At least 8 Members of Parliament have declared their bid to contest for the position of Deputy Speaker in the 11th Parliament. The MPs are; David Bahati (Ndorwa West), Robina Rwakoojo (Gomba West), Muhammed Nsereko (Kampala Central), Anita Among (Bukedea District), Oboth Oboth (West Budama South), Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North), Theodore Ssekibuko (Lwemiyaga County) and the latest new entrant, Usuk MP elect, Bosco Okiror.
In June this year, 529 MPs will sit to decide who will be their Speaker and Deputy Speaker immediately after the swearing in of President Yoweri Museveni in accordance with Article 82 of the 1995 Constitution.
Preliminary reports indicate that whereas at least 8 candidates are in for the deputy speakership race, the contest is currently between Bukedea Woman MP Annet Anita Among aka AAA and Thomas Tayebwa, Ruhinda North County MP in Mitooma District with the former (Among) having a remarkable lead against the latter.
Sources say that it is only Anita Among who is intensively reaching out to all MPs seeking for their mandate in the forthcoming elections while other candidates are pussyfooting in the race. Apparently, it is only Tayebwa who is matching up Among’s mobilization strategy while Bahati is still far behind the radar and Oboth Oboth whom many would have regarded as “suitable” is not reaching out to the MPs at all.
“As it stands, if elections were to take place today, it is evident that Hon Anita Among would be Deputy Speaker. She is not resting. She has reached out to almost all MPs and their response has been positive,” an MP-elect who preferred anonymity said.
Apparently, Anita Among’s camp that is headed by young and energetic influential MPs boasts of at least 250MPs who have expressed desire to vote for her and their target is hit at least 350MPs by the end of April.
Anita Among enters the race with a huge comparative advantage as a motherly figure who is objective, independent and a desirous servant of the people. Her exceptional leadership traits were evident during her reign as Vice chairperson of Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
The NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) and NRM caucus is likely to endorse Anita Among’s candidature with ease because of her rapturous mobilization skills despite being a newly born baby in the NRM family. Even when she was still in the opposition FDC party, Among remained an independent and objective thinker whose focus was to make Bukedea and her country a better place. She refused to be inculcated into the opposition politics of defiance and continued working for her people.
It is not a surprise that she captured the eye of President Museveni and turned her into his blue-eyed girl. Even when she decided to contest as NRM flag bearer in 2020, she was overwhelmingly supported and given the flag without any opposition. Even in the 2021 elections, Anita Among was the only candidate in Eastern region to win the race unopposed. When NRM CEC sits to decide on the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, it is likely that many candidates will be asked to step down for strategic interests of the party and government. Only Anita, Tayebwa and Oboth Oboth are likely to stay in the race.