The former Kabula Member of Parliament, James Kakooza has defeated the NRM Vice Chairman for Buganda, Godfrey Kiwanda to carry the NRM flag in filling the EALA slot left by the late Mathias Kasamba.
In a tight Friday race at Kololo Independence Grounds, Kakooza polled 93 votes and Kiwanda the NRM Central Executive Committee Member for Central Region and former Minister of State for Tourism, came second with 85 votes. Abbas Mutumba came third with 54 votes.
In his speech, Kakooza thanked the parliamentary caucus MPs for considering the need to have a wider representation on various positions available for party members.
Kakooza is a former State Minister for Health in Uganda a position he held since 2009.
He was also the Member of Parliament representing Kabula County, Lyantonde District, in the Ugandan Parliament a position he has held since 2001 until May this year following his last year loss to rival Enos Asiimwe Kinywamachunde in the party primaries who garnered 15,021 votes against Kakooza’s 3,876.
Kakooza has for long been planning to ensure that the cap for term limits for members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is removed.
The Assembly is the Legislative Organ of the East African Community with a membership of 45 elected members from five states. These include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. However, representation to the assembly is limited to two five-year terms.
But since 2016, Kakooza has been arguing that the term limits have consistently crippled the ability of EALA members to serve their countries because the ten year mandate is not enough for them to achieve effective representation.
On June 25, 2016 during the EAC integration outreach workshop for Lyantonde, Rakai and Sembabule districts held at Lyantonde District headquarters, Kakooza said that because of the limits, EALA was losing experienced members without putting to use their expertise and seniority on the complex issues of the East African Community.
He said then that if he could one day make it to EALA, he would push for the removal of term limit of its members.