Busoga region saw a number of their ministers dropped in the recently announced cabinet.
While it is true that the region got new representatives in form of Dr. Monica Musenero (President’s office for innovations) and Jennifer Namuyangu (Bunyoro Affairs), they identify more with North Bukedi and than Busoga.
Busoga and specifically Kamuli was, previously, well entrenched because, with exception of Kadaga, they had a number of firebrands in cabinet including; Moses Kizige (State for Karamoja), Isaac Musumba (State of urban planning), Frederick Gume Ngobi (State for Cooperatives). Aggrey Bagiri (State for Agriculture) and Esther Mbayo (Presidency).
However, after Kadaga’s failed bid to retain her speakership position, President Museveni was now faced with the challenge of convincing her not to abandon government for fear of losing all support in Busoga. President Museveni had to find a new role for Kadaga in government.
Nile Post understands from a source that Kadaga indicated she would not take the Vice President position even after it was dangled in her face hours after losing the speakership bid.
President Museveni had to seek the intervention of the Busoga Kyabazinga to convince Kadaga, first out of the speakership race which was not successful, and later to take a position in the cabinet.
It is reported that, after losing the speakership race, Kadaga seriously considered declining to take any cabinet position. The Kyabazinga and Museveni repeatedly engaged her even after she had turned down the Vice President post offer.
Two weeks before the cabinet list was released, Kadaga again was approached to take the position. She set a condition, she would only accept the VP if it came with one more ministry.
This indicated that President Museveni had to bend a law to accommodate the demand, the only available option was chief whip which ideally is not a ministerial post per se.
However, the chief whip post had already moved hands, starting with Magaret Muhanga and later passing on to Thomas Tayebwa who made a deal with president Museveni for his withdrawal from the Deputy Speakership race in favour of Anita Annet Among.
Settling for 1st Deputy Prime Minister
Kadaga’s argument had been that her seniority would not allow her to sit in a dormant office like the Vice President, and instead, she now asked for the office of Prime Minister.
But given the frosty relationship she had with Jacob Oulanya (now speaker), Museveni could not offer this position as it would jeopardize the business of parliament.
The Prime Minister position had also been vetted and one of the candidates in the run for it was Justine Kasule Lumumba, a Musoga, and with an allegedly bruised relationship with Kadaga.
Hence, refusing to give Kadaga the position and passing it on to Lumumba would look like a complete betrayal for the former.
The calculations had to change since Kadaga would not budge on her conditions. In the end, since Kadaga could not get the position of Prime Minister and neither would Lumumba, a third option was mooted. Kadaga would be given her two ministries; 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs.
The next question was what to do for Lumumba, since she could not be Prime Minister and be Kadaga’s boss. The president suggested she should retain a ministerial post but a little lower, hence she was drafted in for General Duties.
The Busoga Kadaga card
The headache was now to ensure that while Basoga could be appointed to positions, Kadaga should remain the most senior as befitting her previous status.
This was for reasons quite personal to Museveni and Kadaga and most likely aimed at ensuring the former speaker’s new position does not cause a rift in Busoga.
Appointing any of the available options to Museveni in a position bigger than Kadaga would have meant that he is crowning a new Busoga King/Queen and automatically withdraw Kadaga from her position of influence in Busoga.
Those fighting Kadaga
Nile Post reported sometime back that Kadaga complained to Museveni that a number of people were fighting her in Busoga.
While she could not produce evidence, she stated strongly the names of; Isaac Musumba, Moses Kizige, and Kasule Lumumba alongside Nankabirwa (Ruth) and Jacob Oulanyah.
It is of no surprise therefore that given the circumstances Kadaga was in, Musumba and Kizige were dropped to her satisfaction while Bagire (Aggrey) could have been just collateral, while Esther Mbayo is an architect of her own failure.