President Museveni is reported to be willing to spend as much dimes as possible so as to save the life of his man Speaker Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah.
It should be recalled that, the president sanctioned a decision to airlift the ailing speaker in a chartered plane to Seattle-USA in a bid to save his life. In this action alone, half a million dollars or Shs1.7bn was paid out to the Uganda Airlines company that took the speaker for emergency medication.
Just this week again, the country has seen another batch of millions of shillings being forked out of the national coffers to facilitate a high-powered delegation including the deputy speaker and chief justice Owiny Dollo to travel to US to check on the patient. At the time of their travel, news trickled in suggesting that the speaker’s life had deteriorated and according to the Acholi Parliamentary Group chairperson, the speaker had demanded to have his close people around soonest. Hence, the travel!
With all this data, many people have been wondering why Gen. Museveni is willing to spend as much as he can on Oulanyah. In this expose, we bring you untold assignments Oulanyah has executed for the man with a round hat which explains why he continues to fight for him.
In 2012, Gen. Museveni made a mini-reshuffle of his cabinet. Here, he appointed five other ministers including Frank Tumwebaze, Ndoboli Sarah and Aidah Nantaba among others. However, whereas the appointments committee chaired by speaker Rebecca Kadaga rejected Nantaba’s appointment on grounds of questionable morals, it was Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah who saved the situation. The committee had approved the four other ministers who remained in the corridors without being sworn-in for close to three months until Nantaba had to be approved. The president held several meetings engaging this Kadaga committee to approve his favorite gal (then) Nantaba but the Kadaga committee insisted that if anything of his demands were to be answered, the Nantaba approval had to be refered to the whole house to decide. This angered the president and he continued engaging individual members on the committee to clear Nantaba but to no avail. Somehow, an opportunity availed itself when Kadaga travelled abroad for a meeting and this is how Oulanyah summoned the appointments committee to handle the Nantaba issue. In just a blink of an eye, Nantaba was cleared! To prove how special she was to General Museveni, the president that very evening arranged and the five ministers were finally sworn-in alongside Nantaba.
In 2004, president Museveni faced a challenge of how to extend his rule. At the time, the constitution under article 105(2) barred him from standing again after two terms in office. And yet, the parliamentary committee on legal affairs was the one to handle any assignment related to constitutional amendment. Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah was at the time a member of opposition UPC acting as the secretary to UPC parliamentary caucus. Somehow, Museveni found love in him and he was selected to chair the legal affairs Committee. After consultations on the amendment processes, the Oulanyah committee recommended an amendment to lift the presidential term limits. This is how Museveni finally opened his gates to ruling endlessly up to now. Shockingly though, Oulanyah lost his MP seat in the immediate subsequent elections and when he tried his luck to stand for EALA, NRM MPs ditched him until he managed to return in 2011 to date. This time round, he had defected to NRM and he was supported to become deputy speaker of parliament until 2021.
Liberation of the North
In 2001 after elections, FDC MP Okumu Regan penned a missive to Gen. Museveni assuring him that the Acholis would never accept his government unless he worked on their issues including bringing back peace and removing them from IDP camps. He also said the Acholis would never apologize to him for voting opposition Kizza Besigye. Indeed, Museveni continued to register miserable votes from this region ever being dorminated by opposition. Actually, there reached a time when Museveni had only Hillary Onek as the only NRM MP from Acholi. This trend kept ringing a bell in his head. After 20 years of struggling to sort the issues in Acholi, Museveni through Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah painted the whole of northern Uganda yellow. From Teso, Lango, Karamoja, Acholi to West Nile, they are all breathing NRM air courtesy of Oulanyah who was elected NRM vice chairperson for northern Uganda. No wonder, when he stood for speakership, Museveni had to fight tooth and nail to have his man become speaker.
Ending Rebecca Kadaga Era
Not so long ago, Museveni faced a challenge of how to deal with the Kadaga threat. Kadaga had become so big that he had to plead several times with her to have his interests sail through parliament. The major issue with nearly saw parliament being closed down was on the lifting of the age limit cap in 2017. The motion to introduce it had failed three times to be tabled when Kadaga was in the chair. Museveni continued getting briefs from chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa suggesting that it was Kadaga frustrating the move. A biter Museveni reportedly summoned Kadaga and asked her why she was doing this. In response, Kadaga according to Inspectors told him that there were equally other important bills that she wanted to be handled in parliament before the motion. She reasoned that these bills actually were to help Museveni get immunity from prosecution in case he left power. This incensed him the more and asked her if she was in his program.
“Do you know my program? Who told you I want your immunity? I don’t want your immunity. Better pass that motion before I return” Museveni at the time was heading to Belgium and assured Kadaga that if she failed in this demand, he was to do it the revolutionary style!
On top of this, Museveni had had a similar challenge way back in 2013 when his desires on the oil bills had been frustrated by the same parliament chaired by Kadaga. In fact, at one moment, Kadaga was forced to run for her dear life through the small backdoor next to her seat as parliament turned rowdy. All these issues had given Museveni the assurance that returning Kadaga as speaker, in 2021, he was headed for another round of political misery. That’s why he pulled all his energies and ensured that Oulanyah sails through as speaker. Museveni would later demote Kadaga to a position of minister.
We are told during the time UPC was strong in Lango, the likes of Richard Todwong made reports to Museveni that he needed to start infiltrating this party. At the time, Todwong who is currently the NRM SG was a presidential assistant I charge of northern Uganda. Therefore, identification of key cadres in UPC started. Oulanyah was henceforth spotted as one person who could play the role of a serious mole in UPC. We are actually told, it is through his efforts that senior UPC officials including Hajji Badru Wegulo, Agrey Awori, Stephen Malinga and Ephraim Kamuntu were finally fished out of UPC and started singing Museveni’s name.
In fact, Inspectors said whereas the UPC-Akena supported Oulanyah for speakership, the UPC-Walubiri was backing Kadaga because they were accusing Oulanyah of having helped Museveni weaken UPC in it’s stronghold of Bushenyi and Lango.
Watch out for the list of Oulanyah’s nemeses!!