M7 FEARS WAR WITH KADAGA, ORDERS NRM CAUCUS (WHICH IS FULL OF REBECCA DIEHARDS) TO DETERMINE NEXT SPEAKER
By Isaac Wandubile
Latest information reaching Mulengera News indicates that Rebecca Kadaga has proved too heavy to the extent that Gen Museveni, on whom haters were counting to thwart her desire to remain Speaker, has chickened out. Haters hoped that Gen Museveni would use CEC to overcome the Kadaga support by imposing the incumbent’s sole challenger Jacob Oulanyah on the caucus as the official Speakership candidate for the ruling NRM party.
Mulengera News has impeccably learnt that, having been advised by lawyers that CEC decisions could potentially be successfully challenged in court for being defective given that the ruling party’s top organ is currently not fully constituted, Gen Museveni has opted out of the thing and is now of the view that the last word regarding who becomes next Speaker and Deputy must lie with the members of the NRM caucus in Parliament.
“There will be a CEC meeting on Monday to merely reflect on the Speakership race and many other things but no final decision will be taken on Speakership as had been anticipated. The CEC members will only endeavor to set some rules to guide the campaigning processes in the next few days. This is so because Mzee has realized the matter is more complicated than was originally perceived because many of those CEC bosses are illegally in office having exhausted their 5 years term in August last year,” says a source close to the big man from Rwakitura.
“Apart from the regional leaders whose mandate was renewed in August last year, the rest of the league bosses are illegally in CEC because you can only serve for 5 years and their elections was skipped because of Covid19 constraints. That applies to Lydia Wanyoto for women league, Nasur Gadafy for Youth league and other leagues heads. Mzee says he already has multiple sources of headache and wouldn’t want to add on.”
That during their Monday session, CEC members will discuss Speakership but no final decision will be taken. “CEC will meet twice in the week to prepare business ahead of the inaugural new NRM caucus meeting for Saturday during which members will vote flag bearers for Speakership and Deputy Speaker position. Whoever emerges winner will be the one and CEC will only ratify their [caucus] decision as a formality,” says a source adding that this apparent surrender is indicative of the fact that Gen Museveni has, through intelligence information, come to the conclusion that Kadaga is too popular to be stopped and any effort to stand in her way can only complicate relationship between his State House and members of the 11th Parliament (yet he will soon be embarking on efforts aimed at smoothening his reelection for the 2026-2031 term).
This is how a source explained Gen Museveni’s dilemma: “She [Kadaga] has a significant fraction of NRM caucus MPs who are ready to die for her. Some of them believe she is so much committed to MPs’ welfare, she could even acquiesce to suggestions for the MPs to retire with their full salary and other benefits just like was done for the judges. The new MPs have been told she is strong enough and the only one who can stand up to Mzee and object to his plans to diminish their welfare by cutting things like trips and even their emoluments.”
“The new MPs have been made to believe that to overcome such moves by Mzee, you need a strong thick-skinned person in the office of Speaker and they believe that can only be Kadaga. So, with that genuine popularity in the caucus, where Oulanyah also has modest support, Kadaga only needs a significant block vote from the opposition/non-NRM groups and she will be home and dry. Mzee has reflected upon all these things and he doesn’t want to die in that movie of Speakership politics. He clearly wants to keep away and leave the MPs to have the last word.”
The same State House source added that Kadaga is considered more predictable and easier to manage given her general frailty and age. “Oulanyah is still young and too vibrant to be controlled. He can sometimes be very ambitious too. Kadaga is erratic but can ultimately be managed. Those northerners have tested power before and Oulanyah could assert himself and can potentially use that Speaker officer to develop appetite even for bigger officers, a thing that can complicate transition politics. That’s why a lot of people, who initially didn’t like Kadaga, are beginning to become cautious. In any case it’s very unlikely that she will be seeking 4th term [in 2027] as Speaker which is why Mzee can tolerate her hoping this will be her last term.”
The D-day being next Saturday (22nd May) simply means that Ugandans, who have been anxious for months, have barely 7 more days to know who the ruling party will officially be fielding to face off with FDC’s Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, the indomitable legislator from Kira Municipality. During that same Saturday caucus meeting, Gen Museveni intends to be in attendance and use the same to unveil his new Prime Minister and Vice President (and it’s very likely one of them will be JPAM).
It’s widely expected that the Monday CEC session will come up with guidelines of sorts before those eyeing Speakership and the Deputy slot can be permitted to conduct open campaigns for the few days remaining to reach Saturday when the close to 300 NRM MPs will be converging to cast their vote in an internal party process regarding who they prefer. And that person will naturally have to become the next Speaker and Deputy given the ruling party’s numerical strength in the August House.
The Speaker and Deputy are to be elected on Monday 24th May and the same will be preceded by the swearing in of the new MPs which is slated for Monday 17th to Thursday 20th May. The entire 11th Parliament comprises of 529 members. Of these, NRM has 337 and 73 are independents, a larger majority of whom (actually 43) opportunistically profess NRM. The combined opposition has 109 MPs-comprising of NUP’s 57, FDC’s 32, DP’s 9, UPC’s 9, Jeema’s 1 (Asuman Basalirwa) and Bidandi Ssali’s PP has one (Santa Okot).
The other interesting statistics is that the 11th Parliament has 173 female legislators (including the likes of Betty Nambooze who beat men) and these consider themselves to be a block vote for Kadaga who is also equally very strong among the reelected MPs. These reelected MPs number up to 193 and 133 of them profess NRM. Out of the 326 newly elected MPs (who weren’t members of the 10th Parliament), 202 are NRM and the rest are opposition and independents.
Some of the MPs are already expecting plenty of groceries to be dished out by those seeking the caucus endorsement for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively. And the impending Kadaga reelection victory will mean different things for the different players regarding the Deputy Speaker race. An alliance of sorts does exist between Kadaga supporters and those campaigning for Thomas Tayebwa for the Deputy slot.
Being a westerner from Ankole, Tayebwa is seen as a conduit through whom many MPs can be cajoled to elect Kadaga. And the supporters of Tayebwa, who detrimentally faces Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, perceive Kadaga as their natural ally. Her retention as Speaker will diminish the likelihood of Among sailing through for the Deputy slot as that will apprehensively be perceived by many as making Easterners and members of the female gender unduly eat too much. It’s therefore unlikely that the same caucus members will elect another Easterner and female for Deputy Speakership after endorsing reelection of a Speaker (Kadaga) of similar credentials.(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).