More On President Besigye's Cost-effective Transitional Govt of National Unity Government

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Prime minister Proscovia Salaamu Musumba

The head of Uganda’s popularly-elected government, Dr. Kizza Besigye who was sworn in a day before Gen. Yoweri Museveni took oath has gone a step further and appointed Cabinet.

In a 12-page document which features a redesigned cabinet architecture and also focuses on gender balance, the People’s President has named 18 ministers deputized by 18 others, bringing the total number of ministers to 36.

The Constitution of Uganda allows for up to 21 full ministers. Besigye is deputized by deputy President Ambassador Wasswa Biriggwa with Proscovia Salaamu Musumba as Prime Minister.

This is a huge administrative departure and numerical difference from Gen. Museveni’s bloated cabinets which often feature up to 70 ministers, to say nothing about the over 100 "presidential advisors" and hundreds more Residential District Commissioners whose effect is often to drain an already strained resource envelope and burden taxpayers further.

As promised by Besigye during the presidential campaigns, the new Cabinet has been clustered into three categories: Economic Productivity and Jobs Growth; Public Service Delivery, Quality Assurance and Human Capital Development and finally Defense, National Security, Law and Order. The citizen orientation and policy focus of the new administration is clear.

Social media sites in Uganda are already awash with excitement, fascination, praise—and some scattered expressions of disdain about the announcement. But from the mainstream and social media, it is clear that Besigye has once again pulled off a masterstroke and captured the imagination of the Ugandan population and beyond.

Indeed, the respected Kenyan Professor Peter Anyang Nyong’o recently authored an article that saluted Besigye’s resolve in fighting dictatorship at whatever cost. It is not clear how the People’s President conducted lengthy consultations and even signed and released the document containing the appointments he has made.

This might put into question the surveillance at Luzira Maximum Security Prison where he is currently remanded. It is barely a fortnight since several police officers guarding his Kasangati residence have been arrested on suspicion of letting him escape the 24-hour security net.

Time will tell whether Gen. Museveni’s cabinet which is expected to be announced soon will be more appealing to the majority of the Ugandan people who are clearly mesmerized by the People’s President.


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