By Simon Abaho
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus has chosen the former Kabula County Member of Parliament (MP) James Kakooza, to replace late Mathias Kasamba as Uganda’s representative at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
The position fell vacant after Mr. Kasamba, 57, died late April at Kampala Hospital. He was elected to the 4th EALA (2017-2022) in December 2017. Since Mr. Kasamba was a NRM cadre, the slot was reserved for the party.
Shortly after witnessing the electoral process for the EALA by-election and elections for the NRM Caucus Executive while at Kololo Independence grounds, President Yoweri Museveni, who officiated over the event, said that; “Uganda’s democracy has deepened and blossomed to full maturity, which gives me great joy and pleasure.
“I congratulate all those that participated in the NRM Caucus executive elections and the EALA by-elections irrespective of the results. What matters is not the positions of individuals but the agenda of the party as a whole. Democracy won,” added Museveni.
According to EALA office tenure, Kasamba was supposed to be out of office at the end of 2022.
Dr Tanga Odoi, the NRM Electoral Commission Chairman, said that out of the total 237 votes cast, Kakooza garnered 93 to emerge winner, followed by Godfrey Kiwanda with 85 and Abas Mutumba with 54.
“I, therefore, declare Kakooza James, who has polled the highest number of votes (93) representing 39.2% as duly elected Member of Parliament to the East African Legislative Assembly,” declared Odoi.
James Kakooza is an accountant by profession and politician. He served as State Minister for Health (Primary Care) in Uganda from 2009. He is also the Member of Parliament representing Kabula County, Lyantonde District, in the Ugandan Parliament. He has served in that position since 2001.
EALA is an organ of the East African Community; established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
Currently, the Assembly has 54 elected Members and 8 ex-official Members totaling to a Membership of 62.