M7 SHUTS DOWN STATE H’SE & REDUCES CABINET TO JUST 23 MINISTERS SAYING COVID IS REAL, ALL MUST BE SAFE
By Mulengera Reporters
In what some have construed as partially shutting down his own State House operations, President Museveni has sent away some of his own staff saying he doesn’t want to live in congested environments and thereby increase his own susceptibility to Coronavirus. “Since time immemorial, he has always been a vigilant man and never takes chances on matters concerning his life and health,” says a well-placed source adding this is the reason Gen Museveni has significantly cut down his office entourage. “He is only staying with the most essential staffers and the rest must stay very far away from him until the situation normalizes again.”
Even when it comes to cabinet meetings, Gen Museveni has insisted on lean Coram whereby each sector, docket or ministry must strictly be represented by one Minister. “Take the Finance Ministry as an example, you have many ministers there including Matia Kasaija, David Bahati, Haruna Kasolo, Gabriel Ajedra, Evelyn Anite and even Molly Kamukama for economic monitoring. The President’s latest directive is that only one of them can attend any cabinet meetings or business where he is involved. The rest can stay away and wait to be briefed by whoever attends,” says a source close to the man from Rwakitura.
“At first Ministers were indifferent thinking he was joking about downsizing cabinet throughout this COVID period but on Monday they saw for themselves. He ensured only 23 Ministers attended cabinet and the excess were turned away because that was enough Coram to transact government business in that session and that is how it’s going to be.”
When you reflect on other world leaders who have become exposed and got COVID-infected in the course of doing government work, you can’t fail to understand and see sense in the caution with which Museveni has continued to go about the whole thing. And the downsizing of cabinet to ensure limited numbers turn up for cabinet meetings comes on heels of the blame game with Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi & Sarah Opendi (who the HE chased earlier) on one hand blaming Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng for foul play in their Museveni-orchestrated exclusion from Cabinet meetings.
Acting on intel that their respective spouses had just returned from abroad and straight went home without being quarantined, Museveni rang the two ministers sometime last month and asked them to keep their distance and stay away from him until the situation normalizes again. Gratefully, this is a story we at Mulengera News comprehensively reported (See https://mulengeranews.com/what-is-m7-going-to-do-for-his-minister-opendi-she-needs-urgent-help/; https://mulengeranews.com/dont-bring-your-coronavirus-here-total-chaos-as-scared-m7-chases-two-top-ministers-from-monday-cabinet-meeting/; https://mulengeranews.com/covid-19-paralyzes-cabinet-yet-again-as-top-ministers-fear-sitting-near-molly-kamukama-eng-byabagambi/).
In a related development, Coronavirus has continued to dominate debate even on the Cabinet Ministers’ own whatsapp forum which is exclusively administered by Minister Chris Baryomunsi. The latest buzz from the forum is that an elderly flamboyant Minister from Buganda region has had to explain herself after members rebuked her for continuing to insist sitting close to the President during meetings well knowing she isn’t that safe having been in close contact with one of her children who recently returned from one of the high risk countries-and yet the child’s COVID results aren’t yet out.
Some enthusiastic ministers on the same cabinet forum have vowed to alert the President about everything, prompting the styled-up Muganda Minister to plead with them fearing to be shunned and isolated by the HE just like has been happening to Nakiwala and Opendi. “She keeps saying she has prayed enough to ensure her child is COVID-free and negative but members have insisted on seeing results of not only the child but hers as well and this must be fully certified by the Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng,” Mulengera News heard from one of the dependable sources.
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