SEKANDI DEFLATED AT CABINET MEET AS NEMA GETS NEW BOARD
By Mulengera Reporters
For unknown reasons, the outgoing Presidency Minister Esther Mbayo (who was vastly in charge of the Monday Cabinet event at which Gen Museveni bid farewell to his outgoing Ministers and thanked them for a job well done) treated outgoing Vice President Edward Sekandi in a manner many perceived as aimed at deflating and humiliating the very humble man from Kyanamukaka.
Despite being number two in the national hierarchy, Mbayo kept referencing on the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and other less prolific Ministers while conspicuously ignoring or overlooking Sekandi, a thing that irked especially the State Ministers who always perceived Sekandi as parental and good mentor. The much overlooked man from Kyanamukaka was eventually rescued when a group of State Ministers lost their patience and went on rampage protesting “marginalization” by Mbayo.
In the full presence of Gen Museveni and First Lady, the protestations intensified towards the end of the sendoff luncheon when Mbayo announced that the ruling NRM SG Kasule Lumumba was the one to cut the cake and asked Premier Ruhakana Rugunda to join her. “Our man VP! This is becoming too much. What did the VP do to you?” the Ministers chorused prompting Mbayo to reluctantly ask Sekandi to step forward and join the duo to cut the cake. Sekandi, contrary to what one would expect of a man of his seniority, sometimes makes things complicated for himself by keeping quiet too much.
For instance, during the Monday Cabinet meeting, which will most likely be his last to attend under Gen Museveni’s presidency because he is very unlikely to be reappointed, the man from Kyanamukaka remained totally silent without ever saying anything. “That is how he has always been only speaking when prompted by the President who always likes saying ‘let’s hear from the Vice President also.’ That is why it becomes easy for organizers of Presidential events, like Mbayo was in this case, to always forget about him. Not that they are being malicious against him. It’s his nature of being too introverted,” says a Cabinet source. “We hear it’s deliberately meant to shield him against accusations of having Presidential ambitions like was the case with his predecessor Prof Gilbert Bukenya.”
Away from the Sekandi saga, outgoing GCW Ruth Nankabirwa livened up the mood at the Cabinet gathering when she was called upon to move a vote of thanks on behalf of all the outgoing Ministers (some felt being a senior man, Sekandi should have been the one to pull this one off but Mbayo didn’t think so). Speaking in a mixture of English and Luganda, the outgoing Kiboga Woman MP (literally on her knees) thanked First Lady Janet Museveni for the sumptuous meal the political leaders had and equally recognized Gen Museveni for his generosity as seen in providing the financial logistics with which Janet was enabled to prepare the luncheon.
Nankabirwa also said her and other colleagues were eternally grateful to Gen Museveni for his patience and mentorship adding that, for giving each one of them a platform to serve nationally, it’s only God that can appropriately ever reward him.
Elsewhere, in his speech, during the same function as he saw off the Cabinet members, a jovial Gen Museveni recognized his ministers while humorously referencing on those “who worked hard and those who did nothing in the last 5 years.” And as he signed out, the NRM national chairman said “and you will always be my comrades all of you.”
The same Cabinet session, according to Information Minister Judith Nabakooba, concretized positions relating to a number of other service delivery areas which are summarized as follows (deriving from the brief [unedited] media statement the Minister’s office sent to us this Tuesday afternoon:
Cabinet Decisions taken during the Cabinet Meeting held on Monday, 4th May 2021 at State House Entebbe
Noted the preparation for Celebrations marking the Swearing- in and Inauguration Ceremonies of the President –Elect 2021 scheduled for Wednesday, 12th May 2021 under the theme “Securing Your Future” and that adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) would strictly be enforced.
Approved the Interim Statutory Instrument for the Establishment and Management of the Rural Electrification Fund.
Approved the proposal for Government to takeover payment of Pension and Arrears of former employees of Uganda Posts and Telecommunications albeit in a phased manner.
Approved the Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs (Amendment Bill, 2021) that sought to create the remuneration for the Offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the Authority and Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the Urban Division Councils.
Approved the 8th Board of Directors for the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for a period of three years as follows:
- James Okot- Okumu (Chairperson)
- Katwiremu Yorokamu Bategana Member
- Priscilla Nyadoi Member
- Charles Ekure Member
- Christine Mayengo Member
- Chemonges Jimmy Member
- Can. Amos Lapenga Member
- Florence Grace Adongo Member
Approved that working with Local Governments in the respective zones, the Ministry of Local Government would avail Public Land that is unencumbered, accessible of at least 500 acres for purposes of developing an Industrial and Business Park in each zone.
Thank you. For God and My Country
Hon Judith Nabakooba (MP)
Min for ICT and National Guidance
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