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By Mulengera Reporters

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine’s opening remark was an apology and this was specifically addressed to journalists who had waited for more than 3 hours. This was today Monday evening at the Health Ministry conference hall where new State Minister Robinah Nabanja (General Duties) was to be inducted and immediately assumed office. The Kakumiro woman MP is replacing Sarah Opendi who was unable to hand over office because she is abroad on official duties. Opendi, who is moving to energy to be in charge of minerals, will have the opportunity to hand over when she returns.

Nabanja flanked by PS Atwine and Minister Jane Aceng

At the invitation of Ministry Communications Manager Emmanuel Ainebyona, the journalists had assembled as early as 3pm for a function that eventually began after 5pm. The delay, over which Atwine corroborated by Senior Minister Jane Ruth Aceng apologized, resulted from the traffic jam that held up Aceng for hours along Entebbe Road as she returned from the Monday cabinet meeting. At the start of the same cabinet session, Nabanja and 8 other fellow new Ministers had taken oath and got inaugurated before the President. Having left Entebbe much earlier on, Nabanja patiently sat in the PS’s office as they waited for Aceng to arrive and preside over her installation at the Wandegeya-based Ministry.

Being the people-person, she is, Nabanja came with a huge delegation comprising of her very elderly mother, daughter Counsel Faridah who works at Parliament, the clergy (nuns and priests) and local political leaders from Kakumiro. They included Birembo LC3 Chairman (who she is backing against fellow Minister Kasirivu Atwooki who is also Bubangaizi West MP), Rev Father Kasangaki, nun Sister Beatrice Kisembo, her local sub parish catechist Venenscio Turyomunsi and her own brother Charles Magembe Kabanda.

Led by Aceng and Atwine, the Ministry top technocrats cheerfully welcomed Nabanja saying in her they are anticipating a hard worker and talented community mobilizer who Aceng said must be utilized to strengthen the prevention message “because 75% of our disease burden as a country is preventable.” Aceng said she was proud of the fact that the very energetic Nabanja is prepared to hit the ground running by being part of the Ministry team that will tomorrow (Tuesday) face the Parliamentary Committee on health to defend the sector’s budget for FY2020/2021.

In her maiden speech, Nabanja said she was here to learn and support Aceng and Atwine’s efforts to strengthen team work at the Ministry. Nabanja, whose major role is supervision to make sure hospitals are properly functioning, also said nobody should be worried because she isn’t a medical person by background “because even in Parliamentary Commission I have been heading the audit committee which I revived and made vibrant, unlike all my other predecessors, even when I wasn’t an auditor.”

She said she was more than ready to put her mobilization skills to work and ensure the prevention message is deepened to levels beyond what Aceng is expecting. Besides introducing the people she came with, while giving reason for each of them being present, Nabanja thanked the President for the appointment and agreed with State Minister Joyce Morichu Kaducu (PHC) that they should work as a team to deliver good results to avoid disappointing the President who has ensured the Ministry top leadership is in the “hands of women who are the mothers of this nation.” (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 or email us at 

The Ministry of Health top leaders join Nabanja and some close family members for a group photo




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