Parliament elected Uganda’s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly on Thursday, retaining six incumbents, all belonging to the ruling party, NRM, which boasts of a majority in the House.
Three new representatives – two former MPs in the previous 10th Parliament: Veronica Kadogo Babirye and Jacquiline Amongin were elected from the Independent block, with Democratic Party’s Secretary General, Gerald Siranda scooping the only position left for Opposition parties.
The other Opposition parties with legislators in the House, Jeema, Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda People’s Congress, all of which presented one candidate each, and National Unity Platform and Peoples Progressive Party, which did not field candidates in the race missed out on seats.
The MPs were declared winners of the race that attracted 28 candidates after more than seven hours of campaigning, voting, and tallying during a sitting on Thursday, 29 September 2022.
The NRM MPs who retained their seats are; Hon. Rose Akol (422 Votes), Hon. James Kakooza (405 votes), Hon. Paul Musamali (401 votes), Hon. George Odongo (403 votes), Hon. Dennis Namara (415 votes) and Hon. Mary Mugyenyi (367 votes).
Amongin, former Ngora district Woman MP and one of Uganda’s representatives to the Pan African Parliament, polled 338 votes, while the former Buyende district Woman MP, Kadogo Babirye secured 383 votes. Siranda polled 233 votes.
Speaker, Anita Among, declared the members elected for the positions and appealed to them to put the country first on the agenda rather not their political parties. She also asked the newly elected MPs to furnish Parliament with reports from of EALA business so that it can be localised.
“I want to thank you honorable members for doing your noble duty of voting. From the Speakers office, we want to thank you. We want to thank the members of EALA, you have been there for us,” she said.
Earlier, the candidates campaigned, with each accorded seven minutes, in a session presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa.
Akol, who garnered the highest votes said her priority will be to work together with her collegaues to accomplish the legal framework for the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Union.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the EAC but the biggest challenge is that there has been low financing for sensitisation process. We shall establish a sustainable funding mechanism to avail resources to carry on sensitization,” Akol added.
Siranda pledged to be an embodiment of national unity and dialogue, saying that the EAC is about dialogue.
“I will be the engine for dialogue because in Arusha, our party is Uganda. Uganda requires a solid team that will defend the country. We will create EAC standby force to protect farmers and traders.
According to the EALA road map, by September, Parliament should have selected and gazetted Uganda’s representatives to the Arusha-based Assembly.
Meanwhile, Speaker Among also announced a one-month recess and urged members to use the last two weeks of the period to conduct oversight on the Parish Development Model (PDM).
“When you went to follow emyooga, emyooga changed and now it is better than any other programme. It is because of your oversight role,” Among said.