The Speaker of Ugandaâ€™s parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, is rushing to Arusha, Tanzania, to help boost the chances of one of Ugandaâ€™s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly â€“ EALA, Dora Byamukama, to become Speaker of the regional parliament.
A Ugandan legislator, who is in Arusha for the Swearing-in and election of the new EALA Speaker on Tuesday, says that the Uganda team is now divided after Margaret Zziwa picked nomination papers over the weekend and had by Monday morning refused to step down in favour of Byamukama, the preferred NRM candidate for the slot. Zziwa’s campaign is being boosted by her husband and former minister, Francis Babu. The division amongst the Ugandan representatives is now threatening their chances of winning the top most elective political position.
On Thursday last week, the NRM acting Chief Whip, Daudi Migereko announced that the party caucus had anointed Byamukama, the former MP for Mwenge South in the 7th parliament, as the official candidate to represent the country at the contest. The source however adds that Uganda’s strength has further been dampened by the decision of its Minister to the Community, Eriya Kategaya, to support the Burundian candidate, Hasfa Moshi, for the position. Moshi is a former colleague to Kategaya, having served as her country’s Minister for the East African Community recently.
The NRM caucus team to Arusha is led by its Deputy Chief Whip, David Bahati who said that he was still negotiating with Zziwa to pull out of the race and leave Byamukama to go it alone on behalf of Uganda. Bahati, who confirmed the weekend withdrawal of Mike Ssebalu from the race, says that there is still hope a deal could be arrived at with Zziwa by end of business today.
Uganda’s representatives to the regional parliament include six from NRM, one DP member, an Independent and a UPC man. The NRM representatives include Byamukama, Dan Kidega, Bernard Mulengani, Nusura Tiperu, Zziwa and Ssebalu. The DP is represented by Denis Mukasa Mbidde, UPC by Chris Okumu Opoka while Susan Nakawuki went as an Independent candidate.