KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has delayed to announce his Cabinet reshuffle because he is yet to conclude consultations on individuals to fill certain key positions, PML Daily has learnt.
The President was expected to announce the next reshuffle after the Supreme Court stayed the Constitution Court ruling that removed the presidential age limit from the Constitution. This has not happened, leaving many officials anxious.
However, highly placed sources inside State House have told PML Daily that the President is still making wider consultations on some of the individuals to constitute his Cabinet.
Sources told this website that one of the key positions is that of Vice President after it emerged that Mr Museveni is ready to dispense with the services of Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi. Sources said the President has already indicated to Mr Sekandi that he intends to remove him from the position. Other sources have told this website that Mr Sekandi indicated to the President that he already wants to retire.
However, this is said to have caused a dilemma to the President as he is not sure of who to replace him with. Sources added that the Head of State is treading carefully on the position that he has always earmarked for Buganda, the largest tribe in the country. Previously, the seat has been held by Samson Kissekka, Gilbert Bukenya and now Sekandi, all Baganda.
Sources revealed that Mr Museveni is toying with the idea of handing the vice presidency to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. However, it has emerged that Ms Kadaga would wish to remain Speaker after expressing concern that the vice presidency is largely ceremonial.
Sources also told this website that the President is considering appointing some officials from Kasese District to his Cabinet as part of plans to appease the district following the storming of the Rwenzururu palace in 2016 by the UPDF, leading to the death of over 100 Royal Guards.
The Rwenzururu king together with his prime minister and his guards were later arrested and some of them are still in prison. The king, Charles Mumbere, has since been denied access to his kingdom by the court order.
Since then, the President has embarked on trying to win over the kingdom by assigning his brother, Gen Caleb Akandwanaho, aka Salim Saleh, to camp in the area. Gen Saleh has since last year been in Kasese where he has established several agricultural projects and embarked on the revival of the Kilembe Mines. Several roads have also been tarmaced since.
Sources revealed that Gen Saleh has already recommended that a senior FDC official hailing from the district should be appointed a Cabinet minister. We could not immediately identify who the official is.
Bobi Wine effect
The President, sources said, is also considering appointing youthful ministers to counter the growing influence of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine has expressed interest in challenging Mr Museveni in 2021 and sources said the President is increasingly concerned that his current crop of ministers is powerless against the current forces of change, with most of them unable to sustain radio and TV arguments against Bobi Wine’s supporters.
This is said to have changed his opinion and that he is considering appointing young Turks such as Morris Rwakakamba to senior Cabinet positions as a way of showing the world that he is geared towards promoting youth in his government.
Magyezi, Anywar and Nankabirwa
Sources also told this website that the President is also keen on rewarding some individuals by appointing them to his Cabinet.
One of them is Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, the mover of the age limit petition. Sources said Mr Magyezi’s appointment as the minister is a foregone conclusion.
The other is Kitgum Municipality MP Beatrice Anywar. Since crossing from FDC, Ms Anywar has been openly flirting with NRM and is open to being appointed a minister.
Also being considered for a Cabinet position is Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa. She mobilised NRM MPs during the age limit petition and even held a party at her home in Kiboga district to celebrate the Constitutional Court ruling.
Amidst all these, however, is that the President is still buying time on the next Cabinet list, which sources say is expected to be released anytime soon.
This is said to have caused a lot of anxiety in government with some ministers not sure of their fate.
The current cabinet was named in 2016 and in it, he has since only replaced Gen Henry Tumukunde with Gen Elly Tumwine as security minister.