THE Emorimor, paramount chief of Teso, has demanded that President Museveni give Teso at least three full Cabinet ministers as well as state ministers in the reshuffle expected soon after May 12.
The sentiments of the Emorimor are understandable but old-fashioned.
It is true that the NRM did not do well in Teso in the recent parliamentary elections but this was largely due to the incursion of the LRA in 2002 and continued Karimojong raiding. Teso made a protest vote against the NRM.
The only way to win back Tesoâ€™s votes is for the NRM to deliver on performance and this will not necessarily happen if Teso has three Cabinet posts.
No political leader anywhere in the world can completely ignore regional factors. All leaders must demonstrate that they are not favouring one region at the expense of another. Museveni cannot forget ethnicity when appointing his new Cabinet.
But Museveni must also remember that the success of the NRM in the 2011 elections will depend on whether NRM has ended load shedding; dealt with the LRA; eliminated Karimojong cattle raiding; sustained economic growth; controlled inflation; and generally made Uganda a more prosperous and peaceful nation.
Having three Cabinet ministers from Teso, or indeed from any other region, will not automatically achieve these goals and guarantee NRM victory in 2011.
Following poor results in local government elections, Tony Blair has radically reshuffled his Cabinet in the hope of restoring Labourâ€™s popularity. A high proportion of his Cabinet is now from Scotland. This is not because Blair expects votes from Scotland but because he believes those ministers can deliver on performance.
Museveni should not worry excessively about the ethnicity of his ministers. He should focus primarily on choosing effective dynamic leaders who can deliver the NRMâ€™s manifesto promises. If those ministers happen to come from Teso, all well and good. If they donâ€™t, too bad!
Choose performers for new ministers