President Museveni on Tuesday evening announced a new cabinet that has set tongues wagging.
The Nile Post tries to make sense of the new cabinet;
The cabinet list released on Tuesday evening saw a total of 38 ministers being dropped by the president.
The list of the dropped includes Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda, Kyambadde Amelia Anne, Kutesa Sam Kahamba, Beti Kamya , Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, Adolf Mwesige, Eng. Byabagambi John, Dr Tumwesigye Elioda, Karooro Okurut Mary, Mbayo Esther Mbulakubuza, Byaruhanga William and Gen Tumwine Elly.
Others dropped are Kamukama Molly Nawe, Rev. Fr. Lokodo Simon, Dr Kasirivu Baltazar Atwooki, Kizige Moses, Galabuzi Dennis Ssozi, Akiror Agnes, Kiiza Ernest, Karubanga David, Maganda Julius Wandera, Bagiire Aggrey, Mbalibulha Christopher Kibazanga, Nansubuga Rosemary Seninde, Eng. D’Ujanga Simon, Opendi Sarah Achieng, Ajedra Gabriel Gadison Aridru, Kabatsi Joy, Kibuule Ronald, Musumba Isaac, Werikhe Michael Kafabusa, Namugwanya Benny, Dr Mateke Philemon, Kiwanda Godfrey, Nakiwala Florence Kiyingi, Mwesigwa Rukutana and Kanyike Sarah.
Whereas some of those dropped as ministers have been appointed as presidential advisors like Amelia Kyambadde(Industries), Sarah Kanyike(Kampala), Gen Elly Tumwine(security) and Prof.Ephraim Kamuntu(Economic and manifesto implementation), it is clear that they will not be influential.
Many of the dropped ministers either lost the just concluded January 14 parliamentary elections whereas others never sought re-election and according to analysts, the appointing authority sees no value in keeping them in his cabinet since they are almost of no value in terms of mobilizing political support to him.
The minister of Finance Matia Kasaija once said that any politician needed a political base for survival.
“My friend, I need a political base,” Kasaija said when asked why he didn’t drop his intentions of becoming a Member of Parliament if he knew the job of being a Finance Minister was such a demanding task.
In simple terms, having a political base(constituency) adds more weight to a person before being appointed minister but most of those dropped didn’t have this qualification.
Analysts have also argued that the need to have a fresh look could have influenced President Museveni’s new cabinet.
Most of the dropped ministers were largely seen by many as being aged .
For example, in 2019, the average age of the Ugandan cabinet was then 65 years while that of Ugandans was 16 years.
Therefore, by dropping some of the aged members of cabinet like Dr Ruhakana Rugunda,74, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, 79 , Philemon Mateke, 78, Sam Kutesa, 72 and Gen Elly Tumwine, 67, Museveni tried to have a new look cabinet.
Whereas some aged members like Gen Moses Ali, Eng. Hilary Onek, 73 , Matia Kasaija, 77 and Kahinda Otafiire, 70 were retained in the new cabinet, the move is seen as one meant to have both the youth and aged so that the former can learn from the latter.
In the new cabinet, Museveni has included new members largely seen as youth including Martin Bahinduka Mugarra, the State Minister for Tourism who at 35 is the youngest of all as well as retaining Peter Ogwang who appeals to the youth.
Evelyn Anite, 36 too has been retained in the new cabinet and Frank Tumwebaze,45 has kept his position.
Thomas Tayebwa, 40 and lawyer Kiryowa Kiwanuka are some of the new faces that Museveni has brought in to bolster his cabinet in this five year term as President of Uganda.
Women eat big
President Museveni seems to have had women representation on mind when appointing his next cabinet ministers.
With the top five positions having four women including Jessica Alupo (Vice President), Robinah Nabbanja (Prime Minister), Rebecca Kadaga(First deputy premier) and Lukia Nakadama (third deputy premier) Museveni seems to have listened to the cries of those advocating for a gender balanced cabinet.
By percentage, the number of female ministers has grown from 33% (27) to 45% (37).
The new look cabinet has seen some regions like Northern Uganda which for the first time overwhelmingly voted for President Museveni, being repaid with an increase in the number of ministers from 19 to 22.
Whereas the ruling NRM performed poorly in the just concluded elections in Eastern Uganda, the number of ministers from the region has however increased by five positions.
On the other side, Western Uganda has lost three cabinet positions whereas Buganda where the NRM and President Museveni were trounced by Robert Kyagulanyi and National Unity Platform’s umbrella wave has seen the number of minister drop to 14 from the previous 19.
In total, the Western region at 29.6% took the lead followed by Northern Uganda at 27.2% with 23.5% and 19.8% for Eastern and Central regions respectively.