Parliament has held a special sitting in memory of former Jacob Oulanyah, who passed away on 20 March 2022 in the United States of America (USA).
The sitting was presided by the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, and attended by Speaker Anita Among Thursday, 23 March 2023.
The Deputy Speaker called on the Members of Parliament to emulate the principles the late Oulanyah stood for which were to always research ahead of parliamentary sittings and to be respectful of each other.
Tayebwa said Oulanyah stressed that there was no disagreement too big to resolve especially if the aggrieved parties listened to each other.
“In conflict resolution, we have something called the zonal point of agreement which only manifests when two warring sides begin to listen to each other and work towards a compromise,” he added.
Tayebwa urged the legislators to utilize this as they work with each other in executing parliamentary assignments and exercising their duties in their constituencies.
He also thanked the Members of Parliament for their support towards the family and the dependants of the late Oulanyah.
“We appreciate the Shs500 million contribution to the Jacob Oulanyah foundation and for amending the law to allow for his family members to benefit from his pension,” the Deputy Speaker said.
The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua lauded the current leadership of Parliament for its exceptional time keeping, a trait that was an outstanding character of Oulanyah.
On a personal note, Obua said that Oulanyah was his lecturer at the Law Development Centre and his supervisor while doing his clerkship at Lira Chief Magistrate Court, adding that, ‘forever, I will be grateful to him for this contribution’..
Kira Municipality MP, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda spoke highly of the late Oulanyah as an exceptional debater who invested a lot in research.
“A few years ago, we had a four-hour debate on the sale of the Uganda Commercial Bank and Oulanyah spoke for two hours only being joined by three other people. This was because he was exceptionally knowledgeable on the matter,” said Ssemujju Nganda.
Ssemujju Nganda (standing) praised Oulanyah for his spirit of reconciliation
He added that the late Oulanyah believed in reconciliation and went out of his way to reach out to those who he had an impasse with him.
Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) upheld the late Oulanyah for his humility in his social life referring to him as easy to interact with and an exceptional performance every time he took to the dance floor.
He noted that Oulanyah was exceptionally intelligent, well-read, and hungry for knowledge evidenced by his unwavering nature to learn. He added that this made him an exceptional leader.
National Youth Representative, Hon. Phiona Nyamutororo said that mentorship was Oulanyah’s game and that he always engaged the youth MPs in debates intended to push their delivery.
She referred to him as, a non-populist who cared more for the well-being of his people and Ugandans at large.
Hon. Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, the son of the late Oulanyah who replaced him Omoro County Representative said that he spoke passionately and lived to emulate the principle of Ubuntu, a term meaning, ‘I am because you are’.
“He stood for leading by example and practicing what he preached,” he said.
Ojok added that Oulanyah emphasized purposeful living referring to one of the important days in a person’s life being the day they discover their purpose.
“It is the reason that while he was receiving treatment, Oulanyah would leave hospital and come to Parliament because he believed his purpose was to serve the institution; the purpose of Ubuntu,” he said.