Following or deputising a larger-than-life figure can be a daunting task. Despite being a bearded, balding, flamboyant man, deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah still has to remind MPs that he is not a ‘madam’ – the term used with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
However, Dokolo Woman MP and Opposition Chief Whip Cecilia Ogwal [FDC] recently found out that Oulanyah may be getting tired of reminding MPs about the fact he is a ‘Mister’.
“I thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me from the government front bench,” Ogwal saluted Oulanyah, who was chairing a sitting on Wednesday.
Not noticing her slip, Ogwal, who was facing Oulanyah, continued, “Madame Speaker… ” at which MPs burst into laughter. It was at that point that Ogwal realised her mistake and blamed “the government front bench that has led to the slip of the tongue to call you madam speaker right honourable speaker”.
Oulanyah, like a stern parent who gives a naughty child a stern, indicting look, did not say a word. But it was a loud silence.
MPs and their endless ‘trips’ to Kabalagala
Kabalagala is a suburb in MP John Ssimbwa’s Makindye East, but it is also a local name for sweet-banana pancakes.
Although they were many a child’s hankering, pancakes have lately become a delicacy among many MPs. And therein seems to lie the problem: how does an honourable MP ask for hisher craving without inviting awkward stares and murmurs about there being a boygirl in every manwoman?
So, the name Kabalagala leaps in conveniently. During parliamentary committee meetings, you are most likely to hear MPs asking for “trips to Kabalagala”.
As you wonder what business the MPs want to transact in Kabalagala, a saucer of pancakes placed in front of them will rest their quest for the ‘trips’.
OIC boss trapped ‘aeroplane jam’
Last week, Uganda hosted the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Ameen Madani, who jetted in on Tuesday. Several officials from the government and the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) dashed to Entebbe airport to receive him. After several hours of waiting, some got impatient and protocol officials cancelled a scheduled press conference.
As the wait continued, the IUIU rector, Dr Ahmed Kaweesa Ssengendo, made calls to Nairobi before he came to report that the visitor would be landing in a few minutes.
“There’s been an international conference in Nairobi that attracted almost all presidents on the African continent and he somehow got trapped in an ‘aeroplane traffic jam’ but his plane has now been cleared to take off,” Ssengendo reported.
Wolokoso can only imagine what jam must have been like – with air-rage and pilots hooting impatiently.
Mrs Sseggona’s security fears:
Busiro East MP Medard Sseggona is a security-conscious person who does not take risks, especially when it comes to his family. An ardent critic of the Museveni government, Sseggona said last week that whenever his wife gets pregnant, he ‘hides’ her for security reasons.
“You do not know where I hide my wife to give birth,” Sseggona told WBS television show host Peter Kibazo. The MP had been pressed about ‘deceiving’ the country that Mulago was not well-equipped, yet his wife gives birth there.
“When she gets pregnant, I hide her from the public through the pregnancy period because I don’t want people to know that she is pregnant, which will lead them to predict when she will give birth – for security reasons” he said.
Wolokoso wonders if Sseggona has a bunker where his honourable wife is hidden. Should that be the case, do not be surprised if police decide to’inspect’ that bunker to ensure it is not a security threat.
Men harassing immature fish – Minister Nankabirwa:
Local fishermen are fond of decrying the “harassment” at the hands of the government agencies trying to clamp down on trade in immature fish. But Ruth Nankabirwa, the state minister for Fisheries, believes these shameless fishermen have no right to complain.
After she was accused of using her office to harass fishing communities last week, Nankabirwa told Parliament: “I am not harassing the [fishing] communities, but it is the other way round the communities are harassing the young [immature] fish in the lakes.”
Okay, let’s now see which heartless fellow will dare harass the minister again.
‘Tricky’ Ogwal worries Biraaro:
She is respected as one of the veteran legislators in the 9th Parliament, but Opposition Chief Whip Cecilia Atim Ogwal is equally a feared politician thanks to her “tricks.”
Among those who fear Ogwal is Ephraim Biraaro, the chairman of Parliament’s Infrastructure committee. As the committee wound up discussions on the Works and Transport ministerial policy statement last week, Biraaro could not help fearing that Ogwal was preparing a minority report challenging the committee’s approval of the ministry’s budget.
Biraaro first sought the intervention of Busongora North MP William Nzoghu to save the committee from the embarrassment that a minority report can be, but Nzoghu was not yielding.
“That lady is very tricky with her congress [UPC] background, she has 101 tricks,” Biraaro pleaded, still to no avail.
Well, time will tell which trick Ogwal will employ – if any.
Source : The Observer