Over two weeks ago, Kololo Independence Grounds was filled with another activity as the new Cabinet and Junior Ministers took oath of office.
The Monday, June 21 activity cemented the highly unexpected Presidential appointments into the reality many had failed to believe since the Cabinet announcement on June 8.
The appointments of Rtd. Maj Jessica Alupo and Hon Robinah Nabbanja as Vice President and Prime Minister respectively caught nearly everybody unaware.
Just days before, the President had during a State of Nation Address hinted on a suggestion to consider children from wealthy families for employment. This, he said would help curb corruption for such people are expected to have limited greed for money than their counterparts from impoverished backgrounds.
As expected, the talk had sent shock waves among majority of Ugandans who predominantly hail from such not so well off families. On the other hand, the few from propertied families must have jumped in wild jubilations.
As for the Government critics, the words by the President ignited a wide range of criticisms branding the regime as one for the perennial self aggrandizement of a few at the expense of the majority.
And then suddenly, Alupo, one from the poorest of the poor as VP and a Tailor’s daughter – Nabbanja as Prime Minister.
Even below those two, names like Kampala City and Metropolitan Affairs Minister Minsa Kabanda, Milly Babirye Babalanda at the Presidency, Judith Nabakooba at Lands, Jane Ruth Acheng, all depicts a new Museveni inclined to getting in the good books of the grassroot people than the first and middle class as has been the case previously.
It’s also a move towards a more civilian than military political administration.
The most salient feature of the new administration is that majority of the 1986 crop of leaders have either been completely laid off or deployed under reduced roles. In effect, a new crop of leaders have occupied positions prior held by the ex-Luwero war combatants.
Also worthy mentioning is that more than a half of the new ministerial positions are held by cadres below 55 years of age. It’s is therefore safe to say that the current cabinet is dominated by who were below 20 years at the time of NRM taking over power in 1986.
Ministers like Frank Tumwebaze, Judith Nabakooba, Hamson Obua, Thomas Tayebwa, Persis Namuganza, Minsa Kabanda, among others all represent a silent move towards a new dawn that most Ugandans seem not to be seeing.
For those that have been waiting for an overnight transition that would see Museveni drastically announcing handing over to an individual could with all the due respect be disappointed. It looks like he is opting to handover to a group of well organized people with no one too poweful to offset the power balance.
Even though the decision on who he will back to take over after him remains a secret one, it is increasingly becoming evident that all efforts in the current term will be directed towards planning for a future after his retirement.
Changes else where, in the national army and in the police force also evidently support the above school of thought.
With the new CDF – Wilson Mbadi from Kasese, he is deputised by General Peter Elwelu from Teso. Martin Okoth Ochola from the Eastern commands Uganda Police and his deputy is General Paul Lokech from Northern Uganda.
This seems to be the most transparent appointments with regard to regional balance.
This seems to be driven towards creating harmonized systems to prevent future strife should someone with limited intellectual abilities take over.
In conclusion, all the changes in the new administration of the country strongly suggest that the post Museveni transition has already started taking effect only that for those wishing to see it from the top, may have to hold on for a little longer.
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