By Mubiru Ivan

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is the current Speaker of the 10th Parliament.

She is one of the most powerful women in the country and in most cases she takes her stand even if the decision is likely to damage her political party, NRM.

This week the legislator sparked mixed reactions among the general public after leading a team that led to the ban of  gay debate at the Inter Parliamentary Union in Geneva.

Kadaga together with her Ugandan delegation led the move against what they termed as a well-orchestrated machination led by Canada and Belgium who had lobbied many delegates to vote in favor of the motion.

Here are some of the things you didn’t know about the Speaker;

1. She was born in Kamuli District, Eastern Uganda, on 24 May 1956 and she is a Musoga by tribe, Anglican by religion.

2. Kadaga attended Namasagali College for her high school education. She studied law at Makerere University, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB), in 1978. She went on to obtain a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center in Kampala in 1979. In 2000, she obtained a Diploma in Women’s Law from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2003, she obtained the degree of Master of Arts (MA), specializing in Women’s Law, also from the University of Zimbabwe.

3. Between 1984 and 1988, she was in private law practice. From 1989 to 1996, she served as the Member of Parliament for Kamuli District in the District Woman’s Constituency. She served as the Chairperson of the University Council for Mbarara University, between 1993 and 1996. During 1996, she served as Secretary General of the East African Women Parliamentarians Association.

4. From 1996 to 1998, Rebecca Kadaga was the Ugandan Minister of State for Regional Cooperation (Africa and the Middle East). She then served as Minister of State for Communication and Aviation from 1998 to 1999 and as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs from 1999 to 2000.

5. Kadaga was first elected Speaker of Parliament on 19 May,2011 succeeding Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi making her the first woman to serve as speaker of the national Assembly. She first served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 2001 to 2011. After February 2016 general election, she was unanimously re-elected as Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2016.

6. Besides her duties as speaker of Parliament, Kadaga sits on the various parliamentary committees which include; Appointments Committee, The Parliamentary Commission and the Business Committee.

7. During general elections in 2016, a section of the society accused Kadaga of being a devil worshipper. The statement was precipitated by reactions to a video that showed her visiting the cultural site on Nhyenda Hill in Nakigo Sub-county in Iganga District. After the visit, she said on camera that she had gone there to inform her ancestors of her triumph in retaining the post of Speaker of Parliament. However she came out to refute the allegations.