The Ambassador of Russia to Uganda H.E Vladlen Semivolos has on Friday paid tribute to the deceased Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

The former Speaker died on Sunday March 20, 2022 in Seattle, U.S where he was receiving treatment. His candle burned out just three days to his 57th birthday.

The Ambassador had come to Parliament to Parliament to sign in the condolence book to pay last respects to the fallen Speaker.

A tweet on the Embassy’s official Twitter handle says that H.E Semivolos “expressed deep condolences to the Government, Parliament and the People of Uganda.”

On Thursday, the Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matviyenko, also paid tribute to Jacob Oulanyah, describing him as a strong-willed person.

The Federation Council is the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly, the Russian parliament.

In his message, Valentina said Oulanyah’s dedication towards serving national interests earned him respect of the people both in Uganda and outside the country.

“On behalf of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and on my own behalf, I express deep condolences on the demise of Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda,” writes Valentina.

“A determined and strong-willed person, an influential political leader who dedicated his life to serving national interests and rightly earned the respect of the people, passed away. He did a lot to strengthen the role of Parliamentarism in Uganda and the country’s prestige on the African continent,” he adds.

He added that: “I kindly request to convey words of sincere sympathy and support to the family and friends of the deceased.”

Since Tuesday, 22 March 2022, several dignitaries including members of the diplomatic corps, Members of Parliament and other political leaders continue to access Parliament in order to sign the condolence book to pay their last respects to the fallen speaker.

The condolence book will be removed today Friday, March 25,2022.

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.

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.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.

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