BY JOHN OKELLO LAPOK
President Yoweri Museveni is said to be making intense studies on how to improve on service delivery in 14 sectors. We have learnt that, now that he’s currently on a ‘sick’ leave arising from COVID-19 tests, the head of state will partly use this moment to study his cabinet and concretize his plans soon.
In this expose, we reveal what is at stake and why!
The sector upon which Gen. Yoweri Museveni is basing his magic bullet-PDM program; is said to be embroiled in unprecedented leadership quagmire with the political wing on one side and the technical team on the other. The ministry’s alleged malfunction is premised on intel that the ministers are not seeing eye to eye with the technical team led by the all-powerful permanent secretary. The alleged infighting among the leadership in the Entebbe-based ministry reached a boiling point recently forcing Gen. Salim Saleh to summon them to Moroto where he asked them on their budget performance and the unending misunderstandings. Inspectors said that Museveni has given a lot of attention to this sector because he thinks it’s the main determinant for the success or failure of his much-publicised Parish Development Model program. Museveni on the recommendation by security is considering making changes in the sector by firing and or transferring some of the leaders here in the reshuffle that is imminent. We’re told the political arm here is reportedly irregular in office citing alleged lack of facilitation. So inactive they are, that one of the ministers chose to raid Karamoja ministry and obtained scandalous iron sheets meant for underprivileged Krachunas.
The ministers in this sector are Gorreti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu. Inspectors revealed that for any of the two ministers here to travel to their duty station, they must have express instructions in written form by the appointing authority. In fact, when president Museveni recently travelled to Karamoja, he wrote to Kitutu giving her authority to travel to Karamoja to take part in that meeting. He even assigned her security. This situation explains how the ministry is according to intelligence orphaned in terms of leadership. It should be recalled that the two ministers in it are currently in court over alleged theft of iron sheets meant for the people they were supposed to serve in Karamoja. Inspectors said that the legal process against the iron sheets officials is going to be expedited before the reshuffle is done. This is the reason when one of the ministers Nandutu tried to block the prosecution through the constitutional court a few days ago, her request was put aside to allow the proceedings.
“Museveni wants the process to be expedited. No delaying tactics will be entertained because the cabinet changes will occur only after the matter has been determined by court” an inspector said.
The sector is led by UPC’s Betty Amongi Akena. The minister according to inspectors appears in a dark light before the president especially on the way the issue of NSSF saga was recently handled. The minister was put on firing line with parliament recommending her resignation citing her involvement in alleged solicitation of Shs6bn from the worker’s savings. The minister however, fired back trashing the committee investigation report and vowed never to resign. She said she was being witch hunted because she had unearthed a lot of financial rot in NSSF mentioning Dr. Richard Byarugaba as the mastermind of the alleged heist. In the ensuing battle between Byarugaba and Amongi, inspectors said Museveni asked Byarugaba to go mute as he finds a solution in future. This is how Byarugaba went silent. Inspectors said Museveni now has the cabinet reshuffle as the main dice to him to sort the issues of NSSF. On the other hand, inspectors said Museveni wants to fill the gap created by the murder of Col. Charles Engola Macwodwong who was the state minister for labour. Engola according to inspectors was Museveni’s only true Musevenist in Lango who spoke the same words during day and also at night. He is now hunting for a replacement.
Inspectors said of recent, the check points at this ministry have been beefed up following the recent mentioning of the political wing of this sector in the shoddy iron sheets scandal. From the senior minister Matia Kasaija to his juniors Henry Musasizi and Amos Lugoloobi, the entire ministry is involved in this scandal. We’re told the ministers are these days irregular in office and when they are to come, they first pass at parliament until they get proper information from their reconnoiters at office that there are no strange faces. The ministers we’re told fear to be arrested by cops after their names were mentioned in the alleged theft of iron sheets. One of them Lugoloobi is already in court having been arrested and jailed in Luzira. Inspectors said Museveni had initially wanted to transfer Kasaija to the less-demanding sector of gender and promote Lugoloobi as full finance minister but the duo soiled themselves with the iron sheets scandal. And yet, Kasaija, had asked Museveni to consider him for Bank of Uganda governor’s job. Inspectors said that currently, with the three ministers having running battles, its Evelyn Anite who runs the sector and is being considered for a promotion.
East African Community ministry
It is headed by Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga. Not that Museveni wants to remove her but he wants to beef her up. Apparently, Kadaga complained to Museveni that her workload is heavy involving meetings after another. The meetings are ironically not taking place here but involve travels. We’re told Kadaga who’s equally not very energetic given her advanced age, would want an energetic person to help her on the workload. Inspectors said that her deputy Magode Ikuya who is Museveni’s historical friend is unable to be moved around for meetings in the region given his equally advanced age. He therefore, spends much of his time in office locally yet there are several meetings at regional level.
“As you can see, Kadaga is putting up a show at regional level. She’s doing wonders for us and she’s respected having been speaker. When she speaks, her colleagues in the EAC listen and act. Therefore, Museveni cannot remove her from there but is only going to give her a person who is a bit energetic to help her. Magode will be transferred to a less demanding ministry” said an inspector. It should be recalled that Ikuya; a Japadhola has spent his entire life in Bugisu where he linked up with Museveni during their youthful days. Ikuya used to work in Prof. Wadada Nadudere’s Lumumba Progressive Bookshop on Naboa street-Mbale where Museveni and his pals Maumbe Mukhwana would go to study socialist literature hence bonding with [then] shop-keeper Magode Ikuya. No wonder Museveni brought Ikuya to cabinet on purely sentimental grounds and is not willing to ditch him for now.
