President Museveni has announced the death of Parliament Speaker Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah.
President Museveni said in a tweet on Sunday that he learned of Oulanyah’s death at 10.30 a.m.
“Countrymen and Countrywomen. It is with a lot of sadness that I announce the death of the Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, the Speaker of Parliament. I got information of this sad news at 10.30am, East African time from People that have been with him and the doctor that was caring for him in the intensive care unit. He was a good Cadre. I delayed the announcement so that his children would be informed first,” President Yoweri K. Museveni twitted.
Mr Oulanyah was last seen in Parliament in December 2021, and by then, he had only chaired a few sessions, including the passage of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Bill, which allowed members to access their savings in the short term. In May 2021, he was elected as Speaker of the House.
On February 4, Oulanyah flew out of the country for treatment, with reports claiming that the Uganda Airlines Bus A330-800 neo with registration code 5X-NIL flew him to Seattle, Washington in the United States. The trip was estimated to cost $500,000 (about Shs1.7b).
The journey and admission of the Speaker infuriated a group of Ugandans living in the United States, who protested the trip.
The demonstrations later compelled some Acholi Sub-region legislators to hold a press conference within the confines of Parliament on February 9 to condemn the diaspora actions. Legislators even offered to refund the Shs1.7 billion.
Jacob Oulanyah Biography
Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah was a Ugandan agricultural economist, lawyer, and politician who served as Speaker of Uganda’s 11th Parliament (2021-2022) but died on March 20, 2022, in Seattle. He was elected on May 24, 2021, after defeating former Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. From May 2011 to May 2021, he was the Deputy Speaker of Uganda’s parliament. Oulanyah was also a member of parliament in Uganda’s Northern Region, representing the Omoro County constituency, Omoro District, Acholi sub-region.
On March 23, 1965, he was born in the then-Gulu District to Nathan L’okori and Karen Atwon. For his O-Level and A-Level studies, he attended St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr. Obote College Boroboro, and Kololo Senior Secondary School.
In 1988, he enrolled at Makerere University, the East African Community’s oldest university, to study agricultural economics. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in that subject in 1991. That same year, he began law school at Makerere University, where he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. During his time at Makerere, he was the speaker of the university students’ guild. He graduated from the Law Development Centre (LDC) in 1995 with a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.
Oulanyah began working at the LDC as a lecturer after graduating from the LDC. He began private law practice at the law firm of Oulanyah, Onoria & Company Advocates around the same time.
He first entered politics in 2001, when he won the parliamentary seat of Omoro County in the then-Gulu District under the no-party system, also known as the Movement Political System. Oulanyah did, however, hold a Uganda People’s Congress membership card (UPC). He also took part in peace talks between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels. Jacob Oulanyah was defeated in his re-election bid in 2006 as a UPC candidate. He left the UPC in July 2006 and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). In 2008, he presided over a commission of inquiry into the contentious sub-lease of Kisekka Market, one of Kampala’s municipal markets.
Oulanyah was elected on the NRM ticket to represent Omoro County, then Gulu District, in the Ninth Parliament in March 2011. On May 19, 2011, he was elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
Following the general election in February 2016, Oulanyah was re-elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on May 19, 2016. He received 300 votes in the secret ballot election, while Muhammad Nsereko received 115. On July 13, 2019, Rt. Hon. Dr. Jacob L. Oulanyah was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Zoe Life Theological College USA and received the title, Doctor, allowing him to be known as Rt. Hon. Dr. Jacob L. Oulanyah.
Jacob Oulanyah was elected Speaker of Parliament on May 24, 2021, defeating his former boss, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, and Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju. Jacob received 310 votes, compared to 197 for Kadaga and 15 for Ssemujju.
He served on the following parliamentary committees as the national speaker of parliament:
Appointments Committee – The Committee reviews all Cabinet appointments made by the President and has the authority to approve or reject them: The Deputy Speaker serves as the committee’s vice chairperson.
President Museveni announced on Twitter on March 20, 2022, that the former legislator died today, March 20, 2022, in Seattle.