By Henry Mukasa
THE nine ministers, who were recently appointed in a cabinet reshuffle, swore-in before President Yoweri Museveni at State House Nakasero yesterday.
The new ministers are; Aggrey Awori (information and communication technology), First Lady Janet Museveni (state for Karamoja affairs), Lt. Gen. Jeje Odongo (state for defence) and the Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo (industry). Others were; Perez Ahabwe (state for local government), James Kakooza (primary health care), Lt. Jessica Alupo (youth and children affairs), Asuman Kiyingi (lands) and Henry Aggrey Bagiire (agriculture).
The ministers took two oaths in a brief ceremony conducted by the Secretary to the Cabinet and head of public service, John Mitala.
In the first oath, they undertook to be faithful and bear true allegiance to their nation and to preserve, defend and protect the Constitution.
In the second, they pledged to freely give counsel and advice to the President of Uganda and his lawful successors.
They also vowed not to divulge sensitive information that would come to their knowledge as they execute their duties.
The centre of attraction was on the First Lady and Awori, a former Uganda Peopleâ€™s Congress diehard, who defected to the Movement.
After taking his oath, Awori stepped from the podium to where President Museveni sat and they shook hands. The First Lady, just like all the other ministers, followed suit.
Justice Elizabeth Ibanda Nahamya also took an oath of service before the President. She was presented by High Court Registrar, Henry Adonyo, who represented the Chief Registrar, Flavia Sennoga.
Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, Movement vice-chairperson Moses Kigongo, first deputy Prime Minister and minister for East African Affairs Eriya Kategaya and Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki attended the ceremony. It was also attended by several ministers.
President Museveni, unlike in the past swearing-in ceremonies, did not make a speech. After the ceremony, refreshments were served to the ministers and their relatives who accompanied them to State House.
The President posed for pictures; first with the ministers, then with their relatives and the Cabinet ministers.
The guests were then hosted to a luncheon in the State House gardens.
Margaret Kisira Mbeiza, who was designated to become the state minister for economic monitoring, was not sworn-in after she failed to go through the vetting at Parliament.
After a closed meeting of the appointments committee last week, sources said Mbeizaâ€™s approval was deferred for further clarification from the President. Previous media reports said she was recently admitted with a mental illness.
Meanwhile, in what seemed like their first official function, the new ministers took front seats (front bench) in Parliament. Speaker Sekandi welcomed them: â€œCongratulations upon your appointment and swearing in. You are welcome to take your front bench seats. I wish you good luck.â€