24 May 1956 |
|Alma mater||Makerere University
Law Development Center
University of Zimbabwe
University of Zimbabwe
|Occupation||Lawyer and politician|
|Years active||1984 – present|
|Title||Speaker of the Uganda Parliament|
Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is a Ugandan lawyer and politician who has been Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda since 19 May 2011. She is the first female to be elected Speaker in the history of the Parliament in Uganda. She succeeded Edward Ssekandi, who served as Speaker from 2001 to 2011. She is also the current Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kamuli District Women's Constituency, Busoga sub-region, a position she has served in since 1989.
Background and education
She was born in Kamuli District, Eastern Uganda, on 24 May 1956. Rebecca 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), specialising in Women's Law, also from the University of Zimbabwe.
Between 1984 and 1988, she was in private law practice. From 1989 until 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.
From 1996 until 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 until 1999. Between 1999 and 2000 she was the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. She was elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2001, a position that she held until 19 May 2011, when she was elected Speaker of Parliament.
Besides her duties as speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, she sits on the following parliamentary committees:
- Appointments Committee – The Committee reviews all Cabinet appointments by the President, and may approve or reject an appointment: The Speaker chairs the committee
- The Parliamentary Commission – The Speaker chairs the Commission
- The Business Committee – The Speaker chairs the committee
Kadaga vowed to pass the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill through parliament by December 2012. The bill – often called the "Kill the Gays bill" by left-leaning media outlets – at one time sought to make acts of homosexuality punishable by death or life imprisonment but later removed the death penalty option from the bill. She says it will become law since most Ugandans "are demanding it".
Reports circulated that Kadaga received a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI at a Vatican mass. Soon after the news broke, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi issued a statement that said: “relations with the delegation were not out of the ordinary and no blessing was given.” The group of Ugandan MPs greeted the Pope “just like any other individuals attending an audience with the Pope would” and this was “by no means a specific sign of approval of Kadaga’s actions or proposals.” 
- Joyce Namutebi, Henry Mukasa, and Milton Olupot (19 May 2011). "Kadaga Is First Female Speaker". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Wambi, Michael (24 May 2011). "Politics: First Woman Speaker of Parliament Changing Politics". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Uganda Parliament, . (2011). "Profile of Alitwala Rebecca Kadaga". Parliament of Uganda. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Naturinda, Sheila (16 May 2011). "Speaker Ssekandi Quits for Kadaga". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Muhumuza, Rodney (12 November 2012). "Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill To Pass This Year: Official". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- PGA, . (December 2012). "Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for The ICC And The Rule of Law - 7th Session". © 2014 Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- PGA, . (7 December 2012). "7th Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for The International Criminal Court (ICC) And The Rule of Law & World Parliamentary Conference On Human Rights 34th Annual Forum of PGA, 10 & 11 December 2012: Programme" (PDF). Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Uganda Parliament, . (December 2012). "Speaker Kadaga Receives Blessings From The Pope At Vatican Mass". Parliament of Uganda. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Alessandro Speciale, . (15 December 2012). "“Why Does Benedict XVI Receive Anti-Gay Politicians In Audience?”". Vatican Insider. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
|Parliament of Uganda|
Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi
|Speaker of Parliament
2011 – present