Despite her busy schedule, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on November 14 attended the swearing-in ceremony of the guild officials at Uganda Christian University (UCU).
Kadaga’s motorcade snaked through the UCU gates at around mid-day. The Speaker arrived when the students and staff were heading for community worship. This was a special community worship session because the new guild government was expected to use it to take oath.
After receiving the Speaker, the Vice Chancellor, Rev Dr John Senyonyi, led her to Nkoyoyo Hall where she joined the rest of the community in worshiping and praising the Lord. But mid-way through the session, Dr Senyonyi announced the presence of a special guest immediately after which Mrs Kadaga walked to the podium to grace the swearing-in.
Senyonyi said: “We have a most unexpected guest of honour with us. We are grateful that you came to witness the swearing-in ceremony of your son and we expect him to uphold the UCU values.”
This was a historical moment as the Speaker of Parliament rarely attends such university functions. In her speech, Mrs Kadaga thanked Dr Senyonyi for taking an interest in the guild activities. She said, “We are really happy that we have a guild president in the family. Thank you for supporting him. Thank you for voting. I hope you support the people you elect.”
Kadaga also pledged support to the guild president and his government to carry out their respective duties well. “You can rely on us to give you support in the background,” she said.
She also pledged to assist the UCU community in any way possible. The Guild President, Mr Timothy Kadaga, in an earlier interview told The Standard that the Speaker was his mother.
Kadaga also thanked Erisa Nyakahuma, who contested against him in the guild elections and lost for the good campaign before requesting him to support the new government.
One of the keenly watched moments at the event was when the Speaker invited Nyakahuma to the podium and asked him to work with Kadaga, to which he replied in the affirmative, sending the congregation into a prolonged applause.
“I want to congratulate Nyakahuma for the good campaign and I want you to support the guild government,” she repeated. Dr Senyonyi also commended Nyakahuma for conceding defeat.
“I was very happy and pleased for the letter you wrote in The Standard conceding defeat,” Dr Senyonyi said. “Thank you for the spirit to fight the good fight.” The rumour of an impromptu swearing-in of the new guild government to be attended by Mrs Kadaga was slowly making rounds at UCU.
This was only confirmed a few hours before she entered the UCU Main Gate. At the time, supporters of Mr Kadaga who were adorned in their trademark black T-shirts, were running around the campus.