The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, explained why the government turned down members of the Acholi region’s demand to select the successor to late Jacob Oulanyah from the same region, saying it would have been a mistake with lasting consequences.
KAMPALA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Earlier this week, President Yoweri Museveni explained why the government turned down demands from members in the northern region (Acholi) to pick the successor for late Jacob Oulanyah from the same area, saying such a choice would have been a mistake.
Last week, towards the Parliamentary election for the Speaker and Deputy, a section of legislators from the northern region in particular Acholi, raised scares of a boycott demanding that the late Oulanyah’s replacement should be someone from their region in compensation for the good he has done.
The matter has since sparked a series of criticisms from many Ugandans including President Museveni who is the latest figure to give his take on it.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Museveni said he saw the outcry from some of the legislators, but he considered it a mistake to extend the same procedure to the choice of the next Speaker, in light of the significance of the position.
The president who preached against this sectanism on the basis of regions said a leader once appointed whether from the Acholi region or not must represent and work to benefit all Ugandans and not only a selective region.
“I had intended not to speak about Oulanyah until the right time, but in terms of ringfencing his position, the proposers had a point in their view but we cannot walk into such a mistake while watching. Don’t look at yourselves as Acholi etc. Look at yourselves as Ugandans,” Museveni said.
“Jacob Oulanyah while alive succeeded in uniting the people in Northern Uganda; Lango, Acholi, West Nile and all other people. He did it even more deeply than we (NRM) had done it. We should respect his legacy by not creating new mistakes,” he added.
In the meantime, Anita Among was named new Speaker of the 11th Parliament after the recent elections, and she will be deputized by the former Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa.
Speaking about the new appointments, Museveni urged them to elevate Parliament to be more productive in tabling ideas that can help Ugandans out of poverty.
“Now to the Honourable Members of Parliament, whether you are in the Opposition, NRM or in the Army, in order for us to succeed as a country, you must work for the people. You all know how we can get our people out of poverty but you keep meandering in other things,” Museveni urged.