Former ICT minister George William Nyombi Thembo has been appointed as the new executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
He will lead the agency for the next five years effective December 1 this year. He replaces Eng Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, who has been serving in an acting capacity since February 10, 2020, following the departure of Godfrey Mutabazi, who had served out his second five-year term.
Some reactions on social media expressed surprise at her "drop" while crediting her with "turning around" the image of UCC through her open public engagement, especially via X formerly Twitter. In her message following the appointment of Thembo, Sewankambo wished UCC and the new ED well.
"Join me in congratulating him on his appointment. On my part it has been an honor to serve UCC, the sector, my country, and the global industry," she said.
She is also the substantive director of engineering and communications infrastructure at UCC. Between 2011 and 2015, Thembo served as state minister for Information Technology, which was at the time the supervisor ministry for the UCC.
The 59-year-old Thembo has been serving as the director, Uganda Communications Universal Service and Access Fund (UCUSAF), formerly Rural Development Communication Fund (RCDF), a directorate at UCC, since January 2017.
The former MP for Kassanda County, formerly in Mubende District, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Makerere University and a Master of Science in Development Economics from Uganda Martyrs University (UMU), as well as a diploma in project planning and management (Bradford University, UK) and a post-graduate diploma in financial management (UMU).
He also worked as an analyst, planning officer and senior planning officer at the Uganda Railways Corporation in the 1990s and later as project manager for the Transport Rehabilitation Project (railway component), at Kampala City Council (Now Kampala Capital City Authority) in 1995-2001, before joining politics.
In September, the ministry commenced the search for a substantive ED, and Thembo was said to be among the four finalists in the process, with the others being outgoing Sewankambo and directors; Julianne Mweheire, director content development and industry affairs, and the director of corporate affairs, Fred Otunnu.