As the debate over the scrapping of age limits on the presidency resume in parliament, the spotlight will now turn to the House speaker Rebecca Kadaga who was once accused by her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah of always ducking whenever any controversial issue came up.
However, this time Kadaga is caught between a rock and a hard place with no escape route since Oulanyah flew out of the country in the early hours of Monday reportedly for official duties in Israel. Oulanyah, who has previously accused Kadaga of dodging sensitive business, is understood to have told the Kadaga on Thursday last week that he was this time not prepared to soil his reputation.
Kadaga conspicuously left her deputy (Oulanyah) to handle the controversial age limit fiasco on Thursday 21 September 2017 with a lame excuse that she had just returned from abroad and therefore needed time to settle in.
On many occasions during the ninth parliament, controversial political debates were handled by Oulanyah, resulting in him being branded NRM’s hatchet man in parliament.
Unfortunately for Kadaga, this time her trick did not work, as much anticipated tabling of the Age-limit bill didn’t materialize pushing the debate for Tuesday 26 September 2017 after deputy speaker Oulanyah adjourned the house on grounds that MPs were highly charged because of the heavy security deployment in and around the precincts of Parliament.
As the saying goes; Old habits die hard, Kadaga had sought to extend her old tricks of the 9th parliament into the 10th parliament whereby she would create all forms of excuse to leave the house to her deputy whenever a controversial issue came up.
Notably, in December 2012, parliament under the command of deputy speaker Oulanyah passed the controversial Oil Bill amidst speculations that the speaker Rebecca Kadaga chose to withdraw from presiding over it due to enormous pressure from government, the opposition, religious leaders and the civil society organizations.
Kadaga ducked chairing the House and left Oulanyah who had just returned back to the country to preside over passing the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2012.
It’s Oulanyah who also steered parliament through the hot debate of infamous Public Order and Management Bill, 2011 which was controversially passed in April 2013.
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