The Ninth Parliament was lively and comic, marred though with absenteeism especially when a serious bill is to be passed. It is not easy to forget how the Members of Parliament got Ipads at Shs2.5 million ostensibly to reduce on the cost of stationary, however a few months down the road, the stationary cost doubled, with the Ipads still in the MPs hands, with even one of them seen playing Solitaire during a steamy session. Then there was the tiff between Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah L’Okori and Ssemujju Nganda which degenerated into fracas, with ‘defiant’ Nganda being thrown out of the House like a baby.
“You must apologise,” Oulanyah thundered but with persistent defiance yielding in the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) camp, Semujju refused.
Then there were these rebel MPs: Theodore Sekikubo, Muhammad Nsereko, Barnabas Tinkasimire and Wilfred Niwagaba who made headlines after daring the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Chairman Yoweri Museveni, with something akin to Ssemujju’s ‘defiance’. It was not until they were invited to State House that they went numb, but we cannot blame them, all the ‘four musketeers’ are back in the Tenth Parliament but no one knows what they have in store now that the NRM Chairman is back to State House and they are back to the August House.
Then we saw the youngest MP in Uganda’s and Africa’s history, 19-year old Proscovia Alengot Aromait, who was just about to join university when she ‘inherited’ her deceased father Michael Oromait’s Usuk county seat in Parliament, to represent the people. It is not clear if she really did attend school at the Uganda Christian University (UCU) or whether she also fully participated in the activities of Parliament because there is no significant event that involved her at both institutions, but one thing to remember her about is the fighting for a bed in Kyankwazi and reports of her ‘bedding’ senior legislators.
And more about bedding she talked about, when in 2012 Ms Alengot said the obvious, revealing that her male colleagues in parliament were amorously eyeing her. “There are many challenges. Stress. Not stress from my constituency but from people talking a lot about me. Also men, mostly from Parliament; but I will handle it,” Ms Alengot, then a student of Mass Communication, said in an interview with local media. No one know what she expected of the male MPs, but nonetheless the world moved on and before we knew it there were rumours doing the rounds that she had ‘fled’ to the United States for studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. Her parliamentary seat has since been taken by
Then on a sad note the Parliament lost vibrant legislator Cerinah Nebanda, a death that caused government some unease and also turned to near comedy during the ensuing postmortem that also caused Mulago Hospital Pathologist Dr Sylvester Onzivua, some trouble.
Well, as the 9th Parliament’s life ticks away like a clock it is also time we look at the men and women to watch in the 10th Parliament.
Rebecca Alitwaala Kadaga
She is the Speaker of the 9th Parliament and was nominated by the then Kinkiizi West MP John Patrick Amama Mbabazi but their relationship turned sour with the Speaker accusing Mbabazi, who as Prime Minister was Leader of Government of Business, for failing her in her duties. This brave woman presided over the passing of strong bills like the Anti-gay bill, promising that it would be a ‘Christmas gift’ to Ugandans in December 2012. She is the first female speaker of the Ugandan Parliament and the country waits with bated breath to see if she will vie for the same post or she will be given a cabinet post, or worse still, none f the two!
Nathan Nandala Mafabi
The Budadiri East legislator, is a darling to the people in Bugisu sub region. Mafabi lost to Kadaga when they contested for the post of Speaker of the Ninth Parliament. It is not clear if he intends to try his luck again, or try out for the post of Leader of Opposition once again.
Semujju Ibrahim Nganda
The professional journalist-turned opposition politician has been voted back to parliament by the people of Kira municipality. He entertained Ninth Parliament with comical scenes but was among the most vibrant opposition MPs, and pundits say he might tussle it out with anyone contesting for Leader of Opposition.
Jacob Oulanya L’Okori
The Deputy Speaker finally won back his Omoro County; results or no results, he was announced winner and that debate is better left to Mr Fred Enanga, the police publicist who said they will investigate matter. Meanwhile, most sessions chaired by Oulanya have not been perceived as fair by the opposition legislators, with many accusing him of trying to solve legislative matters based on his sentiments. If his victory is not challenged in court, we wait to see if he will be elevated from Deputy Speaker.
The Ndorwa West legislator and State Minister for Finance was so instrumental in the talks between government and striking teachers, he even took over the duties of education minister Jessica Alupo, who during that time who went into hiding. Bahati had earlier come into the lime light after tabling a private member’s bill against homosexuality bill. We wait to see what the 10th Parliament has for him.
The former Mayor of Kawempe and NTV pointblank segment favorite is in Parliament. The comical Munyagwa, known as a big Museveni critic who doesn’t also spare Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jennifer Musisi, will now have to tussle it on the floor with many vibrant members, his performance is what we look out for.
For a long time she spoke all good for the Uganda Police Force (UPF) but might now have to castigate some of the actions of her former colleagues, if she is to effectively represent the people of Mityana and other Ugandans, if the TV footages of police brutality persist.
Other members to look out for are Judith Babirye, Mohammed Nsereko, Frank Tumwebaze, and General Moses Ali among others.