Pro-Rebecca Kadaga MP Asuman Basalirwa has suggested that Yoweri Museveni should instead appoint deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah vice president, and leave the speaker role for the incumbent holder.
Kadaga and her deputy Oulanyah, both of the NRM party, have expressed interest in the speaker job.
Oulanyah has deputized Kadaga for 10 years.
The NRM is sharply divided over who to back.
In 2016, Oulanyah, reportedly on NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) prompting, stood down to allow Kadaga serve two terms as she had requested.
But recently, when government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa reminded Kadaga of this ‘agreement,’ the speaker ruled that a 2016 NRM CEC decision was not binding on the House in a democratic society.
When Basalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality MP, appeared alongside Kampala minister Betty Amongi for NBS Morning breeze, he countered arguments by the pro-Oulanyah camp to which the minister belongs.
Basalirwa, of the Jeema party, praised Kadaga for her boldness.
“Look at the decision Speaker Kadaga took on the rebel MPs. Only a courageous person would allow them to stay in Parliament yet the whole party had ganged up against them,” he praised.
He also sought to present Kadaga as caring for all MPs across the political divide but Amongi quickly punched holes in this line of argument.
“Whereas other NRM ministers were scared of visiting NUP leaders in the hospital, Kadaga did. We don’t want a Speaker who will fear to associate with us in public,” submitted Basalirwa.
But Amongi quickly interejected: “But Nantaba visited Zaake in hospital!”
Basalirwa also defended Kadaga when show host said she had “overstayed” as MP and speaker.
“Who has not overstayed?” asked Basalirwa.
He further countered Amongi’s suggestion that Kadaga accept vice president job. The Jeema leader said it should be Oulanyah to instead take up the VP job.
“Why doesn’t Hon. Oulanyah go for the Vice Presidency? Does it have to be Hon. Kadaga?” wondered Basalirwa.