An analysis of President Yoweri Museveni’s 69 ministerial nominees shows a reward to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) young cadres.
15 years ago .
An analysis of President Yoweri Museveni’s 69 ministerial nominees shows a reward to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) young cadres.
By Henry Mukasa And Felix Osike

An analysis of President Yoweri Museveni’s 69 ministerial nominees shows a reward to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) young cadres.

Out of the 69 nominees, 30 are new entrants, out of which 26 are ardent Movement cadres, three until recently multiparty advocates and one Ham Mulira, an IT expert.

The new breed of cadres include Dorothy Hyuha, Kabakumba Matsiko, Fred Omach, Lukia Isanga, James Kinobe, Sulaiman Madaada, Lukia Chekamondo, Emmanuel Otaala, Urban Tibamanya, Kagimu Kiwanuka, Musa Echweru, David Wakikona, Nelson Gaggawala, Fred Mukisa, Bright Rwamirama, Serapio Rukundo, Simon D’ujanga, Hillary Onek, Jessica Eriyo, Kasirivu Atwooki, Simon Ejua, John Byabagambi, James Baba, Matia Kasaija, Fred Ruhindi, Alintuma Nsambu and Ephraim Kamuntu.

Omara Atubo, Kagimu Kiwanuka and Stephen Malinga represent the President’s magnanimity towards working with “principled” opposition leaders.

Ham Mukasa Mulira as Director of Uganda Computer Services brings on board his expertise in Information Technology.

It was a matter of time for Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh to join Cabinet. Saleh, who missed out in the 2001 line up because he did not have the requisite qualifications, went back to school and obtained the minimum ‘A’ level.

Although sometimes at the centre of scandals leading to commissions of inquiry, he has always sailed ashore. His non-bossy grassroots politics, in many cases posturing as a pro-poor man liberator has endeared him to the people and thus recruited supporters for NRM.

In 2001, he said he would lobby his brother, Museveni, to appoint him minister. “I am going to lobby the president to appoint me as an anti-poverty minister so that I can also become minister. Was I condemned to die without being a minister?” Saleh said in 2001.

As in the past, the President has had to contend with the issue of regional balancing. A tally of his nominees shows western region, as in the past, having a lion’s share of 26, followed by eastern region including Busoga with 18. The central region has 16, while the north and West Nile have a paltry nine.

One could safely say that being deputy Secretary General of the NRM earned Hyuha, from the newly-created Butaleja district, a job. But her starring performance as chairperson of the social services committee marketed her abilities to defend government policies.

In the neighboring Tororo district, Otaala takes the mantle from the ageing former labour minister Henry Obbo. Otaala is a former Tororo Hospital Medical Superintendent and a political novice.

Kabakumba, Gaggawala, Eriyo and Isanga are from the ‘cheer yellow band’ breed who would applaud anything from government and criticise any proposal from the opposition in Parliament.

Kabakumba fills the Masindi regional gap left by former minister Phillip Byaruhanga, while Isanga would give Mayuge and Busoga a sense of belonging.

In one phrase you could say exit Okumu Ringa and enter Fred Omach and Simon D’ujanga when a call comes from Nebbi.

James Kinobe paints the picture of ‘patience pays’, to borrow the old adage. For a man who has faithfully served the Movement but doubted and maligned by power brokers because of his rigid stance against corruption, it is redemption time.

For a man who has done any job there is in the world, a former journalist, actor and publicity secretary for the Movement Caucus, Sulaiman Madaada can never pray for more from God than his name being on the cabinet list.

Urban Tibamanya was part of the team that starred in the 1997 police probe that unearthed rot in the Force. But the most compelling reason he joins cabinet is the defeat of FDC’s John Kazoora in Kashari parliamentary elections.

Chekamando, Ecweru, Wakikona and Mukisa balance for the east, while Rwamirama, Rukundo, Ruhindi, Byabagambi, Kamuntu, Matia Kasaija and Atwooki balance for the west. Onek like Okot Ogong are the only NRM winners in Lango and Acholi.

James Baba steps into Moses Ali’s shoes, while Alintuma Nsambu’s close links to American billionaire and Microsoft chide Bill Gates hauled him to Cabinet, where IT will be emphasised.

The nation will be stunned but not utterly surprised that Kategaya, Museveni’s school-time friend, decided to serve a government he greatly criticised when he was shuffled for his stand against the ‘third term’.

“We cannot accept to be party to the third term project that will eventually translate into a life-presidency. History will blame us for not having stood up at the right time. It will be a great danger to this country if this project succeeds,” Kategaya said on November 7, 2003 at a Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO).

Former ministers Bakoko Bakoru, Jim Muhwezi, Betty Akech, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, Dr. Phillip Byaruhanga, Nshimye Sebutulo, Beatrice Magoola, Christine Aporu, Grace Akello, Mike Mukula, Tim Lwanga, Okumu Ringa, Agard Didi, Henry Obbo, Benigna Mukiibi, Prof. Peter Kasenene, Jovino Akaki, Igeme Nabeta, Francis Babu, Jeje Odongo, Sam Bitangaro, Lt. Gen. Moses Ali and Mary Mugyenyi did not make a comeback.

Bakoru’s fate could have been sealed by the way she handled the National Social Security Fund saga. She was blamed for giving an open- ended, “no objection,” on the controversial US$225m Nsimbe Housing project. She has also had bad working relations with the workers’ organisations.

While the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the botched Global Fund has not reported its findings, Muhwezi and his two deputies Mike Mukula and Alex Kamugisha are likely to have been thrown out as a diplomatic passport to donor countries that fund about 50% of the national budget. The Global Fund mess caused an international concern with many envoys calling for the penalising of the culprits.