By Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda
The race for Uganda’s nine slots in the East African
Legislative Assembly (EALA) is hitting fever pitch, with
about 26 persons expressing interest.
The majority of NRM candidates are those who were defeated
in the February parliamentary elections, and now want to
test their popularity and luck in the EALA election.
Prominent among them are; Nusura Tiperu (formerly Yumbe
Woman MP), Margaret Zziwa (formerly Kampala Woman MP), Baguma
Isoke (formerly Buyanja MP), Dora Byamukama (formerly Mwenge
MP) and Mike Sebalu (former MP Busiro East). Others are
incumbents and political new comers such as Hope Kivengere.
The term of office for the incumbents ends in two months.
These are; Wandera Ogalo (FDC), Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu
(FDC), Sheila Kawamara (NRM), Lydia Wanyoto (NRM), Yona
Kanyomozi (FDC), Irene Ovonji (NRM), Capt. Dudu Baker (NRM),
Medi Kaggwa (NRM) and Sarah Bagalaaliwo (NRM).
According to the new rules of procedure for the 8th Parliament,
the nine slots will be shared proportionately by the political
parties in the House.
The NRM with about 220 MPs will take seven and the remaining
two will go to the FDC. This is in line with Article 50
of the Treaty establishing the East Africa Community.
“The National Assembly of each Partner State shall
elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly,
who shall represent as much as feasible, the various political
parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of
opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that
Partner State,” reads the Article.
NRM Chief Whip, Kabakumba Masiko, has according to our
sources received about 30 applications already.
The NRM Caucus was due to convene this week to discuss how
the party candidates are to be selected.
To select its four African Union Parliament representatives,
the NRM used primarily regional balancing. The party chose
Nyabushozi MP, Mary Mugyenyi (West), Kongasis MP Toskin
Batile (East), Jie MP Lokii Abrahams Peter (North) and Ndawula
These will have to be approved by the entire Parliament.
Uganda will be represented by five members, four from NRM
and the fifth from FDC.
Already, FDC Vice President for Buganda Sam Kalega Njuba
has shown interest. Earlier, Secretary General Alice Alaso
and Envoy Beti Kamya had also been rumoured to be interested
in the AU Parliament.
The surprise package in the EALA race is former Omoro County
MP, Jacob Oulanya. NRM sources claim he has approached them
for backing. Oulanyah stood in the last elections as a UPC.
Oulanyah chaired the Parliamentary Committee on Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, which recommended the removal of
presidential term limits.
It is claimed that President Museveni wanted to appoint
him a minister but he declined to denounce his party, UPC.
Some NRM sources claim that Oulanyah is now ready to denounce
his UPC ties and might be appointed Minister of State for
Karamoja, a post that fell vacant with Col. Tom Butime’s
resignation. That would leave Dan Kidega in the race as
the only candidate from Acholi.
Meddie Kaggwa also stands a high chance because he accepted
Museveni’s advice not to stand for the post of NRM
vice chairman for Buganda in preference for a Catholic,
Gilbert Bukenya or Francis Babu.
On the other hand, The Weekly Observer columnist and Special
Presidential Assistant for Literary Affairs, Hope Kivengere,
is said to be favoured by State House.
NRM candidates by regions
Baguma Isoke (former minister, MP)
Elly Karuhanga (former Nyabushozi MP)
Benigna Mukiibi (ex-minister, Kibale Woman MP)
Hope Kivengere (Special Presidential Assistant for Literary
Dora Byamukama (former Mwenge South MP)
Elijah Mushemeza (Makerere lecturer)
Amon Muzoora (former Rwampara MP)
Sheila Kawamala (Incumbent)
Daniel Kidega (former youth MP)
Capt. Baker Dudu (Incumbent)
Nusura Tiperu (former Yumbe MP)
Irene Ovunji (Incumbent)
Obiga Kania (ex- NRM director)
Jacob Oulanya (former Omoro MP)
Beatrice Lagada (ex-NRM director)
Lydia Wanyoto Mutende (Incumbent)
Mary Amajo (former woman MP Kaberamaido)
Bernard Mulengani (former Bukooli Central MP)
Meddie Kaggwa (Incumbent)
Mike Sebalu (former Busiro East MP)
Margaret Zziwa (former Kampala Woman MP)
Sarah Bagalaliwo (Incumbent)
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu,
Dan Wandera Ogalo
Yona Kanyomozi, formerly of UPC.
The party has only two slots and preferred candidates are
likely to be Ogalo and Muntu.
The FDC had pushed for three slots but the NRM declined.
The third slot, according to party sources, was being eyed
by party chairman, Dr. Suleiman Kiggundu, as well as Vice
President, Salaamu Musumba.