President Museveni said Friday that police would investigate Ugandans who made claims that former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah was killed. Mr Museveni announced Oulanya’s death through his twitter handle on March 20.
Hours later, the former Speaker’s father, Mr Nathan Okori, said his son did not die of a natural cause but was “poisoned” before several other Ugandans, including politicians, started questioning the Omoro County MP’s death.
Moments after Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among and Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa were elected Speaker and deputy speaker respectively, President Museveni while addressing legislators at Kololo ceremonial grounds said police would be deployed to investigate the claims.
“I would like to warn some people who are in the habit of taking advantage of problems to make cheap politics. And actually we’re going to go for them because I have heard some people saying some people killed Oulanyah. The police will come and ask you to give them some information because Oulanyah did not die in a private home. He died in a highly reputable hospital and before that he was in another big hospital in Dubai…and before that, he was in our hospitals here, including the cancer Institute. Everything is there. I did not know that Oulanyah was sick until he went to Dubai. He went with our doctors. That’s when I checked and I knew what the problems were,” Mr Museveni said.
“Police are going to come and ask you to tell us because you seem to have information. We cannot go on with this indiscipline. It’s not constructive at all, especially from some people who are educated and claim to be leaders. We are going to go for them,” he echoed.
Uganda’s ruling party Friday strengthened its grip on the country’s legislative proceedings after its flagbearers trounced opposition backed candidates to win speakership and deputy speakership respectively.
Ms Among edged Asuman Basalirwa with a difference of about 335 votes while Moses Okot p’Bitek narrowed new Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa’s ‘democratic’ victory to within 297.
Reform the constitution
Mr Museveni in his address to the MPs called for constitutional reforms in the wake of what he described as an “abomination to conduct the hurried election, contrary to tradition and cultural beliefs.”
“I think we should really find a way of sorting out this madness. Someone is not buried and we are here engaged in elections,” Mr Museveni noted.
According to the 77-year-old leader, “this embarrassment of having to do things the foreign way shows the NRM line of always trying to think to find its own solutions, not just copying.”
“This is just symbolic but even in more serious things, we need to get our own solutions because our problems are very different,” he added.
‘We reject sectarianism’
Amidst growing tribal sentiments inflamed by the country’s Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo , at a vigil of Uganda’s nine-month speaker, Mr Museveni denounced “regionalism.”
“For us, we reject sectarianism. If you are to blame, you blame the ‘mistaker’ not the misled,” he said as he implored politicians heavy on ring fencing positions to be “Ugandan and African.”
Quite unprecedented tallies for the opposition candidates in Friday’s race imply that the new leaders of Uganda’s lawmaking organ must unite a nation.
“It is God’s plan that we are together. I promise that we will work as we not I,” Among said, while Tayebwa “promised to deliver to all Ugandans.”