The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among has noted that the current leadership of the House will continue working in the footsteps and beliefs of her predecessor Jacob Oulanyah.
The Speaker said that evidence-based legislation is one of the key areas that Parliament is to continue focusing on, even in the absence of the late Oulanyah who believed in it.
She made the statement during a memorial service held early on Thursday, 23 March 2023 at the Parliament Building in memory of the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who succumbed to cancer last year in Seattle, United States of America.
At the time of his death, Oulanyah was also the Omoro County Member of Parliament and only served as Speaker for nine months and 24 days, having been sworn in on 24 May 2021.
“Jacob Oulanyah is one person who believed in evidence-based legislation. He would ask you, where is that coming from…is it a hearsay? And as the leadership of Parliament, we will ensure that we follow the footsteps of the late Jacob Oulanyah who believed in a people-centred parliament,” Among said.
She added that the late Speaker believed in humanity and the principal of Ubuntu that the Parliament is to continue with.
“We will work for the people, for humanity. We are people’s servants, and we are here to serve the people of Uganda and serve humanity wherever they are. We will continue working and remembering what our predecessor believed in,” the Speaker emphasized.
She assured the late Speaker’s family of Parliament’s support and noted that annual memorial prayers are to continue to ensure that the legacy of the deceased is kept.
“As Parliament of Uganda, we even had to pass the Pension Act to ensure that Jacob’s family benefits from what he has worked for, for all those years. We have the Act, it has been assented to and we are going to ensure that Jacob’s family gets what they are entitled to, and they are going to get it,” Among added.
The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Nobert Mao commended the growth of the current Parliamentary leadership, which he said was anchored on Oulanyah’s influence.
“I do believe that today we are celebrating the successful transition which Parliament has done,” said Mao.
In his preaching during the prayers, Hon. Abed Bwanika (NUP, Kimaanya-Kabonera Division) described Oulanyah as a humble leader, just like Moses in the Bible, who was available in service to everyone.
“I saw some Moses-traits in the spirit of the late Jacob Oulanyah. He was a man that never abandoned his community. On the floor of Parliament, he was a teacher to many of us,” Bwanika said.
He added that Oulanyah will be remembered for being courageous and a servant leader who appreciated life as a victory with suffering.
Bwanika said prayers for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, whom he said have followed in Oulanyah’s footsteps, like Joshua followed in Moses’ footsteps.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.