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.
Among made the statement during a Service held early on Thursday at the Parliament building in memory of the late Speaker Oualanyah, who succumbed to cancer last year on 20th March 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 as Speaker of the 11th Parliament on 24th May, 2021, at the Kololo Independence Grounds.
“Jacob Oualanyah 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 Oualanyah who believed in a people-centred parliament,” said Speaker Among.
She added that the late Speaker believed in humanity and that the Parliament of Uganda is to continue with the principal.
“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,” Among emphasized.
She assured the late Speaker Oulanya’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,” says the Speaker Among.
Nobert Mao, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, 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 Service, Abed Bwanika the Kimaanya-Kabonera Division MP described the late 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,” said Bwanika. He added that Oulanyah will be remembered for being courageous and a servant leader who appreciated life as a victory with suffering.
Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, who replaced his father as Omoro County MP, appreciated the support accorded by Parliament to Oulanyah’s family, and committed their support to the institution.
Parliament is this afternoon holding a special sitting to pay tribute to the former head of the institution.