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Possible new faces in Cabinet
Publish Date: May 13, 2011
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PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni is expected to announce a new Cabinet that will serve with him in the next five-year-term. Some politicians are already lobbying for consideration. Saturday Vision brings you some of the faces that could make it to the Cabinet

Mary Karooro Okurut
Okurut, the Bushenyi District Woman MP is the NRM spokesperson. She has NRM at heart and her loyalty to the party cannot be doubted.

In the previous parliamentary elections, most of the ministers lost and she is currently one of the surviving senior politicians from the district. President Yoweri Museveni may appoint a few MPs from Bushenyi to replace those who lost and she is likely to be top on the list.

Tim Lwanga
The MP-elect for Kyamuswa County, Kalangala District, is also likely to bounce back on the list of the ministers.

Lwanga, a Born-again Christian, is a former Minister of Ethics and Integrity. He had been dropped from the list of ministers after losing in the 2006 parliamentary elections.

Lwanga was replaced by James Nsaba Buturo, who was also defeated in the recent elections.

Amelia Kyambadde
The MP-elect for Mawokota County North in Mpigi District is also likely to be among the ministers in the new government. She is among the NRM caders President Museveni treasures because of being dependable and trustworthy.

For over 30 years, Amelia has been working closely with Museveni. The President commended her for the work and promised support in her future political plans. Shortly after, Amelia was elected treasurer of the NRM party.

John Chrysostom Muyingo
The MP-elect for Bamunanika County in Luweero District may also be one of the new ministers, even though he is an independent MP.

Museveni may wish to tap into his wide knowledge in education matters. Muyingo, the proprietor of Seeta High Schools in Mukono is also a former education minister in the Buganda government.

Mike Mukula
Mukula has proved to be a politician of all seasons. Although he lost his parliamentary seat in 2006 and later was dropped from the Cabinet, he never disappeared from the political scene.

He continued campaigning for the NRM in Teso and across the country. Suddenly, NRM won back the Teso region, which the party had lost in 2006. Because of his effort, President Museveni may compensate Mukula and Teso for their support.

Betty Bigombe
For the first time in the history of NRM, northern Uganda voted in favour of NRM in February.

The President was amazed and has been commenting about the twist. He says the main reason the north voted for NRM was because of the peace which the Government has ushered in the region. Bigombe initiated the peace talks between the Government and Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels. As a result, the people of northern Uganda treasure her for the efforts. To recognise her efforts, many believe she may be rewarded with a Cabinet portfolio.

Museveni is likely to appoint her as a minister in recognition for her efforts and the support NRM got from the north.

Richard Todwong
Todwong is one of the youthful NRM carders. In the recent general elections, he played a key role in luring the youthful voters towards the NRM party.

Since the elections ended, Museveni has been praising the youth for the role they played. The former adviser of the President on northern Uganda, may thus ride on their success to earn a position in Cabinet.

Dr. Sam Okuonzi
Okuonzi is one of the top health policy experts in Uganda. He has popular support in Arua District, an area where he mobilised support for the ruling party.

He defeated minister Simon Ejua to take the Vura County MP seat. NRM needs such a strong politician to consolidate the party’s support in the region.

Edward Ssekandi
The Speaker of Parliament is also likely to be part of the new Cabinet. Ssekandi is expected to seek re-election as Speaker, but in case he loses, the President may include him on the Cabinet.

Some people say Ssekandi is not seriously campaigning to retain his office because he is sure he would be appointed minister if he is not reelected.

Theodore Ssekikubo
The youthful and firebrand Lwemiyaga County MP may this time be appointed a minister. Although Ssekikubo sometimes openly criticises NRM policies, the President may appoint him so that he advises him where others may not.

Vincent Bagiire
Vincent Bagiire, 36, the MP-elect for Bunya County West in Mayuge District is another candidate for a ministerial post.

Bagiire who defeated his namesake, Aggrey Bagiire, the state minister for agriculture is an ICT expert.

He participated in the formulation of the ICT for development policy. Since the two ministers of ICT, Aggrey Awori and Alintuma Nsambu lost in the parliamentary elections, Bagiire may be perceived as the next suitable candidate for one of the positions.

Who is likely to remain?

Kirunda Kivejinja
President Museveni most times drops politicians who lose in parliamentary elections from his cabinet, but Kirunda Kivejinja, 77, stands high chances of appearing on the next cabinet list, despite losing in the parliamentary elections.
The Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs has worked closely with Museveni for long. And his political experience dates back to the 1950s.
He played a key role in the pre-independent struggles and served in the post-independent UPC government. After the NRA captured power in 1986, he was appointed Minister of Relief and Social Rehabilitation. A man with a wide scope of political experience and close ties with Museveni, he is certain to serve in the next cabinet.

Amama Mbabazi
Amama Mbabazi, 62, is the Kinkiizi West County MP in Kanungu district and the security minister. During last year’s NRM party’s elections, Museveni described him as a reliable and sober cadre. Since the NRM government came into power in 1986, Mbabazi has been occupying sensitive positions, especially in the security circles. He was cited in the NSSF and CHOGM scandals, but in both cases Parliament cleared him.

Namirembe Bitamazire
The education minister was floored in the parliamentary elections, but could bounce back to the Cabinet. Namirembe Bitamazire, 70, has a clean record as a Minister of Education. She was an education minister in the late 1970s during Idi Amin’s regime. She joined Museveni’s Cabinet in 1999 and has never been dropped.

John Nasasira
John Nasasira, 59, is one of the longest serving Cabinet ministers in the Government. The MP for Kazo County in Kiruhura District has represented his constituency since 1989. He is one of Museveni’s most trusted cadres who, for at least three presidential terms, has been the works minister. He always stays away from controversy.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafire
During the NRM delegates’ conference, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafire, 61, contested for the post of Secretary General. The campaigns portrayed him as an overzealous politician ready to succeed some of the more senior people in the party. That he lost the race was not a surprise. The surprise was that the Ruhinda County MP emerged second, ahead of Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya. Despite running a heated campaign, Otafire conceded defeat and remained loyal to the party.

Eriya Kategaya
Eriya Kategaya and President Museveni are inseparable friends, which gives him certainty of remaining on the Cabinet. The 66-year-old 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Cooperation is a longtime friend of President Museveni. The two studied in Ntare School and have worked closely in government. A few years ago, a crack had developed in Kategaya and Museveni’s relationship, but they found a common ground and sorted out their differences. Kategeya came back on board and was appointed in his current position.

Prof. Gilbert Bukenya
Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, the Vice-President, lost the bid for the office of the party’s Secretary General, but he still remains a mahogany tree. The Busiro County MP has been playing a key role as a mobiliser in the party. His upland rice project marketed NRM across the country. Bukenya has also served as a strong link between the NRM party, the Catholic Church and Buganda Kingdom. The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee implicated Bukenya in the CHOGM funds scandal, but later Parliament cleared him.

Sam Kutesa
Sam Kutesa, the foreign affairs minister may also not miss out on the next cabinet. Kutesa is one of the influential ministers in the NRM government. The MP for Mawogola County in Ssembabule district has been in active politics since the 1980’s. Between 1980 and 1985, Kutesa was the MP for Mbarara North. Before he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kutesa had served as the Minister of State for Investment.
NRM and President Museveni enjoy a lot of support in Ssembabule. The strong NRM support in Ssembabule is partly attributed to people like Kutesa.

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