Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several of the ministers who have been dropped, or moved to other ministries, have had a year to forget already. Many have been involved in controversy that might have influenced the changes in the new cabinet.
Kayunga Woman Member of Parliament Aidah Nantaba has been dropped from the portfolio of State Minister for ICT in a reshuffle announced Saturday evening.
Nantaba was recently at the centre of controversy following the shooting and killing of a rider, Ronald Sebulime on suspicion that she was being trailed. Police later admitted that Ssebulime was wrongfully killed.
In the same changes, President Museveni ejected long serving sports minister Charles Bakabulindi ending a tenure spanning close to 15 years in charge of the docket.
Prior to the announcement, Bakabulindi, who was first appointed in 2005 was cited in several corruption scandals, some of which involved the construction of the Akii Bua Stadium in Lira district.
In 2018, Bakabulindi was summoned by members of Parliament to explain allegations that although the stadium was rehabilitated at a cost of 640 million Shillings, there was no value for money from there works.
The changes also affected the hirtherto Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana who is sent to the ministry of Gender, who in recent months was at the centre of bickering with State Minister for finance Evelynn Anite over the administration of Uganda Telecom.
Rukutana wrote letters defying Anite and openly castigated her saying it was not in her place to decide the fate of UTL’s administrator Bemanya Twebaze. When he appeared before the Justice Catherine Bamugemeire’s land probe, Rukutana reportedly undermined the commission telling Bamugemeire to report him to God saying he cannot respect anyone if he is not respected.
He had previously defied several court orders in relation to the probe. He was being investigated for wrongfully advising the president on the ownership of land in Mutungo hill.
According to the reshuffle, president Yoweri Museveni dropped works Minister Eng Monica Azuba Ntege, Energy Minister Eng Irene Muloni, and Gender Minister Hajjat Janet Mukwaya. The three women, alongside Hajji Abdul Nadduli have been appointed Presidential Advisors, a post which has less significance in Uganda’s governance structure.
Eng Muloni and Azuba have been at the centre of the Isimba Dam Bridge controversy in which Uganda reportedly lost up to 24 billion Shillings, in the failed construction of a bridge planned to connect Kayunga and Kamuli districts.
According to the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga the money in question was embezzled by a syndicate in the ministry of energy.
Although she did not publicly disclose particulars of officials involved in the syndicate, Kadaga said the matter had been shared with President Yoweri Museveni in detail. But Muloni dismissed allegations that there was a case of embezzlement in the planned construction of the bridge.
Alex Onzima who was the state Minister in the Office of the vice president also becomes a presidential advisor.