Kampala Capital City Authority ministry
The ministry is in the hands of Hajat Minsa Kabanda. However, the ministry according to inspectors is giving the president the worst image ever given its failure to handle physical infrastructure. We are told Museveni wonders what the political arm in KCCA is doing not to put the technical arm on pressure to handle the infrastructure yet they collect huge taxes and are also given a huge budget. We’re told this issue is giving him a lot of sleepless nights that; he is even considering appointing a military officer as Executive Director or minister for KCCA. It should be recalled that potholes have ruled Kampala to date in an unprecedented way with all roads broken down. The situation became bad that Ugandans led by Dr. Spire Sentongo started a photo exhibition of Kampala potholes. The president immediately sent his son to city hall to ascertain what was wrong. He thinks some officials at City Hall are out to frustrate tourists from coming to the dusty and stinking capital city, the reason he wants young and dynamic faces there.
When iron sheet bonanza started, the sector minister Vincent Ssempijja was allegedly asked to go and collect. However, he curiously asked his handlers whether this was a trap or a genuine deal. We’re told his handlers told him he needed not to pick especially since he had no constituency. His legs nearly betrayed him but he finally resisted the appetite for the sheets. However, his junior Jacob Oboth didn’t make such consultations and he gladly picked the sheets which have since turned out to be a sacrilege and he is among those ministers living on borrowed freedom. Inspectors said the president is planning to cause changes in this ministry of defense not only in the political arm but also among the military top brass. We’re told the nasty incident which occurred in Somalia a few days ago should be blamed by those to be affected by impending changes in this sector by the CiC. The president has already deployed his son to Somalia to establish facts on how the incident occurred that left over 50 UPDF soldiers killed by the Al-Shabaab. The CiC has already attributed the deaths to what he called corruption among some of his commanders.
Office of the Prime Minister
There are three individuals here. Robinah Nabbanja the premier and her deputies Rebecca Kadaga and Lukia Nakadama. We are told of the trio, Museveni is stuck with two of them on how to deal with them now that they were all mentioned in iron sheets. As for Kadaga, he still wants her and she also needs extra care given her not-so-well life. In fact, we’re told when the police started arresting ministers, Museveni allegedly reached out to Kadaga and asked her not to panic. The president has always wanted to allow Kadaga live her entire life without any problem hence his actions even when the iron sheets saga came up. Besides, she’s still helping him in EAC and Busoga sub-region.
Another minister Nakadama also put Museveni in a fix. Apparently, prior to his death, former minister and Museveni personal pal Hajji Kirunda Kivejjinja told Museveni his [Kivejinja] life was becoming weak and weaker. He therefore, told him that in case of the worst case scenario on his life, he [Museveni] needed to remember him through Nakadama. In other words, he told Museveni that he was leaving him with Nakadama. This is why when she won back her MP seat, Museveni immediately appointed her in the same position [3rd deputy premier] Kirunda had in government. Museveni and Kirunda were so close that prior to his death, Museveni had decreed that Kirunda should never knock on any door in state house when he wanted to meet him. He gave him a green card to come to state house whenever he felt like and met Museveni without going through protocol. In case he was busy, Kirunda was supposed never to leave state house without having eaten lunch. This explains the level of personal touch the duo had! However, Nakadama seems not to beware of this relationship which existed between Museveni and Kirunda. We are told now that she has been implicated in iron sheets theft, she has put Museveni in an ackward position balancing his word with Kirunda and public service etiquette on the side of Nakadama.
“But Museveni keeps his word. To fire or not Nakadama, he might opt for the latter. He will most likely keep her for five years and dump her in 2026” said an inspector. With Kadaga and Nakadama seemingly insulated, it leaves Nabbanja in a tricky situation since she also took iron sheets and has no direct touch with Museveni apart from her being a good political mobiliser. We’re told Museveni is considering appointing her a full minister and ‘retire’ her as premier in order to allow her enjoy her retirement benefits instead of firing her with disgrace. This is what is being considered as the soft landing for Nabbanja instead of disgracing her.
Science and technology ministry
It is headed by Monica Musenero. The Mugwere lady from Budaka according to inspectors has always enjoyed Museveni’s trust as his great scientist until she was recently named in several scandals. In fact, some MPs led by Yona Musinguzi started a process of censuring her. Museveni we are told is not happy at all with such scandals being put against her yet he has always held her in high esteem.
It is headed by embattled iron sheets minister Judith Nabakooba. We are told the sector is embroiled in political power struggles especially by Nabakooba and Sam Mayanja the state minister for lands. Inspectors said Nabakooba views Mayanja as a real threat to her survival in that office hence the reason they usually contract themselves on land matters. In fact, inspectors said that when Nabakooba landed herself into the iron sheets scandal, the Mayanja camp allegedly felt some relief as the minister became irregular in office fearing arrest. Nabakooba’s issues are also related to her alleged failure to tame NUP’s Francis Zzaake’s influence in Ssingo region. We’re told her retention in cabinet even after losing her MP seat was to contain NUP in Ssingo region but this has not happened. Now, inspectors said Museveni is considering making changes in lands ministry’s political arm. Another ministry to watch is that of foreign affairs where Amb. Adonia Ayebare is said to be peeping at close range for a possible appointment in one of the lucrative positions here. The names being vetted for cabinet appointment include Charles Ayume, Fred Omach, Irene Muloni, Peter Magomu Mashate, Lilian Aber, and Milton Muwuma, Watch this space!