NEW M7 SIXTH TERM CABINET SECRETS (I)
By Mulengera Reporters
It’s increasingly becoming clear that ex-Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi will be playing a very big role in Gen Museveni’s government for the next 5 years. Sources close to the processes feeding into the new cabinet alignment have intimated to Mulengera News that all influential actors around Gen Museveni are unanimous that the next five years must be focused on doing things that can strengthen the big man from Rwakitura’s personal legacy (regardless of whether he seeks 7th term in 2026 or not).
Yet there is hardly any unanimity so far regarding what Gen Museveni would like his exact role to be in the life after 2026. Whereas some of his handlers suspect biological limitations will set in making it impossible for Gen Museveni, who will officially be past 81 years as of 2026, to endure another rigorous reelection campaign, other palace handlers of his say the veteran leader is envisaging himself playing a regional role aimed at spearheading the deepening of the EAC federation and integration. Some aides claim he has confided in them he is desirous to use the next five years to make serious progress on the EA federation project so that he becomes its pioneer President in the period after 2026.
It’s the reason, they say, that Gen Museveni is enthusiastic about investing into infrastructural development in Eastern DRC in order to deepen integration while endearing himself to the people of that country. Another source, with a bias on the regional integration project, claims so enthusiastic is Gen Museveni about the success of the broadened EA regional integration that he wouldn’t have any problem sanctioning the use of his country’s meager financial resources to pay for poorer states like South Sudan or even Burundi to make sure they don’t default on their annual membership subscription-which defaulting could be ground for their disqualification precipitating disintegration of the EAC.
THE LEGACY TEAM
Sources close to the ongoing 6th term cabinet alignment have intimated to Mulengera News that Gen Museveni is looking at enlarging his cabinet to be able to bring in as many Kyagulanyi generation young people as possible. It will be a cabinet expected to exhibit unprecedented levels of energy and hard work with Amama Mbabazi being their overall supervisor. JPAM, who is expected to return as either Prime Minister or Vice President but with enhanced powers when compared to flat-footed Edward Sekandi, will be facilitated to frequently interact with not just Ministers but also heads of key service delivery MDAs. “Many of the low energy old guards have personal vendetta with JPAM which might complicate supervision if you are to have many of them back in cabinet. That is why a greater majority will be young people of the Kyagulanyi age and younger who are expected to loyally serve under JPAM without any referencing to old feuds,” says a credible source.
The same source adds that Gen Museveni remains paranoid that Harvard law graduate David Lewis Rubongoya teaming up with like-minded young militants like Nicolas Opio, Joel Senyonyi, Semujju Nganda, Medard Segona and others could leverage on the free media landscape in Uganda to keep making his government look ugly before the public and the international community. The Rubongoyas are tech savvy, eloquent, energetic, self-driven, ambitious to achieve and media favorites which is why Gen Museveni believes there is need for a relatively young cabinet to be able to effectively counter them.
Gen Museveni is specifically paranoid about Rubongoya for a number of reasons including the fact that he was born and bred in Kanyaryeru which is right in the middle of his Kiruhura backyard. But more importantly, the intellectually very sophisticated NUP Secretary General was originally a regime insider who Gen Museveni fears is privy to plenty of state secrets. He was very close to Gen Museveni himself; Generals Kayihura and Elly Tumwine just to mention a few. He is also presumed to be well networked among key lobbyists and power brokers in the Western Capitals by virtue of being a Harvard graduate. Actually Gen Museveni believes its Rubongoya making it possible for influencers in the Western media and places like Capitol Hill to be enthusiastic about the potential Robert Kyagulanyi Presidency.
It’s the reason the likes of Morrison Rwakakamba, who equally have had stints in places like Harvard, are all of a sudden going to assume paramount importance in Gen Museveni’s political calculus for the next five years. Flamboyant city lawyer Justinian Muhwezi Kateera is another
Western educated young NRM cadre who is being considered for a key role in Gen Museveni’s governance apparatus for the next five years. Kateera is also a diplomat and intelligence officer by both training and practice having undertaken many sensitive foreign relations-related errands for Gen Museveni previously. Like Rubongoya, the youthful lawyer has many qualifications including a law degree from the University of Wales, an LLM in Oil & Gas from Geneva Switzerland, another LLM from Georgetown University and another Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the US. He has practiced law in the UK and Switzerland.
