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Museveni’s Janet made cabinet minister

Posted by African Press International on February 18, 2009

Uganda President Museveni on Monday reshuffled his cabinet, dropping his brother, Gen Salim Saleh, and appointing his wife Janet.

First Lady Janet, a first-term Member of Parliament for Ruhaama County in Ntungamo District was appointed minister of state for Karamoja Affairs.

Gen Salim Saleh, also known as Caleb Akandwanaho, was dropped as state minister for Finance in charge of Microfinance after less than three years on the job. He has, however, been retained as a senior presidential adviser.

President Museveni announced the changes while in Arua, West Nile where he is on a working visit.

The biggest casualty was Finance Minister Dr Ezra Suruma whose sacking follows several scandals under his watch, most notably those in the Uganda’s National Social Security Fund which he supervises. Like Saleh, he was retained as a senior presidential adviser.

Dr Suruma’s sacking was not entirely unexpected after David Jamwa, the suspended managing director of the NSSF wrote to President Museveni detailing how the minister had put him under pressure to buy land in Temangalo from Security Minister Amama Mbabazi and businessman Amos Nzeyi.

It ends Dr Suruma’s 46-month tenure at Finance and comes before he could fully implement his pet project to roll out a rural micro-finance programme.

Also dropped from the Cabinet was Dr Ham Muliira, despite his PhD in Information Technology and having helped set up the new Information Technology ministry. He was named a senior presidential adviser.

Five state ministers

Also dropped were five state ministers: Ssemakula Kiwanuka (finance in charge of investment), Kasirivu Atwooki (lands), Maj. James Kinobe (youth and culture) and Kagimu Kiwanuka (Office of the President).

While Dr Suruma has paid a high political price for the Temangalo saga, Mr Mbabazi came off unscathed, retaining his Security ministry. Far from a narrow escape, Mr Mbabazi appears to have emerged stronger, with many of his supporters in his fight for his political life being rewarded with cabinet posts or promotions.

One of his most vocal supporters, Hope Mwesigye, has been promoted from state minister for local government to full minister in charge of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries.

MPs Jesca Alupo and James Kakooza, who were also strong Mbabazi defenders, were appointed state ministers for youth and children affairs and primary health care respectively. Ms Alupo is a former staff officer in the counter intelligence unit of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence which falls under Mr Mbabazi’s security docket.

Another Mbabazi supporter, MP Asuman Kiyingi, was appointed state minister for lands.

Pereza Ahabwe who went from being a strong Mbabazi critic to strident supporter, is the new state minister for local government.

Surprise entry

A surprising entry into cabinet is former Samia Bugwe North MP Aggrey Awori, a long-term member of the Uganda People’s Congress and one of Museveni’s opponents in the 2001 presidential elections. Mr Awori, who defected to Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement after losing his parliamentary seat in 2006, replaces Dr Mulira as ICT minister.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” Mr Awori, who wasn’t aware of the appointment, told Daily Monitor last night when contacted for comment.

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Museveni appoints wife to Cabinet
Other new faces include MP Henry Bagiire (state minister for agriculture), Kisira M. Mbeiza (state minister for economic monitoring in the Office of the President), and Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo (state minister for industry). After several months on the dole, former army commander and state minister for environment Gen. Jeje Odongo bounces back as state minister for defence.

Mr Gabriel Opio has been promoted from state minister in charge of higher education to full minister for labour, gender and social affairs.

Transfers

Apart from the new faces, many ministers have swapped dockets in the new cabinet. The most prominent of all is Hajjat Syda Bumba who has overcome her challenges during her stint as Energy minister and her most-recent posting in Gender to bounce back as finance minister.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, has been transferred from Local Government to Trade and Industry. Gen. Otafiire has been replaced by Adolf Mwesigye, who has been switched from Office of the Prime Minister, as Minister for General Duties. Mr Mwesigye has been replaced by Janat Mukwaya, who was removed from trade and industry.

In other changes, Mr Daudi Migereko was removed from the powerful Energy and Minerals ministry and named Government Chief Whip, replacing Kabakumba Matsiko, who has been named Information and National Guidance Minister.

Ms Matsiko, replaces Al Hajji Kirunda Kivejinja, who remained third deputy prime minister, but has also been handed the all powerful internal affairs docket. Mr Kivejinja replaced Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who was posted to New York as Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, where the country has a two-year seat on the Security Council.

In other changes, Mr Museveni posted Mr Hilary Onek from Agriculture to Energy and Minerals while junior ministers switched included Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, who has been handed the finance planning docket; Mwesigwa Rukutana from Labour to Higher Education, Kamanda Bataringaya and Peter Lokeris were switched between Minerals and Primary Education respectively.

Mr Aston Kajara has been switched from Karamoja Affairs to Finance (investment), while Ms Ruth Nankabirwa moves from state for defence to state for micro-finance. Mr Emmanuel Otala was switched from Health to Labour, while Ms Isanga Lukia was retained in the same ministry but given a new docket of Gender and Culture, replacing Maj. Kinobe.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” Mr Awori, who wasn’t aware of the appointment, told Daily Monitor last night when contacted for comment.

Museveni appoints wife to Cabinet
Other new faces include MP Henry Bagiire (state minister for agriculture), Kisira M. Mbeiza (state minister for economic monitoring in the Office of the President), and Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo (state minister for industry). After several months on the dole, former army commander and state minister for environment Gen. Jeje Odongo bounces back as state minister for defence.

Mr Gabriel Opio has been promoted from state minister in charge of higher education to full minister for labour, gender and social affairs.

Transfers

Apart from the new faces, many ministers have swapped dockets in the new cabinet. The most prominent of all is Hajjat Syda Bumba who has overcome her challenges during her stint as Energy minister and her most-recent posting in Gender to bounce back as finance minister.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, has been transferred from Local Government to Trade and Industry. Gen. Otafiire has been replaced by Adolf Mwesigye, who has been switched from Office of the Prime Minister, as Minister for General Duties. Mr Mwesigye has been replaced by Janat Mukwaya, who was removed from trade and industry.

In other changes, Mr Daudi Migereko was removed from the powerful Energy and Minerals ministry and named Government Chief Whip, replacing Kabakumba Matsiko, who has been named Information and National Guidance Minister.

Ms Matsiko, replaces Al Hajji Kirunda Kivejinja, who remained third deputy prime minister, but has also been handed the all powerful internal affairs docket. Mr Kivejinja replaced Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who was posted to New York as Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, where the country has a two-year seat on the Security Council.

In other changes, Mr Museveni posted Mr Hilary Onek from Agriculture to Energy and Minerals while junior ministers switched included Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, who has been handed the finance planning docket; Mwesigwa Rukutana from Labour to Higher Education, Kamanda Bataringaya and Peter Lokeris were switched between Minerals and Primary Education respectively.

Mr Aston Kajara has been switched from Karamoja Affairs to Finance (investment), while Ms Ruth Nankabirwa moves from state for defence to state for micro-finance. Mr Emmanuel Otala was switched from Health to Labour, while Ms Isanga Lukia was retained in the same ministry but given a new docket of Gender and Culture, replacing Maj. Kinobe.

source.nation.ke

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