Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) yesterday elected Daniel Fred Kidega as the new Speaker, replacing MP Margaret Zziwa, who was censured on Wednesday.
Elected unopposed, Kidega, 41, a member of Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in his acceptance speech promised to uphold Eala’s dignity. He will lead the Assembly for the remaining two-and-a-half years of Uganda’s mandate.
“I have no doubt that at the end of the remaining two-and-a-half years, we’ll look back and feel proud,” Kidega said.
Kidega who is serving his second five-year term in Eala, received flowers from MPs, including compatriot Dora Byamukama amid applause.
Kidega becomes Eala’s fourth Speaker.
The Old Boy of Ntare School in south western Uganda, previously served as an MP in Uganda’s Seventh Parliament (2001 to 2006) and Private Secretary to the Vice President from 2000 to 2001, among others.
Kidega was a chairman, National Youth Council in Uganda. He launched his political career as a student leader in the 1990s, while at Ntare School.
Ntare OBs applaud their own
Moses Bukenya, a Ugandan academic and who studied with Kidega at Ntare School, said: “Knowing Dan’s leadership credentials since way back at Ntare School where he served as head prefect and later as UNSA chairman and Youth MP, I have great confidence that he’s best suited to push forward a meaningful East African Agenda.”
The Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Tanzania’s Dr Abdullah Saadala, made a brief submission to the House, noting that the Council had the full confidence and trust in the new Speaker.
Dr Saadala said: “We trust in your capacity as a leader and in all capacities of your track record.”
The Chairperson of the Council pledged to support Kidega in all his endeavours, especially when it comes to ensuring “that East Africa is one country, one people, and one destiny.”
After the brief session was adjourned, Kidega invited all Eala members and staff to a reception at the main restaurant in the building.
Before then, however, he called all top EAC officials present including Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, the EAC Secretary General, to a brief meeting.
Zziwa who had served in that position for three-and-a-half years remains an ordinary MP until 2017.
Wednesday’s plenary sitting that impeached her first received and adopted report of the Eala Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges on the findings into complaints previously leveled against her.
Early this month, a committee was given 21 days to conclude the investigations and report to the Assembly. Its final report partly indicated that Zziwa constantly flouted and manipulated the Rules of Procedure with impunity to foster personal interests.