The Speaker of Parliament, Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah, is dead, President Museveni has announced. Mr Museveni revealed in a tweet said on Sunday that he got news about Oulanyah’s death at 10.30 am.
“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 10.30 am, 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,” Mr Museveni tweets said.
Mr Oulanyah was last seen in Parliament in December 2021. By that time, he had only chaired a few sessions including the passing of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Bill, which permitted the mid-term access to members’ savings.
Oulanyah travelled for treatment in Seattle, Washington in the United States on February 4. The journey was estimated to have cost $500,000 (about Shs1.7b).
He served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament from May 2011 until May 2021 but was on May 24, 2021, elected Speaker after defeating the former Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga.
Oulanyah was born in the then Gulu District, on March 23, 1965, to Nathan L’okori and Karen Atwon. He attended St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr Obote College Boroboro, and Kololo Senior Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Level education.
In 1988, he joined Makerere University, where he studied agricultural economics. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree before he entered law school at Makerere University and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He served as speaker of the university students’ guild during his stay at Makerere. In 1995, he attended the Law Development Centre (LDC), obtaining a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.
In 2001, he entered politics by successfully contesting for the parliamentary seat of Omoro County, in the then Gulu District under the no-party system also known as the Movement Political System. He was however a cardholder of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).
Oulanya also participated in the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels. In 2006, he lost his re-election bid as a UPC candidate. In July 2006, he quit the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Following the February 2016 general election, Oulanyah was re-elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on May 19, 2016. In the vote conducted by secret ballot, he received 300 votes, while Muhammad Nsereko received 115.
On July 13, 2019, Oulanyah was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Zoe Life Theological College USA and acquired the title, Doctor enabling him to be called Rt. Hon. Dr Jacob L. Oulanyah
On May 24, 2021, Jacob Oulanyah was voted Speaker of Parliament in a race against his former boss, Kadaga and Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju. Jacob obtained 310 votes against Kadaga’s 197 and Ssemujju’s 15.