By Mulengera Reporters
President Museveni has summoned Gender Minister Janet Mukwaya to a meeting to discuss the choice of Pius Bigirimana’s successor as PS of the same Gender Ministry. Bigirimana, who is praised for transforming and raising the profile of Gender Ministry, was transferred two weeks ago to Judiciary where he replaced Kagole Kivumbi who was sent out the on forced leave.
Currently James Ebitu, who substantively serves as Director Social Protection, is the one acting as care-taking PS for the Gender Ministry. And he is a Bigirimana blue-eyed boy since their days at OPM where Ebitu worked as a livelihood advisor under NUSAF for Northern Uganda reconstruction.
In the very week the President wrote directing Bigirimana’s relocation to Judiciary (where he sent him as a consensus choice to accommodate different power brokers who had fronted different candidates for the Judiciary job), he also wrote to Head Public Service Dr. John Mitala informing him NPA ED Dr. Joseph Muvawala was his choice for the next PS Gender.
He directed Mitala to summon Muvawala, interact with him as a way of assessing his suitability for the job, do all the necessary procedures to regularize his appointment and thereby enabling the President to sign off his instrument of appointment.
The H.E. had estimated that three months period or even less would be enough for Muvawala to wind up a few things at his current station and take up the Gender docket.
As Mitala prepared, a clique of powerful power brokers emerged insisting Ebitu should be supported to buy time in the care taker capacity to grow to a level where he qualifies for formal appointment/confirmation as PS. They plotted to lobby as vastly as possible for this to become the position into which both Mitala and Museveni must buy.
In the same letter, Museveni gave Mitala a total of three tasks; namely regularizing Muvawala’s appointment specifically as PS Gender. The other two assignments related to advising the President on the suitability of Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago and Dr. Asuman Lukwago’s retention as PSs/accounting officers for JSC and Education Service Commission respectively.
On 2nd August, Mitala wrote back updating the President on the three assignments disclosing that the two Lukwagos had been assessed and found to be suitable to have their contracts renewed.
In the three-page letter, that isn’t copied to anyone, Mitala advises why Muvawala (suitably qualified as he is) should stay at NPA. He argues that the Busoga Katukiro is an excellent economist who NPA shouldn’t lose at this point in time.
That since the Prof Pamela Mbabazi-led NPA Executive Board is still new (barely three months in office) it wouldn’t be prudent to bring in a new ED. He argues this could lead to institutional instability and total loss of institutional memory at a time NPA is undertaking preparations for NDP III meant to accelerate the realization of Vision 2040 which Muvawala co-authored with other Museveni-friendly economists. Mitala argues that Muvawala will at this point in time benefit his country Uganda better if he is allowed to continue steering NPA.
Dr. Mitala ends by calling on the President to accept his honest advice in the patriotic interest of the country which he says still needs Muvawala at NPA where perfectly replacing him may not be easy.
M7 CALLS MUKWAYA
On picking intelligence reports that political and technical leaders at Gender aren’t unanimous on Ebitu’s suitability to be fast-tracked to the PS position, President Museveni has summoned Mukwaya and Mitala for a meeting in State House later this week for him to have the opportunity to justify his directive to have Muvawala immediately take charge at the Gender Ministry.
All this is happening at a time a group of influential leaders of National Youth Council leaders have prepared to carry placards on Monday during Youth Day celebrations publicly thanking the President for deploying Muvawala at the Gender Ministry. “We see him as value addition to our Ministry as youths,” said a NYC leader who didn’t want to be named.
The politically very sensitive Muvawala Gender posting also has widely been welcomed by eminent Basoga leaders including MPs and Ministers from the populous Basoga sub region.
In the meeting, Museveni intends to verify claims that Mukwaya is among those desirous to have Ebitu fast-tracked and made PS immediately replacing his mentor Bigirimana. Museveni will be looking forward to hear more from Mitala as to why Muvawala benefits the country and NRM more by staying at NPA as opposed to being transferred to Gender where the big man wants to have a clandestine mobilizer of the Muvawala credentials.
“The big man looks forward to using that meeting to deepen understanding between himself on one hand and Mukwaya and Mitala on the other,” says a knowledgeable State House source close to the matter. Museveni also wants to verify reports that some technocrats and political leaders at the Gender Ministry are extremely uncomfortable serving under Ebitu with some considering themselves to be way too more senior than him. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at email@example.com).