By Marvin Ocol
A Google search shows that there are 32 Cabinet ministers and 50 Ministers of State in the Cabinet of Uganda (2021 to 2026).
According to Section 111 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, as amended in 2005, “There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and such number of Ministers as may appear to the President to be reasonably necessary for the efficient running of the State.”
The current Cabinet came into being in early June 2021.
In this piece, we, in no particular order, highlight some of the Ministers who hit the ground running.
Dr. Jane Aceng Ocero
Dr. Aceng is the Health Minister. Outside the ministry, she is the Lira City Woman Member of Parliament. Even before the current Cabinet, Dr. Aceng was already busy with the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination, of course with support from her technocrats. Dr. Aceng has not only been busy because of the Covid-19 situation, it is just the situation. Her mandate stretches way beyond the pandemic.
Tumwebaze is the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries.
Fresh in this ministry, Tumwebaze, hit the ground running. The man from Kamwenge is not a pretender. In many of his public interactions, he revealed how is still learning some of the areas under his huge ministry. Since entering the Entebbe office, we don’t recall seeing him in an office suit. He has been the field person. Outside the field, he has ensured that the Authorities under his ministry get substantive Managing Directors and the Board. Between June and now, he ensured that Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Dairy Development Authority (DDA) get MDs and the Board. Before we forget, Tumwebaze is also a Member of Parliament representing Kibale County and a farmer with an eye for value addition.
Anite is the State Minister in Charge of Investment in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Given her mandate, Anite barely sits in office. Her biggest role is ensuring a favourable environment for investment/investors. This partly explains why she is seen more at Industrial Parks than in office. The beauty about Anite is that she is also a local investor in the hospitality industry.
Ogwang needs no introduction in the Monitoring field. He is the Minister in charge of Economic Monitoring in the Office of the President. Our interactions with the public reveals that Ogwang’s previous tenure at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance was a waste (this is a joke). Like Tumwebaze and Anite, Ogwang’s past 3 months have been in the field, monitoring government activities while attaching what the eyes see to the funding allocated to it. His field visits have led to arrests of public servants over issues to do with accountability. The people of Ngariam County must be proud of him.
Not one understands animals like Rwamirama does. His work demands that he travels. He has to make sure that the animals are healthy and give their keepers returns. Besides his work at the Ministry, he represents the people of Isingiro North in the 11th Parliament of Uganda.
Kasaija needs not a lot of introduction but he is the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. He is the man in charge of the Economy. Whether it (Economy) is on a Swiiiii or not, it is a debate for another day but he has done well. Our ears hear that within the Cabinet, he is known as the minister in charge of borrowing. This is because whenever he appears before Cabinet or Parliament, he is tabling a request to borrow or defending borrowing. But besides this, he is a Member of Parliament for Buyaanja County in Kibaale district.
Nankabirwa is the Minister in charge of Energy and Mineral Development. It has been a busy year for Nankabirwa. Fresh in the ministry, we can only guess it has been a matter of learning and unlearning. Energy and Mineral in one sentence is not Whipping party Members (where she was before).
Truth be told. To have guessed that Nabbanja would have been named Prime Minister was next to impossible. The fisher of men that she is, she has done really well. From emergency interventions (ensure quality of relief items and value for money) to delivering Kayunga votes in the recent LCV by-election (we have it on good record that she played a big role). Both President Yoweri Museveni and the people of Kakumiro are proud of Nabbanja.
Kiryowa’s work as the Country’s Attorney General is not a lot in the open. The few times we have seen him in the public, he was assuring Ugandans that the Entebbe International Airport is safe and not mortgaged as was reported in the media. Secondly, he also clarified that he was in the know of a foreign company hired to install tracking devices on vehicles and motorcycles. Otherwise, many of his assignments are not in the public domain.
Gen. Katumba Wamala
Gen. Katumba is the man of infrastructure. Whether you move by road, water or air, you find Gen Katumba. His latest assignment must have been to deliver the Airbuses for the Uganda Airlines. For the roads, they speak for themselves. You can safely move from Kabale to Elegu, Arua to Kasese by road. That’s Gen. Katumba. Even God appreciates his work and wants more of it (you may understand this).
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi
Chris is the only doctor communicator (this is a joke). As the Minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance, his appointment in the time of a pandemic was timely. He has been talking about misinformation and disinformation around the Covid-19. Through his ministry, Chris speaks for the government, whether health, ICT or locust.
You can’t talk about Land and not talk about Nabakooba. The Lands minister and the Mityana woman has since her appointment traversed the country to settle land related matters. It has been a busy one for her but importantly, ensuring that no one was evicted from their land during the Covid-19 lockdown or in a manner that seemed illegal.
Others are Milly Babalanda (Presidency) and Fred K. Bwino (State – Agriculture) and Godfrey Kabbyanga (State – ICT & National Guidance).
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