Uganda: New Cabinet Appointments Angers Bagisu

Leaders across the political divide in Bugisu have accused President Museveni of ignoring the sub-region in his key Cabinet appointments.

The sub-region has three ministerial appointment slots; Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu (Karamoja Affairs) and Ms Agnes Nandutu (State, Karamoja Affairs)and Mr Dominic Gidudu Mafabi (State, Gender, Labour and Social Development-Elderly Affairs).

In the previous Cabinet, the sub-region had Ms Kitutu as the minister of Energy and Mineral Development and Mr Micheal Werikhe Kafabusa, as the State minister for Trade.

Mr Safiyi Mafabi, the chairperson of elders in Mbale City, said they are disappointed that the President has failed to appreciate the role the Bagisu played during the NRA Bush War.

"Our people saved him from Amin's soldiers, but this Cabinet list shows that Mr Museveni is not ours," Mr Mafabi said.

On January 22, 1973, Mr Museveni narrowly survived death after Idi Amin's soldiers surrounded the house, where he and his colleagues were on Plot 49, Malukhu Estate in Mbale Town during the guerrilla war.

Mr Mafabi said they had anticipated to eat big in the new Cabinet because in the just concluded presidential elections, six of the seven districts in the sub-region overwhelmingly voted for President Museveni.

"But in any case, there was also no need for Mr Museveni to appoint both women from Masaba land to manage Karamoja affairs," he said.

The mayor of Industrial City Division in Mbale City, who is also the area NRM chairperson, Mr Mahmoud Masaba, said the President should have given them one ministerial slot that is of relevance to the needs of Bamasaba.

"We are happy but it would have been better if we were given one of those key ministries, not that one of Karamoja Affairs," he said.

Mr Erick Mukhwana, a former information minister in Bamasaba Cultural Institution, said they expected the President to create a new ministry in charge of Elgon affairs.

"As a sub-region, we have lots of challenges such as disasters, poor roads, and poverty among others which would have been solved if the region was granted a ministry," he said.

He added that the ministerial slots awarded to Ms Kitutu and Ms Nandutu will not bring any development to Masaba land.

Mr Abdallah Magambo, the deputy speaker of Mbale City Council, said the appointment of Ms Kitutu and Ms Nandutu in the same ministry is a set up to instigate divisionism.

Mr James Matanda, an NRM supporter, said if Mr Museveni wants them to be happy, he should consider allocating any of the vacant positions in the Cabinet to the sub-region.

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