By Simon Abaho
President Yoweri Museveni has ordered that the Ugandan flag, one for the East African Community and all flags in Uganda should be flown at half-mast at all public buildings and public grounds to mourn the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah.
This is to happen until Oulanyah is buried.” I direct that the flags in Uganda fly at half- masts until the burial of the Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah.
This is provided for in the official burials’ procedures. More will be said and communicated as we go along,” Museveni said in a message on Monday afternoon.The president said that as he extends condolences to the children and the wider family of Speaker Oulanyah, he will speak in details about the life of the deceased Speaker of the Ugandan parliament with time.”
I have activated the National Organizing committee, under the Hon. Milly Babalanda, to organise the official burial of the late Speaker. They know what to do. “Speaker Oulanyah passed on yesterday morning in Seattle, USA where he had been admitted earlier after falling sick. Ever since he was elected as Speaker of Parliament in May last year, Oulanyah had hardly chaired any sittings due to ill health. His deputy Anita Among has steered most of the sittings.
Last year after a long absence from the House, he told MPs that he was back and feeling fine. He said he was disappointed by rumours about his death.
However, late last year, he fell sick again and was first admitted to Nakasero Hospital before he was later flown out of the country to the US for better treatment.
Born on March, 23, 1965 to Nathan L’okori and Karen Atwon in the then Gulu district, Oulanyah attended St.Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr.Obote College Boroboro and Kololo Senior Secondary School for his O and A level education.
In 1988, he joined Makerere University where he studied agricultural economics and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1991.
In 1991, he joined law school at Makerere University, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Laws degree ,having earlier served as speaker of the students’ guild at the university.
He joined Law Development Centre in 1995 and obtained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice but later worked as a lecturer at LDC.
During the same time, Oulanyah began private law practice at Oulanyah, Onoria & Company Advocates and in 2001, he entered elective politics when he was elected as the Omoro County Member of Parliament as a Uganda People’s Congress cardholder whereas the country was still in the movement political system.
Oulanyah also participated in the peace talks between the Ugandan government and Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.
In 2006, standing as a UPC candidate, Oulanyah was trounced in Omoro County and later that year, he quit UPC to join the ruling NRM party.
In 2011, he was re-elected as Omoro County MP in the ninth parliament on the NRM ticket and was later elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
He was in the January 2021 parliament election re-elected as Omoro County MP and later in May that year, he was elected as Speaker of Parliament.