President Yoweri Museveni has named his Vice President and the Leader of Government business alias Prime Minister ahead of the release of a new cabinet anytime soon, Nile Post has learnt.
According to sources at Parliament, President Museveni sent names of the two nominees for vetting and approval by the appointment’s committee in the due course of this week or after.
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Nile Post is also privy to information that indeed, the president had the two names last week but has been tight lipped on the matter.
However after being harangued by members of the NRM Caucus to have the cabinet released soon, Museveni reportedly settled on the two posts.
Many members of the NRM Caucus have been demanding that their fate be made clear regarding whether they will be ministers and if not, they wanted Museveni to make it clear who the Prime Minister and VP will be, so that opens up parliamentary business.
Indeed, when Museveni came to meet members of the caucus at Kololo yesterday, they literally ambushed him to reveal the cabinet.
“We wanted him to name the Vice President and Prime Minister, and that is all we have been pushing for but he has proven cumbersome," a Member of Parliament intimated to Nile Post.
"We hear that he has instead passed the names to the appointment’s committee, so that they first handle the business of the proposed expansion of the cabinet, then we can have the cabinet list."
Earlier, the NRM parliamentary caucus passed a resolution supporting President Museveni's proposal to increase the number of ministers from 21 as required by the Constitution to 29 and 51 state ministers.
This means the new cabinet will have 80 members in total.
The president on Monday afternoon told the ruling NRM party caucus meeting that cabinet is ready but asked the MPs to approve the two names for Vice President and Prime Minister.
"I want to request you honourable members to unanimously approve the Vice President and Prime Minister once their names are brought to the House,” Museveni said at Kololo independence grounds.
This automatically rules out the possibility of a cabinet soon, but rather places Museveni under pressure to provide the country with a Prime Minister and Vice President.
Who is the Vice President?
A source told Nile Post after the caucus meeting, that the party’s secretary General Kasule Lumumba, is being proposed for Vice President, a position earlier earmarked for former Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga.
It is reported that Kadaga was given the position but she turned it down. Sources said Kadaga wanted the VP post on condition that it is attached with another position such as Chief Whip, something Museveni was not willing to offer.
Kadaga had earlier claimed that being a Vice President is passive, and she did not want to be under some other person’s armpits. She preferred the position of Prime Minister.
However, given the poor working relationship with Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, that would cause enough friction as the premier would be the leader of government business.
President Museveni reiterated during the caucus that the rumour that some people intend to make others feel lesser in the party is unreliable.
"I will personally make sure no one feels belittled in the party," he said.
The matter of Kadaga became further complex owing to the fact that the chief whip position she wants annexed to the Vice Presidency had already been promised to MP Thomas Tayebwa according to our sources.
It is said this will be a reward for his decision to withdraw from the deputy speaker race in favour of Anita Among.
Again commenting on the matter yesterday, Museveni thanked members of the caucus for behaving so well in the recently concluded speaker elections.
Museveni reserved more kudos for the position of deputy speaker where he said that “Politics is not about what one wants, but what has been agreed by everyone.”
Museveni’s comments were in light of the decision by Tayebwa to step down and galvanise support for Among.
The same comments were in line with his acknowledgement of Tayebwa’s team work, by choosing to forego his interests for the benefit of the party’s position unlike Kadaga.
Nile Post cannot independently verify whether Lumumba has been endorsed in the Vice Presidency position.
President Museveni has been stuck with who to appoint to the position, according to sources.
We have been told that Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has requested to be let go while Amama Mbabazi, the previous occupant of the position, wants in.
Mbabazi is also said to be considered for the Attorney General post as replacement for William Byaruhanga.
Commenting about the proposed cabinet list on social media, Margaret Muhanga said the list will be out by Sunday (June 13) evening.
“However, by the end of the week, we shall have the VP and PM(all new names),”Muhanga tweeted quoting her fly on the walls of State House.
It remains to be seen what will happen any time from now.