Museveni prizes loyalty over regional balance

President Museveni’s announcement of a new Cabinet on Wednesday did little to mask the rancour and bitterness amongst the masses that have rejected the NRM in the six recent by-elections.

The announcement also coincided with a bizarre crash of three UPDF Mi-24 combat helicopters in the Mt. Kenya ranges. With a trail of misfortunes, perhaps the news of the new cabinet was meant to relegate the accident to the back-burner.

In fact, whereas Museveni treads carefully when making his appointments, this time he cast caution to the wind by ignoring the lexicon of regional balance. Syda Bbumba and Dr Khiddu Makubuya, who held the Gender and General Duties dockets respectively before they resigned amidst graft accusations, were expected to be replaced by politicians from Buganda.

Instead, the Gender and General Duties dockets went to politicians from the west, already boasting the lion’s share of Cabinet posts. The Muslim fraternity that has often agitated for parity in Cabinet will also be vexed.

Muyanja Mbabaali, Saleh Kamba and former Mayor Nasser Sebaggala, who were all rejected by Parliament’s Appointments Committee on grounds of lacking prerequisite academic qualifications, were replaced by non-Muslims.

The new appointments will do little to silence malcontents within NRM like Muhammad Nsereko and Wilfred Niwagaba, who have often agitated for a new guard of effervescent Young Turks if the ruling party is to regain popularity.

Critics contend that in reshuffling his cabinet, Museveni yet again dispensed patronage. All the three ministers who had briefly stepped aside as a result of graft charges were re-appointed, after the Anti-Corruption court gave them the all clear on grounds that the Inspectorate of Government was not fully constituted.

Sam Kutesa, who is part of the closely-knit kitchen cabinet, returned to the powerful docket of Foreign Affairs while John Nasasira, another close ally of the President, was transferred from the less-influential post of Chief Whip to the docket where he will be in charge of General Duties in the Prime Minister’s office.

Rukutana, meanwhile, returned as junior Labour minister. Amongst the new comers are Young Turk and loyal cadre Frank Tumwebaze, now minister for the Presidency, and Richard Todwong, the new minister without Portfolio.

Tumwebaze’s political career began at the grassroots as an assistant resident district commissioner for Iganga district, before he was appointed a special presidential assistant on research. In 2006, he was elected MP for Kibaale County.

Alongside Kabarole Woman MP Margaret Muhanga, Tumwebaze wrote, with such brutal candor, a dossier on why NRM performed dismally in the 2006. Tumwebaze and Muhanga argued that it was trivial for Museveni to attribute NRM’s poor performance on the rains that supposedly kept away some voters on polling day.

Interestingly, Todwong was recommended by Tumwebaze to work as one of the commissioners on the Prof. Fredrick Ssempebwa’s Constitutional Review Commission. When chairman Ssempebwa wrote a minority report against lifting term limits, Todwong was amongst those that took a contrary position.

He would later be rewarded as presidential advisor for northern Uganda. In 2011, Todwong was elected MP for Nwoya, in Acholi, a sub-region previously hostile to his NRM.

Our sources tell us that Todwong, a brother to the intelligence boss for Northern Uganda, Brig Charles Awany Otema, will use his appointment to further thaw relations between Acholiland and the ruling party.

Bageine Surprise

The appointment of Shem Bageine, as the junior minister for East Africa Affairs came as a surprise as the former Ndorwa East MP is deemed as a politician beyond his sale-by date. A source, however, told us that Bageine was brought into Cabinet to perhaps bring sanity in Kigezi’s restive politics.

Bageine and former Privatization Unit minister Manzi Tumubweine, are the godfathers of Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba; Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi; Kinkizi East MP Chris Baryomunsi; Kabale Woman MP Rhona Ninsiima and junior minister for Economic Monitoring Henry Banyenzaki.

Another analyst, however, says Bageine’s appointment could have been aimed at undercutting the clout of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi who heads another echelon in Kigezi.

We understand that newly appointed junior minister for Lands, Aida Nantaba, who has been vocal against land grabbing in the districts of Mukono and Kayunga, could have been appointed as a way of silencing her. She will now be handicapped to speak out freely.

Our sources further tell us that Ernest Kiiza, the Masindi Municipality MP, was appointed after the locals demanded that their kinsman should head the Bunyoro Affairs docket. But Kiiza’s political career has not been a bed of roses.

