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Friday,September 18,2020 14:52 PM

MPs sworn in

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th May 2006 03:00 AM

HEAVY rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of supporters who thronged Parliament yesterday to witness and cheer their MPs during their swearing-in ceremony.

HEAVY rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of supporters who thronged Parliament yesterday to witness and cheer their MPs during their swearing-in ceremony.

By Henry Mukasa, Adam Alagiah & M. Karugaba

HEAVY rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of supporters who thronged Parliament yesterday to witness and cheer their MPs during their swearing-in ceremony.

Clad in traditional wear, the supporters accompanying the legislators blew whistles, horns and various traditional instruments while dancing and ululating.

This set the scene for the swearing-in ceremony of MPs who will constitute the eighth Parliament.

Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and out-going deputy speaker Rebecca Kadaga were among those who took their oath in the morning session.

The occasion, presided over by the Clerk to parliament, Aeneas Tandekwire, was held on the steps of the south wing entrance to parliament and the parking yard. The otherwise dull ceremony was lightened up by the occasional cheers and ululations of family and supporters of the sworn-in MPs.

By the close of the morning, 72 MPs had been sworn-in, with three absentees and the vacant Dodoth county constituency whose re-elected MP Ark Ael Lodou died recently.

The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima (UPDF), FDC’s Alex Aadroa Onzima (Maracha), Judith Franca Akello (Pader), Beatrice Anywar Atim (Kitgum) and Betty Ocan Aol (Gulu) did not show up.

Out-going Speaker Edward Ssekandi sat quietly in the middle of the front row and was occasionally seen dispensing advice to the officials ensuring that the event runs smoothly.

NRM secretary general Amama Mbabazi (Kinkizi West) swore in minutes after his FDC counterpart Alice Alaso Asianut (Soroti) had sworn-in.

UPC president Miria Obote escorted her son James Akena (Lira Municipality) as did DP chief John Ssebaana Kizito his former personal assistant, Mathias Birekeraawo Nsubuga (Bukoto South).

Also sworn-in were two come-back kids; NRM’s Mavenjina Akumu (Nebbi) and Abdul Balangira nakendo (Bukooli North).

While some MPs were escorted to the marquee by a modest group of spouses and kindred, others had an elaborate band of chanting fans complete in traditional clothing and head gear.

Almost all disregarded pleas from the emcee that a maximum of two people should accompany the MP-elect to the podium, crowding the place.

Bukenya’s arrival fired up the NRM-dominated crowd which prompted chants of “no change, yellow, yellow”, the NRM party colour, to fill the air.

When his name was read out, Bukenya walked characteristically flashing the thumbs-up sign for NRM and the three fingers for the ‘third term’. His supporters waved his campaign posters.

Asked if he was optimistic about retaining his portfolio, Bukenya said, “The obligation is with the President and in a week’s time he will determine the next vice-president of Uganda. I am a believer and think that God has already made a decision.”

After taking her oath, Kadaga, who is also the NRM vice-president, hugged Mbabazi heartily as the party gurus congratulated each other.

Asked about her ambition to become Speaker, Kadaga said, “I don’t want to comment on that.”
The flamboyant Mbabazi commented, “The Movement has done a great deal… but now it’s service delivery time.”

Otuke MP Daniel Omara Atubo, whose marriage with UPC ended with a divorce, said he would consult his supporters first when offered a cabinet post.

“My position is tricky because I came in as an independent after being expelled from UPC. I want to remain very, very independent and if government offered me the post, I will first consult my supporters and I know they will not refuse to give me a go ahead.”

MPs sworn in

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