Jacob Oulanyah (NRM) has today defeated Kampala Central MP Mohammed Nsereko (Independent) in a hotly contested election of Deputy Speaker of the newly sworn-in 10th Parliament. But the vote came after NRM MPs received at least Ushs10 million each from the President, allegedly to support the MPs hold celebration parties with their voters, a number of the NRM MPs have confirmed to The Sunrise.
Oulanyah polled 300 votes against Nsereko’s 115 out of the total 416 ballots that were cast. One vote was spoilt.
The election of Oulanyah however came with the historic presence of President Yoweri Museveni, which many described as a deliberate step to instil fear in the new MPs to vote for the NRM choice.
According to newly elected Nakaseke South MP Ssemakula Luttamaguzi as well as Mukono municipality MP Betty Nambooze, President Museveni personally supervised the Ushs5million cash handouts to the MPs, which has been criticised as a bribe.
NRM MPs have said the president gave them Ushs5million when he met them at State House in Entebbe in the first meeting that was held to try to mobilise MPs to vote for Oulanyah. Luttamaguzi told listeners of CBS Emmanduso political talkshow that the President again made an extra Ushs5million to NRM MPs and made several other promises to MPs if they voted for Oulanyah.
The openness with which the president has dipped his hands into the process of choosing the leaders of Parliament, which is supposed to be a watchdog of government, has sent shock waves across the Ugandan population with many already cursing their new MPs as overly greedy and a sell out.
Besides his irregular personal presence during the election process, President Museveni presented to MPs an old photo of some of Uganda’s past leaders that was taken while they were still young.
According to Nambooze, Museveni warned the MPs not to repeat the mistakes of those Uganda leaders whom he said messed up the country. But Nambooze instead criticised Museveni for threatening MPs into submission and accepting that Ugandans surrender to the will of the old generation.
Meanwhile, Nsereko conceded defeat to Oulanyah but insisted that Democracy had won.