The vastness of his network in the Western governments manifested late last year when FDC’s equally connected Ugandan Destroyer Justine Jjuko (also an American citizen) went missing like many missing persons Kyagulanyi continues to rant about. It was through Justinian Kateera that the influential US Senators and Congressmen, working at the instigation of new US VP Kamara Harris, contacted the top echelons of the Ugandan government to get him released. Gen Museveni believes a combination of all these give young Kateera the required pedigree to effectively rival and counter David Lewis Rubongoya’s influence on the foreign front.
Yet away from all this exposure and personal merit, Kateera isn’t a stranger at Gen Museveni’s palace or even among members of the first family. His father the late Jonathan Kateera was a UPM (later NRA) founder and funder through the 1980s. In 1980 when Gen Museveni performed dismally in elections and opted to challenge the result in court, Kateera (who died in September 1995) was his lawyer though he abandoned Kampala and went to the bush before even the hearing of his petition could commence. Besides Eriya Kategaya, Jonathan Kateera and Prof Samuel Karugire (father of first son-in-law Edwin Karugire) were the other very trustable and productive friends or peers Gen Museveni had through the 1980s and the preceding period.
Immediately after Museveni declared war in February 1981, Jonathan Kateera who had remained behind in Kampala to practice law got arrested on orders of Dr. Milton Obote after intelligence intercepted him dispatching millions of shillings to finance the war. He was arrested along with his law firm partner Akankwatsa Katsibayo. Their contact in the NRA was Eriya Kategaya to whose Nairobi-based external wing the money was being dispatched. Obote’s Special Forces boys intercepted a one Sikubabu Kyeyune who was carrying the money who, upon being tortured, spilled all the secrets resulting into Kateera’s incarceration. But his imprisonment was short-lived after Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch made a lot of noise about it. There was so much noise because Jonathan Kateera was a high profile big-name lawyer in Kampala partly because the Hunter & Greg law firm he had inherited had plenty of international recognition and reputation.
The late Kateera, who Gen Museveni gradually came to appreciate as a very bold man, was to stand up to Obote one more time and that was in 1983. That year, Obote desired to influence the election of Yona Okoth as the Archbishop of CoU ahead of Dunstan Nsubuga who majority House of Bishops’ members favored. Being the Chancellor for CoU, Kateera was perceived by the Obotes as having the last word on who would become the next big man for CoU because he was equally the presiding officer for the vote. Obote summoned Kateera demanding that he ensures Okoth wins. Kateera, being the principled fearless man he was, declined leaving Obote angry and deflated. Akankwatsa, the partner Kateera was working with, subsequently got shot dead outside his house in Kampala. In the end the Kateera law firm eased out of the Chancellery and another law firm had to conduct that poll at whose conclusion Yona Okoth was declared new Archbishop. Nsubuga was perceived by the Obote administration as one whose election would bolster Gen Museveni’s NRA war which was raging in Luwero triangle.
Museveni vividly remembers all this rich history of the Kateera family in the struggle just like First Lady Janet Museveni does. In the mid-2000s, Justinian Kateera was deployed by Museveni to deputize Siye Kiryapawo who was Uganda’s High Commissioner in London. The two also did plenty of intelligence work for Gen Museveni in London and other parts of Europe to effectively counter Besigye Envoys like Sam Akaki who was causing a lot of damage on the diplomatic front. And more recently when Makerere Chancellor Ezra Suruma rang Gen Museveni saying Makerere University was on the verge of being closed after the Kagumire law firm had garnished it’s bank accounts seeking to recover billions accumulated in unpaid legal fees, the first person the Musevenis thought of was Justinian Kateera who they fallaciously believed was calling shots at the law firm (Kateera Kagumire Advocates) which his father had founded decades earlier.
“Why are you doing that to Makerere University well knowing the same can cause strikes and embarrass us in the middle of the political campaigns? You of all people? My son Justinian Kateera I have always known you to be a gallant son of the NRM revolution. How come you are doing that to the Movement?” Gen Museveni teasingly inquired over the phone before summoning Kateera to State House for more talks. It was during that subsequent engagement that the Musevenis got to realize that this was no longer the Kateera Kagumire law firm in the sense they knew. They were told it were a couple of other young lawyers cajoling the elderly Yusuf Kagumire (Kateera’s surviving partner) to improperly squeeze Makerere which has actually been the law firm’s loyal client since inception in 1903 (when it started as Hunter & Grey).
