Speaker Among rejects Oulanyah’s office over disturbing memories
By Racheal Nuwahereza
The newly-elected Speaker of the 11th Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among, has declined to occupy the office premises of her predecessor Jacob Oulanyah.
Among, the former deputy Speaker was on Friday elected and sworn-in, ascending to full speakership.
She however decided to retain the deputy Speaker office on the 5th floor of Parliament Building, upending a long tradition of Speakers sitting on the 6th floor.
The floor allocation at Parliament is said to be intentional, reflecting the leadership hierarchy whereby the Speaker’s office on the 6th floor is customized to be more spacious and magnificent.
According to sources in Parliament, Among opted to keep her office on grounds that she is “comfortable in it”, and that relocating to the 6th floor would resurrect fond memories with Oulanyah whom she publicly proclaims as her mentor.
Clarifying on this matter, Chris Obore, the Parliament’s director for public and corporate affairs said: “There is no provision in the Administration of Parliament Act where a Speaker should sit. The deputy Speaker is going to sit on the sixth floor and the Speaker remains in her former office on 5th floor. ”
He added: “Office space at Parliament is allocated by the sergeant-at-arms; it is just space within Parliament. Among has just preferred to remain in her office. You want her to start moving her things again?”
Additionally, Among is reportedly using her personal car for official work as Parliament has never bought for her the official vehicle because of budgetary constraints and procurement procedures.
Obore also confirmed reports indicating that the staff who previously worked with Oulanyah, would stay until their current contracts run out.
It remains unclear if these individuals will work with Among, or with her deputy who is assuming the office on the sixth floor.