OPPOSITION leaders yesterday criticised the Cabinet reshuffle as a pay off for sycophants. Uganda Peopleâ€™s Congress (UPC) presidential policy commission chairman Dr James Rwanyarare said it was recycling the â€œsame old discredited people,â€ while the new faces were sycophants.
â€œIt shows that now sycophancy pays. It is sad,â€ Rwanyarare said.
However, the presidential assistant on political affairs, Moses Byaruhanga said, â€œPresident Yoweri Museveniâ€™s main consideration in the reshuffle was to have a working team to help him implement his programmes.â€
But Rwanyarare said the president disregarded national and donor outcry about a big percentage of the budget being spent on administrative costs. He said instead, Museveni increased the number of ministers and advisors.
FDC spokesperson Beti Kamya said some of the new entrants had worked so hard to sell the un-sellable Movement.
â€œWe are not surprised but are saddened that a few pecuniary advantages can cloud the whole legacy. These people are not dumb because they know what they are doing but itâ€™s sad to trade off the national legacy,â€ Kamya said.
Meanwhile, ministers elevated in Thursdayâ€™s Cabinet reshuffle were excited and anxious to take up their new jobs.
The dropped trade minister, Edward Rugumayo, said he was not aware of his appointment as ambassador to Paris.
New foreign affairs minister Sam Kuteesa, the minister for trade, tourism and industry, Daudi Migereko and education and sports minister Namirembe Bitamazire said they felt honoured and challenged by the promotions.
â€œThese are big shoes to fill. I will give it my best,â€ Kuteesa said on telephone from the United States of America when asked about replacing James Wapakhabulo who died last year.
He said having gone to Kingâ€™s College Budo and studied law like his predecessor, he would measure up to the task.
â€œWe need to be more dynamic in foreign affairs, continue to improve relations with neighbours and to be understood better internationally,â€ he said.
Kuteesa said he leaves his former post as investment state minister with gratification and hoped his successor would equally succeed.
Bitamazire, who has held many posts in the education sector, said it was a dream come true and an appreciation of her career contribution.
Bitamazire has been deputy education minister for over a decade.
â€œI felt challenged that having been in the education enterprise for so many years, the President appointed me to the top post,â€ she said.
She said the biggest challenge was to expand access to education at all levels. She said while equity was being ensured, it was not enough when it is not followed by quality from Primary One to university.
Bitamazire said she would ensure a revolution in the curriculum so that its content helps students to develop the country.
Opposition unhappy with Cabinet shuffle