Relations between the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah continued to deteriorate last month forcing President Yoweri Museveni to tell the two principals at the legislature to take their bickery off the public domain.
The Witness has learnt that Museveni, fearing that the public quarrels between Kadaga and Oulanyah could affect the NRM, named a ministerial team led by the First Deputy Premier Gen Moses Ali to talk to the two senior government officials to end their fights.
Other members of the team are, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, the state minister for Planning, David Bahati and the state minister for Housing, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi among others.
The team is understood to have had separate meetings with the two parliamentary principals, and communicated to them Museveni’s displeasure with their fights in the media.
Despite having an election ahead of them, both Kadaga and Oulanyah are in the mood for the 2021 Speakership race. Kadaga wants to become Uganda’s longest serving Speaker of Parliament while Oulanyah feels that the two terms he has served as deputy Speaker are enough. He is now aiming at becoming Uganda’s number three.
Their disagreements can be traced from 2016 when Oulanyah sought to contest for the position of the Speaker of Parliament, currently occupied by Rebecca Kadaga. They have, on several occasions, disagreed on who should chair plenary sittings and taking trips abroad.
In an unprecedented move on June 3, Oulanyah stormed a plenary session Kadaga was chairing to demand that a displeasure motion against him be expunged from the records of Parliament. He said that the motion was passed in bad taste, and handled in contravention of the parliamentary Rules of Procedure.
Kadaga got jittery two weeks ago when Oulanyah in an interview attacked her in an interview with The New Vision published on July 21.
This followed various media interviews in which Oulanyah has accused Kadaga of incompetence, and a dictator.
Kadaga took the matter to Museveni, adding NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba, Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa and the state minister for Urban Development, Isaac Musumba on the list of those she claims to be fighting her.
Museveni is reported to have met the Kyabazinga, William Gabula Nadiope, over the matter. He later called a meeting late last month having Kadaga on one side and those she is accusing on the other.
In the meeting, Oulanyah reportedly told Museveni that the fight was one-sided coming in from Kadaga. Oulanyah accused Kadaga of using her position to fight imaginary wars further telling that meeting that no one will stop him this time from contesting for Speakership.
In 2016, Oulanyah was forced out of the race by NRM’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) that resolved to maintain him as Kadaga’s deputy.
Having had interactions with the two parliamentary leaders, some of the ministers on the team have indicated that it is a tough assignment that Museveni gave them.
Kamuntu for instance told URN that the conflict between the two is a difficult issue while another minister who preferred not to be named said, “It is being worked out at a much higher level, I think the President is reconciling them. But I am a small player when it comes to reconciling the two.”