OPINION: Inside Museveni’s cabinet and deep state politics involved!

President Yoweri Museveni this week unveiled his new cabinet (PHOTO /Courtesy)

By Muhimbise George

In understanding the logic behind the recently appointed Cabinet, three words come into play; power, position & authority.

With power you have the capacity & means to make things happen. With authority you have the competences & skills to do things, with a position you have neither power nor authority.

Those with power influence those with authority to run the state & those in positions act as conduits or as cosmetic for public relations & political gymicery.

It’s evident that Hon Sekandi was not the second in command & neither will Jesca Alupo be one. When Kadaga was given a position of speakership, she mistook the authority for power & the moment she crossed red line, she was demolished beyond repair that she is now under Hon Nabanja who was a district Councilor when Kadaga was a deputy Speaker of Parliament.

When Amama Mbabazi was the Prime Minister he had authority with no power that’s why he failed to construct a bridge connecting Rukungiri to Kanungu. When he mistook authority for power he was crushed.

Majority of Ministers like Gen Katumba, Jesca Alupo, Ruth Jane Acheng, Matia Kasaija & many more are simply occupying positions. I doubt whether Gen Katumba would sack UNRAs Allen Kagina or whether Kasaija would direct governor Mutebile. I don’t think Dr Diana reports to Dr Acheng, Many of those are given positions to hoodwink their constituents.

Where you have a powerless Minister like Acheng, you have a powerful PS like Dr Diana, where you have a powerful Minister like Janet Museveni you have a weak PS like Asuman Lukwago.

In Kabale Hon Bahati who was a state Minister wielded more power than Dr Rugunda who was a Prime Minister, while Mariam Babalanda who headed the office of NRM chairman in Kyambogo was more powerful than Kasule Lumumba who was the secretary General of NRM. Even money that was given to NRM agents to guard votes was passed through Babalanda & not the NRM Secretariat of Lumumba. This explains why Babalanda has been appointed a minister of Presidency to reward her team with RDC positions in the near future.

The second category in this cabinet has people with authority, these are deployed for specific missions. These include Attorney General who is in charge of government agreements, defending government in parliament etc. This time it was given to Kiryowa Kiwanuka a close ally of Karugire Edwin an inlaw of Gen Museveni. You have other ministers deployed for political operations like KCCA, National guidance etc. These are given to shameless people who work as hired macenarues

Then you have lands, industry, minerals & other such ministries where the first family has business interests. Mwebesa who was appointed to replace Kyambade is allegedly the owner of a recycling plant in Mbarara. His factory has been buying all the railway scrap in Western region with help of security agencies. He has also been Presidential advisor on industries. This means he has been appointed to handle business interests of Gen Museveni. Hon Judith Nabakoba has been put in lands probably to protect land grabbing by those in power. She is an ex official MP who is too young for retirement that she will compromise anything for the sake of being retained in the position. Sam Kayanja the state Minister for Lands has been a proponent of removal of mailo land. The President on heroes day made a statement against Mailo land meaning he is planning something on land that will affect Mengo. He has strategically appointed Baganda in Lands ministry to handle this controversial matter.

This cabinet shows the crisis in the security system of our country. Museveni dropped both security, defence & the army Commander months after dropping the deputy police chief & sending all DPCs to refresher courses. When this happens at the heat of deployment of UPDF in DRC & a conflict with Rwanda, it shows a lot is not well.

Museveni is isolating Buganda & Busoga for other regions. Following deployment of Salim Saleh in Acholi, it has got a Speaker, Chief justice & NRM secretary general, in addition to ministers like Hon Okello Oryem, Hillary Onek, & Beatrice Anywar. Acholi will play in hands of Gen Museveni & he is capable of grabbing their land in the name of sugarcane growing.

Another region is Eastern where Teso is now the epicenter of Musevenidemic; with Deputy Speaker Among, Vice President Alupo, Foreign Affairs Jeje Odong, Gen Elweru having been elevated in addition to Peter Ogwang, Hon Andoa & Mike Mukula it means Museveni is targeting to use Teso to infiltrate the east.

He has already deployed pro-Kadaga Agnes Nandutu to neutarise opposition Whip Nambeshe in Bududa.
With fights within FDC in Bugisu between pro Nandala & those against him that led to stepping down of Hon Jack Wamai Wamanga, Museveni is likely to have Bugisu fully on Board.

The consensus by most politicians in the North & East is that, “we suffered alot when others were enjoying, this is our turn, let us also eat”. You have several times seen Hon Mao acknowledge meeting Gen Museveni. When recently Hon Mapenduzi was asked on NBS whether he would turn down a cabinet appointment by Museveni, he almost nodded in approval. He could neither deny nor accept, “the adage of if I swallow, I swallow fire & if I spirit I spite sweetness, was at it’s best but his body language could tell where his mind belonged. This shows you the kind of consensus that most leaders in the formerly opposition strongholds have built in their mind.

Finally, in terms of competence, Gen Museveni has appointed the most incompetent cabinet ever. Because of his old age, he doesn’t want people who can execise some power. As a micromanager he wants everything to be done or approved by him so that he is sure of being in total control.

Nabanja or Alupo won’t do anything without consulting Museveni. So in essence, the government is going to be run by a few mafia gang led by Salim Saleh, Gen Museveni & family.

Because of old age, Museveni will delay to make decisions & government will be slow, this crisis will make Museveni appear like an old DMC vehicle that has got mechanical problems along the way & has blocked the way causing traffic jam.


Muhimbise George, [email protected], 0787836515

The author is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation.

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