In 2001, alongside the exiled former Masindi LC V chairman Steven Birija, Kiiza was a coordinator of Dr Kizza Besigye’s Reform Agenda in Bunyoro. When government threatened to withhold business to his publishing firm, Ernest Publishers, Kiiza denounced Besigye.

In 2005, he was sacked as Speaker of Bunyoro kingdom, after he invited former spy boss David Pulkol to speak to an audience. Pulkol’s acerbic tongue had turned him into one of the government’s most vocal critics.

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+8 #1 huh ! 2012-08-17 01:34
We don't care Museveni MUST GO !
+4 #2 Arnold 2012-08-17 01:42
But all this is not enought to make us forget the planes that have just crushed in Kenya which have not been epalained detailedly.. But who cares then we are used to Uganda that is the trend for our country..

And then a similar region appears to be coughtup in the plains, how comes??? We need to find out bout this. We know men from kiprotich's home are are longdistance ranners and then we are going to learn it that men from this region that crused in the planes are good at.........

When will Uganda get rid of all this crap????
-2 #3 Lit 2012-08-17 09:00
Why are you guys so much interested in ministerial jobs and appointments? How do these appointments give services to the people who need them? How does an appointment get drugs to hospitals or repair roads?

You have made the nation believe that the president is there to appoint people and that is the end - no service delivery.

Focus on services and ignore appointments because they add no value to the country. Don't talk or write about them. Keep your eyes on real issues.
+3 #4 steven kasiko 2012-08-17 12:51
Use less cabinet nothing much can Ugandans expect from Museveni and his new cabinet

We have theivies killers robbers land grabbers in this cabinet
even if Museveni appoints angels nothing will clear his image Uganda has had enough of his corruption tribalism
+5 #5 Kemirembe 2012-08-17 13:39
Since the President prefers picking his ministers from the dust bin (Kabwegere etc),it is hight time Ugandans threw him in the same dustbin.
+3 #6 Amooti Sarah 2012-08-17 21:05
The old man is kalas, no matter what he will try to do. So, let him enjoy his last days in statehouse
0 #7 Bakubye 2012-08-18 14:21
I have heard this, 'agende...agend a' joke being taunted by a retired colonel in 2001, 2006 and 2011. Well the man from Rwakitura is still there.

Let us wait for 2016 before we give him another ultimum. You can avoid a heart attack by planning what you will do if by 2017, the man is still the president of Uganda. Just a piece of advice.
0 #8 ddamba deo 2012-08-18 19:15
atleat we the youth are represented in the cabinet. But why was the youth minister not changed as the youth arenot gaining anything from his ministry!
+1 #9 tom 2012-08-18 19:53
We in the North dont eat cabinet positions . Museveni can appoint his whole clan but the sun will still rise and st in Northern UGanda.

Who cares about his appointments. Now he is appointing presidential advisor at parish level and Minister for political mobilisaion !
0 #10 Betty Long Cap 2012-08-18 21:36
Quoting Bakubye:
Let us wait for 2016 before we give him another ultimum.

Ugandans are a patient and longsuffering people. The Chief has no fear of impeachment or referndum because in part he knows how to use patronage.
+1 #11 Jochim 2012-08-19 10:39
there is one thing we have to understand about M7 that he doesn't 'sleep' and all appointments are well researched through his intelligence agencies. The fellow has studied ugandans and has now got a working formula for them . The bubble may burst one day but presently M7 is absolutely in control.

Just watch the sekikuboz, niwagabaz, tinkasiimirez, nserekoz etc etc and you will know how foxy M7 is !!!!!!
+1 #12 Jochim 2012-08-19 15:32
kemirembe that is what M7 learnt from Amin. when you lift 'them' from the dustbin, to a great extent, the dustbinees are quite loyal to the 'rubish collector' who retrieved them. So M7 knows how useful mediocrities are essential to his life presidency.

as i said just watch sekikub oz,nserekoz, niwagabaz, kyamadidi, tinkasimirez, nebadaz, etc etc and you will know that M7 is a master Chula who knows how to pick dustbinees who will serve his interests. And they dont just serve his interest but do so with the utmost and passionate loyalty you will find in brainwashed sycophants

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