KAMPALA - Under the command of deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah, parliament on Friday passed the controversial Oil Bill amidst speculations that the speaker Rebecca Kadaga
chose to withdraw from presiding over it due to enormous pressure from government, the opposition, religious leaders and the civil society organizations.
Kadaga conspicuously left her deputy (Oulanya) who had just come back to the country to preside over passing the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2012.
's apprehensive withdrawal caused parliament to on Thursday waste about four hours on technicalities as Oulanya was unsure on how to proceed from where Kadaga stopped.
This compelled him to call for a copy of the Hansard and read word after word the proceedings of the plenary session Kadaga last chaired on Tuesday.
On that Tuesday on this week voting on the clause had already started and many had voted already but Kadaga
halted the process after the opposition MPs raised procedural concerns.
The move greatly angered the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi and several ministers who argued that Kadaga was out of order.
The following day, the speaker Rebecca Kadaga
suspended parliament and instructed the rules, privileges and discipline committee to investigate the incident so that action can be taken against the culprits.
The Civil Society
groups went another mile of presenting seven petitions on the Bill to the speaker of parliament on Wednesday and Kadaga
promised that she
would forward their petitions to the committee of natural resources.
A recent survey by Research World International established that Rebecca Kadaga, the first Lady Janet Museveni and former Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya as the most preferred leaders to succeed President Yoweri Museveni.
Several political leaders from across the political divide and religious leaders like Father Gaetano Batanyenda have been calling upon Rebecca Kadaga to offer herself to be the next President of Uganda.
, who is also well known for deliberate efforts to redeem Uganda
's parliament to act independent of the executive, could not preside over recommitting a clause after the president's intervention when parliament had already taken a decision on the matter.
It is widely believed that it is upon that background of counter accusations and pressure on Kadaga
from the opposition, the civil society, religious leaders, advisors, citizens, and the executive that was doing whatever possible to push through its agenda that Kadaga
possibly chose to get out of the flying pan and leave Oulanyah in charge.
But the speaker (Rebecca Kadaga) yesterday dismissed the suspicion that she
deliberately abandoned presiding over the passing the oil Bill.
Speaking to New Vision
said, "I had an assignment from my party which had been agreed upon earlier.
That is why I could be in charge on that."
Asked what the assignment was Kadaga
said, "I had been asked to go and reconcile the voters in Kamuli who had voted for an opposition candidate.
That assignment had been already planned."
On the assumption that she
feared to be held responsible for passing a controversial Bill, she
said "That is not true.