Parliament has voted former Kabuula county MP James Kakooza as Uganda’s new representative to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) replacing former NRM cadre Hon. Mathias Kasamba passed away in April.

In a Plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker Anita Among on 26th July 2021, House adopted the report of the Verification Committee which recommended that Hon James Kakooza be elected to EALA.

According to the Committee Chairperson Fox Odoi Oywelowo, the MP for West Budama North-East constituency, the Verification Committee received two applications from the former legislator James Kakooza and former Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officer in the Customs Department, Gilbert Agaba for the position.

Kakooza was declared the new EALA MP having been unopposed before the house. Despite being unopposed, Kakooza had to be approved by a simple majority where 183 members voted in support of his candidature to the EALA.

Kakooza now joins the other representatives elected to EALA by Uganda on 28th February 2017. These include Rose Akol Okullo (NRM), Paul Musamali (NRM), George Odongo (NRM), Mary Mugyenyi (NRM), Dennis Namara (NRM), Chris Opoka (UPC), Fred Mukasa Mbidde (DP) and Susan Nakawuki (Independent).

Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Sseggona was concerned over the disqualification of Agaba from the race on grounds that the NRM party had presented a candidate of its choice.

Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa in response supported the Committee report saying that they considered the issues raised by Sseggona.

EALA currently has 62 Members, with nine Elected Members from each of the six EAC Partner States and eight Ex-officio Members. The Ex-official Membership of EALA consists of those Ministers of each Partner State responsible for regional co-operation.

In his remarks, Kakooza thanked the NRM under the leadership and guidance of H.E Yoweri Museveni for trusting him to replace the late Mathias Kasamba. He noted that they work towards achieving the provisions of the NRM manifesto on deepening economic integration in the region.