By Ivan Mwine
A very bitter rift has emerged within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party over who should be elected the Speaker of the 11th Parliament.
This comes after outgoing Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga resolved to contest as an independent candidate for the position, even after the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Sunday endorsed her deputy Jacob Oulanyah as the flagbearer for the position of Speaker.
The voting for who will be the next Speaker is ongoing at Kololo Independence grounds as the 11th Parliament officially starts its business.
However, Kadaga’s resolution to contest against Oulanyah has sparked off mixed feelings amongst NRM Members of Parliament, where whereas some support her ambition, others regard her as someone sawing seeds of defiance and discord.
But that has not discouraged Kadaga from pursuing her ambitions and during a presser at Hotel Africana yesterday, Kadaga said that she is ready for the battle.
“As many of you have heard, the party has denied me the chance to contest for the position of Speaker. But I have resolved to contest against the party candidate as an Independent,” Kadaga told the press.
She added, “It’s obvious that there are some elements within the party fighting me because I always side with the people of Uganda. The fighting was manifested during the NRM primaries for party vice-chairpersons but I emerged victorious after being voted by Ugandans in the NRM. It will happen again in parliament.”
It should be noted that Kadaga has been Speaker for two political terms and she is now seeking her third tenure, although the NRM party is not in her favour.
Meanwhile, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among was also endorsed to contest for the position of Deputy Speaker, while Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda is set to contest on the opposition side for the Speakership.
We shall keep you posted about the developments.