The motion was supported by several MPs mainly from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) while their opposition colleagues who recently supported the motion of displeasure in which they accused the executive of scandalizing parliament and trying to gain political capital from the COVID-19 fight stayed clear.
In support of Okello’s motion, West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth Oboth said that the motion was not meant to critique anybody, but to acknowledge what the president has helped Uganda achieve so far. He described Museveni as a team player who has demonstrated inspiration among masses and fellow leaders.
Veronica Elagu Bichetero, the Kaberamaido County MP said that the president deserved tribute for his decisiveness during the ongoing fight against COVID-19. She was supported by Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ephraim Kamuntu.
“If you really want to test the quality of leadership that this country has, look at the crises this country has gone through and you can ably see, quite ably see that in all these crises, the president has been tested, he has been tried and he has proved capacity and capability to show the way. For us we can look back in 1971, this country went through a political crisis. The president saw it…and he was out of this country preparing to wage a war to restore democracy in this country. Since 1986, the country has gone through crises, many of them. Even after HIV/Aids broke out, the world was silent but President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni stood out and he saved lives.” Kamuntu said.
PWDs representative Helen Asamo appreciated the president for consulting the religious leaders before closing churches, mosques and other places of worship. She says that this was and still is exemplary and insightful leadership.
“I want to pay tribute to his excellency that he had to get on the frontline and called the leader of parliament, the leader of the judiciary and all the other stakeholders and said what can we do? He even called the religious leaders and by the time we heard that he was closing churches, I was like is it real? But the religious leaders said we were consulted. I think we need to pay tribute to someone who consulted. The country could have gone into chaos. And I want to thank him for that.” said Asamo.
But Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri said that it was too early for Uganda to celebrate coronavirus success when it is yet to find a lasting solution to the ever-increasing positive cases among truck drivers. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga argued that the virus has been a learning experience and that there was a need to acknowledge the progress so far made.
Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya had amended the motion to include appreciation to the Kadaga for her leadership of Parliament during the COVID-19 crisis. His proposal was shot down by the minister of state for Primary Education Rosemary Sseninde saying that the motion was meant to appreciate the president and that another motion to appreciate the speaker can be tabled later.
The Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ocan questioned what had changed for MPs to make a U-turn within a few days and start praising Museveni whom they criticized last week.