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Sectarian politics in Uganda is the source of regional underdevelopment. When Members of Parliament gang up against Ugandans to reserve the post of Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament for Nilotic people, you begin to understand how politically bankrupt Ugandan politicians are. The politics of “our own” against Uganda will never unite Ugandans but keep them divided and slaves to the political class.

MPs from the Lango, Acholi and West Nile sub-regions have vowed not to participate in this Friday’s election of the speaker of parliament if one of their own is not chosen to replace Jacob Oulanya.

At least 102 MPs from the Greater North came to this decision during an impromptu meeting at Parliament on 22 March 2022.


“Our position is that if the CEC fails to select any of the names from Northern Uganda that have expressed interest today for the position of Speaker of the 11th Parliament, we have agreed that as the three parliamentary groups from Lango, Acholi and West Nile, we will not turn up on Friday to vote for the Speaker,” MP Samuel Opio told a press conference in Parliament.

“We will instead stay and continue to mourn our brother, the Rt Hon Speaker Jacob Oulanyah,” Opio warned.


Oulanya died in a Seattle hospital on 20 March 2022, barely a year after taking the helm of the August House.

He had served as Deputy Speaker under Rebecca Kadaga for ten years.


So far, Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South), Jackson Atima (Arua Central), Dennis Hamson Obua (Ajuri North), John Amos Okot (Agago), Jane Ruth Aceng (Lira City Woman MP) who hail from the area have expressed interest in succeeding the Speaker.

Others include; Deputy Speaker Anita Among, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Jackson Kafuuzi, Sarah Opendi Achieng, Theodore Ssekikubo, Markson Oboth Oboth, Alex Kintu Brandon, Florence Asiimwe Akiiki and Amos Wakabi.

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the ruling NRM party, which has a majority in Parliament, will this Wednesday nominate its flagbearer for the election of the Speaker.

The Northern Region is yet to nominate a candidate.

“So these are not individual expressions of interest; these are expressions of interest for the position of Speaker for Northern Uganda,” Opio said.

Lawrence Biyika, the chairperson of the West Nile Parliamentary Caucus, wants the NRM CEC to follow the precedent set in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) by-elections.


“The position of the speaker should be ring-fenced for the north. Just from experience, we lost a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the position was ring fenced for the central region. And following that precedent, these 102 members who met here agreed that the position of the Speaker should be ring-fenced for Northern Uganda,” Biyika demanded.

Uganda is a democratic country whose leaders are chosen through elections.


However, some analysts argue that this type of politics is good for regional balance and the prevention of political conflict.

James Kakooza was elected in July 2021 to fill the EALA seat left vacant by the death of Uganda’s Mathias Kasamba (Buganda).

Biyika and Opio claim that replacing Oulanya with a candidate from northern Uganda will help the ruling party consolidate support in the greater north.

“In the recently concluded 2021 general elections, the people voted overwhelmingly for the NRM government. The position of Speaker was given to them, but we haven’t served yet, we have just started. And that is why there is need for continuity,” Opio argued.

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