The delay by President Museveni to name a Cabinet appears to be creating an awkward legal scenario with ex-ministers still holding onto offices and entitlements of their former offices.
The tenure of office ended with the dissolution of cabinet in May but some of the ex-ministers say that they will stay put until their successors are named and sworn in.
Vehicles with the ‘CM’ standing for cabinet minister and ‘MS’ standing for for Minister of State labels continue to ply the parliament route as these men and women whose tenure of office expired weeks back continue to enjoy the benefits of power.
One by one, the former ministers are ushered out by their bodyguards who casually extend salutes, a salute to the offices these men and women should have left.
When contacted, Col Charles Engola, the former state minister for defence said yhat he received his office from the person he succeeded and he is also waiting for his successor before letting go of his office and its benefits.
“The office was handed over to me by the people I succeeded, I think the same thing should also happen,” Col Engola said.
Asuman Basalirwa, a lawyer and legislator representing Bugiri in the 11th Parliament said that this might however legal consequences if these former ministers engage in any activities that commit government in any way.
“The moment the term of the President expires, everything comes to an end. Every official and anyone appointed by the president in that term ceases to hold any official or public office,” Basalirwa said.
Basalirwa said that after swearing in, the president retains the executive authority to assign anybody and until he assigns, no one has a right to move in a public car, public office or make any decisions on behalf of government that could have legal implications.
Without a cabinet, Basalirwa said that the permanent secretaries should be running the ministries until a cabinet is announced by the President.