By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
President Museveni was briefed through a phone call by a travelling team to Seattle in the USA where Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah was admitted and due for the last office.
The phone call that came through at 10:30 am on Sunday, March 20th was only a confirmation that there was no more to do. It followed another phone call a day before in which the president was told it is all done.
President Museveni in disbelief asked the caretakers what was next and they told him the family would now require to be informed.
He then took it upon himself to break the news to the family on Saturday, asking them to expect the worst from Seattle.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among, Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, DP President General Norbert Mao and Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo had five days back travelled to visit Oulanyah who was in his final exit stages.
The team’s role was only to access the options available as ordered by President Museveni and manage his wishes and finally come up with a plan to handle the situation.
Among was originally expected to make the announcement, but there was agreement that she travels back to Kampala and address the President on Sunday evening.
However, there was never going to be such time as the news was getting out of hand with the biggest percentage of government officials and top parliament commissioners briefed Saturday night.
“It was not about when the announcement would come, we were only not aware whether the President would make the final announcement or Madam Among,” a parliament source told Nile Post.
Another source maintains to Nile Post that the debate in Seattle was basically on whether to pull the machines off or not, but they were overruled by President Museveni who insisted that they wait.
Jacob Oulanya’s Mememorable Quotes
President Museveni had for long expressed that there would be a miracle despite being told months ago that Oulanyah’s illness was terminal.
Early in February, Oulanyah had spent three days without eating and he did not answer his phone calls during the time which prompted the Deputy Speaker to order the security detail and protocol teams of Oulanyah to dash him to Mulago hospital.
Oulanyah by this time had been terribly ill and Mulago could not handle his case, a call was made to President Museveni who through his personal doctors booked him admission at Nakasero Hospital.
Two days later, President Museveni was briefed regarding Oulanyah’s situation and he indeed was told the speaker’s situation had tipped to the downside, and he would be declared dead in an interval.
President Museveni refused to agree with the assertion, asking them if he was still alive anyway to which they affirmed he still lived but not long.
He then insisted they try elsewhere, giving orders to Uganda airlines to fly the speaker to a specialized doctor in Seattle.
Oulanyah according to sources was having terminal cancer and a few surgeries could give him a bit of a lifeline, President Museveni was willing to go to the end of it all until the last phone call coerced him to make the final announcement.
In his announcement President Museveni said;
20th March 2022
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.
May His soul rest in eternal peace.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President and Chairman of the NRM.