution. It will not be business as usual. ” Said Hon. Basalirwa who is a lawyer by profession.
Oulanyah is on record for blocking opposition MPs from submitting in the plenary.
He is remembered one day, for having blocked then Kampala Woman MP Nabillah Naggayi while he was presiding over the August House.
Nabilah had taken to the floor to raise a matter of National importance but as soon as she started her submission, ‘Speaker’ Oulanyah barked at her and ordered to take her seat.
Asuman Basalirwa said if this behaviour is a ticket on which a clique of NRM members are fronting Oulanyah for Speaker, that is a bad deal. What Ugandans experienced in 2017 during debate to ammend article 102 (b) in Parliament was nothing compared to what 11th Parliament is set to experience.
“We will turn Parliament into a battle ground, we will not tolerate that arrogance. President Museveni and his people must stand warned.” Noted Hon. Basalirwa.
In the same line, 10th Parliament DP whip who entered 11th Parliament on NUP ticket Hon. Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu recalls when he stood up during the plenary to read out names of suffering Ugandans, but Oulanyah ruled him out.
The Kalungu West legislator said, “Oulanyah is too biased. He thinks he can be used to phase out opposition in Parliament. That mission is impossible. He can instead create more confusion and rifts among MPs. Those fronting him have personal reasons. Him and his funders will lose this war.”
Oulanyah has been branding most MPs as substandard and while picking papers at NRM EC headquarters on Friday, he promised to raise the bar in Parliament.
Analysts say, Oulanyah is targeting opposition MPs and will deny them time to legislate.
On Friday night, while featuring on 107.9fm Pearl of Africa radio political talkshow, newly elected Makindye East youthful MP Derrick Nyeko who is remembered for leading youth riots in Makindye said that Oulanyah is NRM’s worst mistake that the Opposition should swiftly rectify.