President Yoweri Museveni’s meeting with speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah at State House Entebbe dragged on for over five hours, with the NRM chairman ordered the suspension of speaker campaigns.
Kadaga and Oulanyah have expressed interest in the speaker position for the 11th Parliament.
Speaker since 2011 when she took over from vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Kadaga launched her third term speaker campaign.
During her campaign launch at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kadaga attacked Oulanyah, painting him as incompetent.
After meeting his cabinet ministers, Museveni proceeded to meet Kadaga and Oulanyah.
Starting at about 3pm, the meeting dragged on for hours.
It was not until 9pm that the president, the speaker and her deputy left Entebbe.
In the heated meeting, Kadaga and Oulanyah explained why they were the best for the speaker job, sources told Pearl Times News.
With Oulanyah insisting he wants the 2016 NRM CEC decision implemented since Kadaga’s 10 years as speaker were coming to an end, Kadaga reiterated her dismissal of the resolution taken five years ago as not binding on a new parliament.
She dared Oulanyah to produce proof of a signed resolution indicating that she had agreed to stand down for him to rise to the position of speaker.
Both Kadaga and Oulanyah are members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC).
The bone of contention in the ruling party’s race for speaker candidate is the 2016 CEC mediation ‘agreement’ that is said never to have been written.
When it was time for him to guide the two NRM Party officials, Museveni argued that it was too early for one to start campaigning for an election that will happen towards the end of May 2021.
The head of party and government told Kadaga and Oulanyah that the early campaigns were tarnishing the image of parliament as an institution, the NRM as a party and his government.
He also explained that there was no need for the two to start campaigning now yet the speaker and deputy are voted for in just one sitting during which nominations and campaigns also happen.
Museveni also urged Kadaga and Oulanyah to focus on the work of Parliament for the remaining days, making it clear there were a lot of pending bills, and government work for MPs to do instead of them engaging in politicking.
He also ruled that it was not prudent to suck the public into the speaker campaigns yet it is only the MPs who vote.
As far as the head of state is concerned, such campaign meetings as the ones Kadaga has recently been holding at Hotel Africana in Kampala are not necessary and should therefore stop with immediate effect.
The president also talked of consulting his legal team for advice on how future speaker races should be handled without causing tension as the Kadaga-Oulanyah race has so far generated.