Uganda: MPs Approve 20 Ministers

The House Appointments Committee yesterday vetted and cleared 20 ministers, including Ms Milly Babirye Babalanda, the new Minister for Presidency.

On Monday, the Appointments Committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Anita Among virtually vetted and approved eight ministers, including former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who is now the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs.

Others approved on Monday were Ms Janet Museveni (Education), Gen Jim Muhwezi (Security), Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba (General Duties at the Office of the Prime Minister), Mr Thomas Tayebwa (Chief Whip), Mr Kiryoowa Kiwanuka (Attorney General), Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (Health), Gen Moses Ali (Second Deputy Prime Minister) and Ms Rukia Nakadama (Third Deputy Premier).

The committee cleared Ms Babalanda after Dr Kenneth Omona, the Principal Private Secretary to President Museveni, wrote to Clerk to Parliament on June 11 confirming her appointment following a clarification in her name.

Tumwebaze's plans

Agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze last evening promised to, among others, implement the National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto and push for economic growth and job creation.

Mr Tumwebaze also vowed to crackdown on illegal agriculture pesticides as a measure to 'clean up' the sector.

He pledged zero-tolerance to corruption, and vowed to help the 68 per cent of Ugandans still trapped in subsistence farming.

"We are going to fight corruption and crackdown on people who flood the market with fake agro-products so that Ugandans can reap what is worth their efforts in this sector," Mr Tumwebaze said.

"We will discourage land fragmentation and assist people in subsistence farming to join money economy. We are going to work with other stakeholders to help farmers get markets," he added.

Also vetted were Mr Raphael Magyezi (Local Government), Ms Judith Nabakooba (Lands), Ms Betty Among (Gender), Gen Kahinda Otafiire (Internal Affairs), and Mr Matia Kasaija (Finance).

Others are Ms Gorreti Kitutu, the former Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, who will now superintend over the Ministry of Karamoja.

Ms Kitutu takes over an area that is vulnerable to climate change, stressed by water shortage, and insecurity, among other issues.

"Some people were saying ministers go there and work like tourists, Kitutu is not a tourist. I am field person so let them not fear because I will work with them," she said.

"We are going to work with colleagues and ministers, especially the one of Agriculture, Defence and Security to see that we put Karamoja into a better place," Ms Kitutu added.

Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who was approved as the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, promised to push for national cohesion and pupularise government programmes in the sector.

Dr Baryomunsi pledged to work with Ms Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, a former FDC vice president, if she gets the committee nod.

"In whatever we do regardless of our background, we should know Uganda is our home and should promote the interests," he said.

The vetting process will continue today, and is expected to commence at 10am.

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