The Ambassador of Ethiopia to Uganda H.E Alemtsehay Meseret and the President of Burundi H.E Evariste Ndayishimiye are some of the regional leaders who have paid tribute to fallen Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.
Oulanyah died on Sunday morning from a Seattle hospital in the U.S where he spent months battling an undisclosed illness.
His passing was announced by President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday afternoon.
“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,” tweeted.
“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,” added the President.
Now in a tweet, Burundi’s President says the people of Burundi stand with Ugandans in this sad time.
“It is with sorrow and sadness that I learned today of the death
Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament. My deepest condolences to his family, to my brother Mzee Kaguta Museveni and to all the people of Uganda. The people of Burundi is mourning with you,” writes Ndayishimiye.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Uganda Alemtsehay Meseret said: We, at the Ethiopian Embassy, are very saddened to hear the passing away of the Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rt Hon. Jacob Oulanyah.”
“We extend our profound and heartfelt condolences to the government and People of Uganda at this sorrowful time,” she added in a tweet on the Embassy’s handle.
Oulanyah was last seen in Parliament in December 2021 and 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.
The Omoro County MP (Omoro District) was elected Speaker on May 24, 2021, after defeating the former Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. He served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament from May 2011 until May 2021.
Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah was born on March 23, 1965, within the then-Gulu District, 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, the oldest university in the East African Community, where he studied agricultural economics.
He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in that subject 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), where he obtained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.
Following his graduation from the LDC, Oulanyah worked as a lecturer at the centre. During the same timeframe, he began private law practice at the law firm of Oulanyah, Onoria & Company Advocates.
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). He also participated in the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.
In 2006, standing as a UPC candidate, he lost his re-election bid. In July 2006, he quit the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
In 2008, he served as the chairman of the commission of inquiry into the controversial sub-lease of Kisekka Market, one of the municipal markets in the city of Kampala.
In March 2011, Oulanyah was elected to represent Omoro County then in Gulu District, in the Ninth Parliament, this time on the NRM ticket. He was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on May 19, 2011.
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 be called Rt. Hon. Dr. Jacob L. Oulanyah.