Through Justinian Kateera, Morrison Rwakakamba and a few other young cadres educated at Western Universities, Gen Museveni is continuing to identify many other equally eligible candidates to be deployed in his upcoming government-not just in Cabinet but for absorption elsewhere in government. Mulengera News understands that because performance targets are going to be introduced and strictly enforced under Amama Mbabazi’s supervision, Gen Museveni intends to measure and illustrate his performance and service delivery outputs in terms of every 100 days. That all Ministers, PSs and heads of other MDAs will be required to leverage on media platforms and communicate to the country what they have accomplished in their first 100 days counting from the day the President will take oath and be inaugurated at Kololo. This will be updated every after 100 days and it’s something unprecedented in the way Gen Museveni has always done his things.
The other relatively young persons who are destined to play very critical roles in Gen Museveni’s next government (regardless of whether they become Ministers or not) include Justice Catherine Bamugemereire (being considered to become the next IGG), David Makumbi (considered for Deputy IGG role), Richard Todwong, David Kabanda, Lillian Aber, Anita Among, Peter Ogwang, Morrison Rwakakamba, Theodore Sekikubo, Milly Doka Babalanda, Dan Kidega, Apollo Makubuya, Ruth Nankabirwa, Jessica Alupo, Daudi Migereko, Micheal Mawanda Muranga, Mull Katende, Adonia Ayebare, Abdul Katuntu (could land a role at the AG chambers or Justice Ministry) and others. Prof William Bazeyo, whose departure from Makerere simply because he couldn’t stand being insulted and accused falsely by the ever ranting Muasa members the Musevenis haven’t stopped regretting, could land an influential role in Gen Museveni’s 2021-2026 government. Gen Museveni considers the princely Bazeyo too resourceful in medical research and fundraising to be let go just like that.
Gen Museveni is also focused on replenishing his arsenal of female star performers which is why the following corporate women leaders are destined to play very critical roles in the NRM government for the next five years. They include Mercy Kainobwisho, Dorothy Kisaka, old timer Allen Kagina, Catherine Bamugemereire, Lorna Magara, Col Edith Nakalema, Keto Kayemba Nyapendi, Maj Night Kwikiriza and Mariam Wangadya just to mention a few.
Some of these will be critical in effecting ground-shattering reforms which the President considers urgent at places like NWSC, Makerere University, some of the agencies under Health and Energy sectors. In Energy, UETCL, whose failure to adequately deliver on the power transmission infrastructure continues to intrigue the President, will experience the deepest reforms targeting the top echelons of leadership just like is going to be the case with NWSC.
Gen Museveni is intrigued as to why the authorities at UETCL keep hiding behind strict procurement rules to deliberately constrain service delivery even when more than enough money has been made available through construction of very expensive loans. He considers UETCL’s ineptness as the major reason why power can’t be promptly evacuated to where it’s needed to support production because there are glaring loopholes regarding what is supposed to be the transmission network.
Should Mbabazi return as super Prime Minister, this amiable General from Kyaggwe is destined to become the next Vice President replacing his fellow Muganda Edward Sekandi. Those vetting potential Cabinet appointees have profiled Katumba Wamala as a wealthy senior government official who can’t easily be corrupted or manipulated by saboteurs from foreign lands because he is patriotic and disciplined besides despising material things. That he owns huge livestock projects and is also deeply into pine wood exportation. That he carries out plenty of agricultural activities both in Kyaggwe and Sese islands.
Having been IGP and CDF, Katumba Wamala is considered to be senior enough for the position of VP. He is also naturally sociable unlike Edward Sekandi who has been reluctant to use the VP office to carry out political mobilization. Being very loyal, Katumba Wamala can’t also upstage the President in any way. And most importantly being a Muganda, from Kyagulanyi’s Central region, Katumba’s posting is calculated to appease his Ganda co-ethnics who never felt empowered under Sekandi who chose the lukewarm approach fearing to be accused of harboring Presidential ambitions like his predecessor Gilbert Bukenya.
At the Works & Transport Ministry, Gen Museveni has liked the decisiveness with which Katumba has led the sector thus far. Even in Cabinet, Katumba often comes off as natural leader inspiring love and respect from fellow Ministers of all age groups and gender. He is scandal-free which increases his suitability for the job which Sekandi has inactively occupied for the last 10 years. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).