New Speaker Among Rejects Fallen Speaker Oulanyah’s Office

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • March 31, 2022

The newly-elected Speaker of the 11th Parliament, Ms Anita Among, has declined to occupy the office premises of her predecessor Jacob Oulanyah.

Oulanyah, 56, died at the University of Washington Medical Centre in the United States just nine months into the job.

Ms Among, the former deputy Speaker, was last Friday elected and sworn-in as Speaker, while Mr Thomas Tayebwa, the former Government Chief Whip, was chosen to succeed her.

However, highly-placed sources in accounts separately corroborated by Parliament, said the new Speaker chose to retain the deputy Speaker office on the 5th floor of Parliament Building, upending a long tradition of Speakers sitting on the 6th floor.

The allocation of floors, sources familiar with the workings of Parliament, say was intended to reflect its leadership hierarchy and, as such, the Speaker’s office on the 6th floor was customised as to be more spacious and magnificent.

Parliament says
“The deputy Speaker is going to sit on the sixth floor and the Speaker remains in her former office [on 5th floor]. There is no provision in the Administration of Parliament Act where a Speaker should sit,” said Mr Chris Obore, the Parliament’s director for public and corporate affairs.

He added: “Office space [at] Parliament is allocated by the sergeant-at-arms; it is just space [and] it is still within Parliament. She (Among) has just preferred to remain in her office … She [is] settled in her office. You want her to start moving her things again?”

Ms Among, the Bukedea District Woman MP, was elected a deputy Speaker in May 2021, but ascended to full speakership following the death of the incumbent Jacob Oulanyah, whose body is expected in the country tomorrow.

President Museveni on March 20 announced that Oulanyah died at the University of Washington Medical Centre in Seattle, Washington, where he was evacuated for specialised medical care.

He is to be accorded a state burial in Omoro on Friday, next week, with a 17-gun salute honour as prescribed by the Constitution.

According to sources in Parliament, Ms Among opted to keep her office on grounds that she is “comfortable in it”, and that relocating to the 6th floor would resurrect her fond memories with Oulanyah whom she publicly proclaimed mentored her.