Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

By Andrew Miti


She is a product of NRM broad based philosophy of governance. Kadaga was a lawyer in town and more inclined to opposition tendencies. Through her relationship with Ateker Ejalu, she warmed up to NRM. And she got into elective politics winning the Kamuli Woman seat which she has held onto till now.

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Shrewdness and manipulation saw quickly rise through the ladder (ku political madala). She exploited President Yoweri Museveni’s strong inclination to promote women empowerment.

Madam Kadaga has since held several government cabinet positions including Minister of Communication and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

She settled for Deputy Speaker and it’s from this position that her true personality started to emerge. Her relationship with her boss Edward Sekandi was frosty. She would court a quarrel with him at any opportunity.

Her travel abroad budget was bigger than for her boss. Kadaga would instigate quarrels with Sekandi during commission meetings. However, Sekandi was not the person to be drawn to senseless fights. He let her have what she wanted and sometimes ignored her quarrels.

Then came competition for the seat after Sekandi had done 10 years. Kadaga assembled all women politicians especially from the East to drum up the anti-Sekandi sentiments.

NRM’s current Secretary General Kasule Lumumba orchestrated the plan to have Kadaga replace Sekandi. The two women from Busoga were buddies then. Today, they are bitter rivals.

Kadaga becomes Speaker. The veil was completely removed. Her true colors came to bear.

She used the Speaker position to micro manage parliament to the point that if she sneezes even workers at parliament must hide.

The financial resources at parliament at her disposal and she has used it to buy allegiance from MPs. Fortunately for her the auditor general is a lame duck when it comes to parliament issues.

With the financial muscle at her disposal and MPs under her manipulation, Kadaga begins eyeing Presidency. She was emboldened by the fact that she used her role as Chair of the appointment committee of parliament, to fix mostly her Busoga cronies to public jobs.

She would deliberately refuse a list from the President if it doesn’t have a person of her choice. Slowly Kadaga captured the government bureaucrats.

Then with the budget allocation in parliament, accounting officers started lobbying Kadaga to have their budgets increased.

The bureaucrats who declined to bow to her would be subjected to humiliation whenever they appeared before committees of parliament. This was done under the guise of oversight function. Several accounting officers were cowed.


And Kadaga has made a fortune.

She is one of the richest in the land but makes public utterances that portray Westerners as the thieves and the richest. This was indeed to keep the westerners in fear and President Museveni not to touch her.

Those close to her have confessed that the woman wants only one thing now: To be the first woman President of Uganda. All her eyes are on that.

Her setback is the fear of Museveni.

But she has been working around that fear by marketing herself as an independent mind who doesn’t condone wrongs in government.

Her idea was to have masses on her side and eventually overwhelmingly embarrass Museveni. It’s the reason she fights whoever she perceives to be having Museveni’s ear.

Time is running out on Kadaga because Museveni is still around. She sees her dream hitting a dead end.

The option now is stick as Speaker and control parliament so that if she gets more MPs to her side, she can attempt an impeachment process.

When NRM reacts to her badly, then she instigates constitutional amendments that can scatter all Museveni’s plans.

She also wants to instigate a breakaway when Museveni least expects it. She can only do this when she controls parliament budget. She doesn’t want any idea of becoming VP kubanga it doesn’t take her to her dream.

The war between her and Mbabazi was precisely about this. Mbabazi had held the party machinery so well.

Lumumba has had difficulty doing so because Kadaga has a bigger budget to disrupt Secretariat work.

As the race for Speaker heats up, Kadaga’s card is to try to put Museveni on a wall.

Her team is going to sound tribal sentiments, women card and they are going to portray NRM as a party facing a split.

This they hope will make Museveni cow down and again ask Oulanyah to step down.

She is lining up her allies in the women movement and some MPs to begin making statements. But they know that if Museveni gets serious, they have no way out.

All plans to blackmail Museveni into supporting her are being finalized. However, it’s President Museveni and NRM who will pay a heavy price of Kadaga’s as Speaker. In case of any transition plans, Kadaga is not the person to steer the legislature.

It will turn out to be a hammering ground for NRM aspirations. She wants Presidency not Speakership any more but the latter is her vehicle to her aspirations.

Nothing wrong to aspire but undermining the collective values and processes of NRM is the matter. An enemy within is dangerous than the enemy outside.

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