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Muhwezi, Kutesa Approved

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th July 2001 03:00 AM

PARLIAMENT yesterday approved 20 ministers including Brig. Jim Muhwezi and minister of state Sam Kutesa. The remaining 41 ministers of state are expected to be approved today and tomorrow.

PARLIAMENT yesterday approved 20 ministers including Brig. Jim Muhwezi and minister of state Sam Kutesa. The remaining 41 ministers of state are expected to be approved today and tomorrow.

By Felix Osike And Okello Jabweli PARLIAMENT yesterday approved 20 ministers including Brig. Jim Muhwezi and minister of state Sam Kutesa. The remaining 41 ministers of state are expected to be approved today and tomorrow. The appointments committee which sat all day long at the Members' Lounge on third floor, Parliament House, interviewed the nominees about their curriculum vitae and their past performance. Parliament plenary sitting has been postponed to Tuesday. Three ministers, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, Henry Kajura and Bidandi Ssali were grilled by the MPs who nearly rejected their re-appointment. Other Cabinet ministers who were approved yesterday were Brig. Moses Ali, James Wapakhabulo, Mondo Kagonyera, Syda Bumba, Zoe Bakoko Bakoru, Edward Rugumayo, Kisamba Mugerwa, Gerald Ssendaula, Amama Mbabazi, Kiddu Makubya, Janat Mukwaya, John Nasasira, Crispus Kiyonga and Ruhakana Rugunda. The state ministers were Miria Matembe and Agard Didi. A beaming Muhwezi told reporters shortly after his approval, "My meeting with the committee was cordial. I was given an opportunity to explain certain issues regarding my censure but I basically had no case to answer. I am prepared to serve Ugandans to the best of my ability." Both Muhwezi and Kutesa were dropped as ministers after they were censured by Parliament. Kutesa said, "I told them that the censures were very subjective and unfair. I think it is time we moved on with the business of developing this country." President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday named 64 cabinet and state ministers to form a new government. Odonga Otto (Aruu), and other MPs raised objections to Bukenya's re-appointment. Otto asked Bukenya to explain findings that he diverted sh115m while he was the dean of Makerere University medical school. Bukenya reportedly said he refunded the money, but some MPs argued that the issue of funds diversion was tantamount to abuse of office. Speaker of Parliament Edward Sekandi, who chaired the heated meeting, put the matter on a voice vote. Bukenya was approved by majority "ayes." Otto and Omara Atubo stormed out of the committee shortly after. Otto said he did not want to be party to a, "rubber stamp" committee. Bukenya later told reporters, "This is political witch-hunting but I will always survive because I am massively educated." Bidandi's approval was queried on the grounds that he lacks the academic qualifications for an MP. Makindye east MP, Michael Mabikke, said Bidandi did not stand for re-election because he lacked the required papers. He and a few other MPs circulated a 1996 affidavit by Bidandi stating that he lost his university certificate in 1981 following his detention by the the State. An attached letter from Pakistan Agricultural University which Bidandi attended states that he did not complete his degree course. Matembe told journalists the Cabinet list was not selected on proper moral sanity. "I want the President to explain this restructuring that depicts me as having been demoted. The public might think I have been inefficient," she said. Kajura was grilled among others for allegedly having an interest in a company that is depleting Bufumbira forest. Some MPs were concerned that Kajura is very old. Wapakhabulo was asked whether he would resign as National Political Commissar if he were appointed a minister. He told journalists later that he did not see any conflict except if he is appointed foreign affairs minister. Some MPs were also irked by Maj. Gen. Elly Tumwine's alleged remarks that the north did not deserve broader representation in Cabinet because they didn't vote for the Movement. Atubo described the comments as "selfish and sectarian." Ends

Muhwezi, Kutesa Approved

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