Acting Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma dismissed procedural concerns by the Opposition on the presence of the President in the Chamber, to crown Rebecca Kadaga as Speaker of the 10th Parliament.
Although not in the Chamber at the time, the Order Paper, which shows the order of business for the sitting, indicated that President Museveni would administer oaths and hand over instruments of power to both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The contest for Speaker of the 10th Parliament had long been resolved as the NRM, with parliamentary majority had given Kadaga (Kamuli district), the nod to retain her seat ahead of close challenger and 9th Parliament Deputy Speaker, Hon. Jacob Oulanyah (Omoro).
In a new procedure, the first time in twenty years, the President, was in the House, administered oaths and handed over the Mace – the symbol of power of Parliament, a copy of the Constitution and Rules of Procedure to Speaker Kadaga.
He however left the Chamber as members started to vote, by secret ballot, for Deputy Speaker, a position contested for by incumbent Oulanyah and Kampala Central legislator, Hon. Muhammad Nsereko (Ind., Kampala Central). The President returned and witnessed the counting of the votes.
Former Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Nandala Mafabi (FDC, Budadiri West) and Hon. William Nzoghu (FDC, Busongora North) protested the presence of the President in the House.
“I have never seen this; why is it happening today? This is not provided for in our Rules of Procedure,” said Mafabi.
Kavuma however declined to delve into or rule on the issue of Rules of Procedure.
“My mandate here is limited to the election of the Speaker. Any other business will be handled under the chair of the Speaker,” said Kavuma.
Following the election, swearing in and handover of instruments of power, the Speaker Kadaga suspended proceedings to allow the Ag. Chief Justice to leave the Chamber.
Speaker Kadaga said the administration of oaths and hand over of instruments of power to both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker was provided for in the Oaths Act, Chapter 19 of the Laws of Uganda.
Incumbent Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was declared unopposed as Speaker while, following a vote Jacob Oulanyah was voted Deputy Speaker of the 10th Parliament with 300 votes to Nsereko’s 115.